No Holy Week break for key gov’t agencies in COVID-19 response
CALOOCAN CITY, April 9 (PIA) — Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) spokesperson Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexi Nograles on Wednesday announced that critical government offices will be serving the public even during the Holy Week to ensure that vulnerable sectors are able to expeditiously receive government assistance amid the COVID-19 health crisis.
During the regular Laging Handa briefing multicast by the Presidential Communications Operations Office and its attached agencies, Nograles said the Department of Labor (DOLE) would continue to receive and process requests from workers applying for COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) benefits. In the past, the Holy Week observance was also an opportunity for some to take a needed break from work.
“DOLE field offices will continue processing establishment reports even during the Holy Week to speed up the processing of assistance, and we have entered into an agreement with LandBank for the expeditious release and remittance of funds through their branches and automated teller machines (ATMs) nationwide,” said Nograles, who reported that 139,003 regular and non-regular formal workers affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) have already received the 5,000 one-time cash benefit.
The IATF spokesperson also announced that the DOLE would no longer be strictly requiring the submission of the company payroll in the establishment report, as any proof of payment of salaries and wages will be sufficient.
Aside from the DOLE, Nograles said that the National Food Authority (NFA) would also be open over the Holy Week.
“Ina-nounce po ni NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal na mananatili silang bukas sa mahal na araw upang makakuha pa rin ng bigas ang DSWD at local government units (LGUs) para sa mga constituents nila na di makaalis ng bahay dahil sa ECQ,” he said.
Nograles further said that aside from rice issuances, NFA warehouses will also continue to serve farmers and cooperatives selling their summer harvest and undertake full-blast milling operations of palay stocks to maintain the country’s rice buffer stocks.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already requested LandBank to open on Saturdays to facilitate the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program for the 17 local government units in NCR even on weekends, he added. (PIA NCR)