Issue of October 11, 2020
Mt. Province
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Dads back bill benefitting COVID-19 displaced workers
by Ofelia C. Empian

The Baguio city council expressed support to the passage of House Bill 7590, which seeks to expand the unemployment benefits to involuntarily displaced workers during the pandemic.

In a resolution, the council supports the bill also known as the “Unemployment Benefits Act of 2020” authored by the Makabayan bloc legislators in a bid to help the displaced workers back on their feet.

“The bill includes all workers who have been involuntarily separated from their occupations in the private sector, government employees, and workers in the informal economy such as street vendors, jeepney drivers, and agricultural and fisheries workers,” reads the resolution introduced by Councilor Arthur Allad-iw.

The bill also seeks to provide unemployment benefits in the form of cash based on the aggregated amount of compensation the employees received during the last 36 months before their unemployment. It could also cover those who had less than 36 months of employment in the amount of at least P10,000.

For the formal workers, the Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System shall provide the cash payment to private and public sector employees, respectively, while the Department of Labor and Employment will directly pay the informal workers.

Further, the unemployment benefits shall be paid for a maximum of two consecutive months or until such time the worker has found gainful employment, whichever comes first.

The resolution of support was adopted and forwarded to the Makabayan bloc legislators for their information.

The group of legislators stated the bill is needed, as the DOLE was not able to cover majority of the displaced workers in its Social Amelioration Programs.

The bill is authored by Bayan Muna Reps. Ferdinand Gaite, Carlos Isagani Zarate, Eufemia Cullamat, ACT Teachers Rep. France Castor, Gabriela Women’s Rep. Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Jane Elago.

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