Last 17 March 2020, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Department Order No. 209, series of 2020, which seeks to provide financial assistance to workers in the private sector whose employment faced or suffered interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In short, thru the DOLE, the government has decided to extend a one-time financial assistance of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) to qualified workers in private establishments. This assistance is intended to mitigate the enhance community quarantine's impact on private sector employees who have seen their income drastically reduced, if not brought to zero.
In order to avail of this one-time financial assistance, private establishments are being asked to apply for it by e-mailing the following to the DOLE Regional Office having jurisdiction over the employer's principal place of business: (a) duly-filled up COVID-19 Establishment Report (which can be downloaded from the DOLE website); and (b) company payroll for the month prior to the implementation of the Flexible Working Arrangement (FWA) or temporary closure.
Before submitting these requirements, it is important to make sure that the company payroll contains: (a) the employees' unique contact numbers; and (b) the employees' payroll account numbers. This will allow the DOLE to remit the government's financial assistance directly to the employees, either thru bank transfers or money remittance centers.
In case the company payroll is not available, DOLE Labor Advisory No. 12-A, series of 2020, states that employers may submit any of the following in its place: (1) worker's pay slip/ verifiable handwritten pay slip; (2) proof of payment of wages via logbook or ledger; (3) employment contract; (4) cash voucher or petty cash voucher; (5) authority to debit account sent by employer to bank for the wages of employees; (6) SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig Alphalist or list of remittances; (7) BIR Form 2316 of the employees; or (8) list of employees with 13th month pay.
With the issuance of DOLE Labor Advisory No. 12-A, it is apparent that the DOLE intends to make it easy for employers to avail of the government's financial assistance for their respective employees, and not worry so much about whether the submitted documents may be used against them in the future. This is rightfully so as the pandemic calls for swift action, not only on the part of government, but also on the part of private employers.
As stated in DO 2019-20, once the application is reviewed and granted, a Notice of Approval will be sent by the DOLE to the employer, and the concerned DOLE Regional Office will issue the financial support directly to the beneficiary-employee.
It is important to note that DO 2019-20 does not indicate any deadline for applications. However, given that the budget allocated for the DOLE CAMP is limited, it is still recommended that employers submit their applications as soon as possible, so their employees may not only receive financial assistance but also receive them during the quarantine period when it is most needed.