Less than half of the government’s P3.1 billion fund to extend cash aid to tourism workers who were displaced amid the Covid-19 pandemic had been distributed, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported on Thursday.
Of the said fund earmarked for the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) for the tourism sector, Labor Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay said P1.4 billion is yet to be distributed by DOLE regional offices to qualified beneficiaries as of April 6, 2021.
CAMP-Tourism is a one-time P5,000 financial assistance given by DOLE to displaced formal sector workers and funded through the Bayanihan to Recover as One (Bayanihan 2).
The regions with the highest utilization rate, which exceeded 70 percent, are Regions 9, 12, 13. However, the three areas also have the lowest target number of beneficiaries with 5,453; 5,863; and 8,641, respectively.
The regions, which are plagued with the lowest fund utilization rate falling below 30 percent, are Regions 7, 6, and 2. The three regions are also among those with biggest number of target beneficiaries with 67,136; 50,390; and 52,765, respectively.
Region 4-B has the highest number of target number of CAMP-tourism beneficiaries with 67,612 followed by Region 7 as earlier mentioned, and the National Capital Region (NCR) in third place with 66,288.
The fund utilization rate for Region 4-B and NCR is only around 37 percent.
Prompted by the slow pace of the distribution in some areas, DOLE and Department of Tourism (DOT) opted to ease the requirements to avail of the CAMP-Tourism aid.
DOLE issued Labor Advisory No. 06, series of 2021, allowing DOLE Regional Offices (RO) with pending applications and depleted funds for CAMP-Bayanihan 2 for the tourism sector to endorse their pending approved applications for payment to DOLE ROs with sufficient funds.
The measure aims to allow DOLE to maximize the utilization of their CAMP-Tourism funds before the expiration of the Bayanihan 2 Act by June. “DOT and DOLE committed to disbursed the same before the end of Bayanihan 2,” Tutay said in a Viber message on Thursday.