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DOLE to help companies comply with Covid-19 prevention memo

The government is ready to assist companies that have yet to comply with rules on the prevention and control of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in workplaces.

“The joint memo circular is contained in a law. This is the safety and health law that has corresponding penalties. But, before we talk about penalty, we want to help companies, who were to found have violations after the inspections. Ask them why they failed to comply. Is it due to lack of information or they do not know how?” Labor Assistant Secretary Ma. Teresita Cucueco said in a Laging Handa presser.

Cucueco was referring to the Joint Memorandum Circular on Workplace Prevention and Control of Covid-19, signed by the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Trade and Industry.

However, she said it would be a different story for firms that deliberately violate the rules.

“If they do not want to comply, they will be penalized. The penalties will range from P20,000 to P100,000 per day, depending on the violation,” she said.

Cucueco said that over 70,000 have been inspected last year with over 90 percent compliance with the JMC.

“The companies have complied with the requirements of the guidelines, on what should be done inside workplaces to ensure that the workers are safe and far from the dangers of Covid-19,” she said.

Cucueco, however, said there are cases when micro, small, and medium enterprises failed to comply, particularly on the rule on the filling up of health declaration forms and temperature checks.

“These are the usual violations we encountered but after inspection, the inspectors tell them that they need to correct or comply since these procedures will provide them preventive actions against the transmission of Covid in workplaces,” she said. “Let us follow the minimum public health protocols, always wear masks, shields, the frequent disinfection, physical distancing.”

Meanwhile, the government has, so far, provided P12 billion cash assistance to over two million workers in the country, including displaced overseas Filipino workers affected by the Covid pandemic, the DOLE said.

Based on latest data from the agency, some P11.9 billion have been released to a total of 2,080,855 beneficiaries.

The government has provided financial and employment assistance through the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP), Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program, and Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP).

Under the CAMP, the DOLE reported that 1,025,574 workers from the formal sector have been assisted with cash amounting to over P5.2 billion.

For AKAP, it served a total of 118,416 displaced OFWs in the amount of P1.191 billion.

The DOLE also disbursed P5,182,680,502 under the TUPAD program to 918,191 informal sector workers.

The total budget allocation for the program is P5,619,735,038.

It added that there are 18,674 beneficiaries with work, with a budget of P7,070,189. The target beneficiaries for the program are 974,140.*PNA

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