DOLE allocates P5.5-M aid for Star City workers

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment has allocated P5.5 million in emergency employment assistance for about 500 employees of Star City who were displaced by the fire that destroyed up to 90% of the theme park.

The aid will be extended to the workers for two months. However, their displacement may last 6 months.

Most of them worked administrative jobs, and are now left in a "no work, no pay" situation. The Public Employment Service Office of Pasay will profile and assess the displaced workers for potential alternative employment.

The assistance is being given following the recommendation of the Bureau of Local Employment, and will be funded under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (Tupad) program.

The program caters to displaced, underemployed, and seasonal workers. In the past, it was used by employees affected by the 6-month Boracay closure, those affected by the Mayon Volcano eruption in 2018, and those displaced by the NCCC Mall fire.

Fire razed the Star City complex on Wednesday, October 2, gutting up to 90% of the theme park and the offices of the Manila Broadcasting Corporation.

Star City will be closed through the Christmas season. According to Pasay City fire marshal Supt. Paul Pili, estimated damage amounted to P15 million.

Pili said that arson could have been a cause of the fire, based on the char patterns and irregular bend of metal elements found in the initial observations.

The investigation regarding the incident could take up to 45 days. – with reports from Loreben Tuquero and Sofia Tomacruz/Rappler.com