Philippines seeks additional funds to help workers through lockdown
Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III has called for additional funds to support formal and informal workers in Metro Manila through the strict 14-day lockdown period that will run from August 6 to 20.
Formal workers will be able to receive a one-time cash assistance of P$5,000 (US$100) under the COVID-19 Adjustment Measure Programme, while informal workers can be paid the minimum wage equivalent for cleaning schools or their front yard, Bello said, according to ABS-CBN News.
On Friday, lawmakers from the House of Representatives called for the approval of a stimulus package worth P$401 billion (US$8 billion), ahead of the scheduled lockdown in the city.
“The imposition of [the lockdown] in Metro Manila due to the threat of the Delta variant brings to light the urgency of [the stimulus package], and we appeal to our counterparts in the Senate to pass this measure and to our economic managers to secure funding for this bill,” Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said in a statement.
The imposition of the lockdown may result in an increase in the unemployed by 444,000, and the number of the poor to 177,000 people, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua highlighted in a statement.