DOLE to ease requirements for Boracay workers’ financial aid

By Cindy Ferrer

BORACAY ISLAND — Getting financial aid from the government will soon be easier for displaced formal sector workers of this island, the Department of Labor and Employment said.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they will simplify the requirements needed for the Adjustment Measures Program (AMP).

“I want them to submit only a valid ID and certificate of employment,” he said in a press conference Sunday.

“Also, instead of cash cards, I want them to give it through cash. That is our plan, we will simplify all matters and accelerate the releases of financial assistance,” he added.

Bello said a department order may come out in the coming days regarding the simplified requirements.

The adjustment measures program is a comprehensive package of assistance for formal workers affected by the temporary closure of the island.

The program is under the Boracay Emergency Employment Program (BEEP) which aims to enhance the employability and competitiveness of the beneficiaries, as well as mitigate the adverse economic impact of the island’s rehabilitation.

For displaced and suspended workers, they are provided with 50 percent of the prevailing minimum wage in Western Visayas or PHP4,250.50 per month, deposited to the beneficiary’s Land Bank of the Philippines account maximum for six months.

For retained workers who do not receive a regular wage, they are provided 25 percent of the prevailing minimum wage or PHP2,102.75, covering three-month period.

Requirements needed to avail the program include accomplished BEEP AMP application form, photocopy of a certificate of employment, photocopy of any government-issued ID and proof of Land Bank of the Philippines account.

As of Sunday, Bello said only about 10,000 affected workers have so far applied for the program out of the 20,000 registered workers who are expected to avail of the integrated assistance package.

Of the number, only 6,721 have encoded with LBP cash cards and 2,527 of them have received their cash cards.

With the simplification of requirements, Bello hopes that more workers could avail of the program. (PNA)