Retrenched workers can get DSWD aid

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD 7) is open to helping all retrenched workers in the region under its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) program.

DSWD 7 Director Shalaine Lucero told SunStar Cebu Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, that for the agency to release cash assistance, the laid-off workers must undergo a verification process.

Under the process, beneficiaries will be verified by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, the Department of Labor and Employment, and the local government units (LGUs) where the downsizing companies were situated.

Lucero said these government bodies must endorse a list that will be subject to confirmation by the DSWD.

Once confirmed, Lucero said, DSWD would coordinate with the LGUs and other agencies concerned with planning the payout, including the distribution venue.

Lucero said the listed beneficiaries would also undergo an assessment through the designated social workers, wherein they would be assessed through their family situation and income capacity, among others.

The cash assistance ranges from P2,000 to P10,000, depending on the assessment result, and each beneficiary is also given a family food pack, Lucero said.

Recently, 3,729 of 4,203 (90 percent) workers retrenched at the Mactan Economic Zone in Lapu-Lapu City received cash assistance from the DSWD.

This was after the Lapu-Lapu City Council approved in a mass notion during its Fifth Special Session last Sept. 30 its request to DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo for assistance through DSWD 7 under Resolution 16-0496-2022.

Lucero said they had given P18,122,680 in cash assistance and P2,385,410 worth of family food packs. The payout was held last Oct. 3 and 4 at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City.

Beneficiaries were given from P2,000 to P5,000 each, said Lucero.

The regional director said the remaining 474 workers, or 10 percent of the target beneficiaries, did not show up during the distribution and some had already gone home to their provinces, so they failed to claim their assistance.

But Lucero assured that those who failed to claim their assistance would be contacted by their companies, and the DSWD would coordinate with the LGU of Lapu-Lapu to schedule another distribution for them.

Those who have gone to their provinces will be catered to by the DSWD’s Provincial Social Welfare and Development teams, she added.

In August, Lucero said the DSWD 7 also helped around 240 workers from Bogo-Medellin Milling Company Inc. (Bomedco), Cebu’s oldest and only sugar milling firm, which had been affected by the sugar crisis.

Lucero said a total of P1,200,000 in cash was disbursed, with each of Bomedco’s affected workers receiving P5,000 in cash and 10 kilos of rice.