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ACT Teachers party-list solon slams ‘slow’ socio-economic aid for workers, urges DOLE to hasten release of subsidy

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

House Assistant Minority Floor Leader and ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro has urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to hasten the dispensation of financial aid to private sector workers affected by the Luzon lockdown due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“We urge the DOLE to expedite the dispensation of financial aid to workers as they continue to wait for government aid during the implementation of the ECQ,” said Castro in a statement.

Castro stressed that event though the Duterte administration has already been granted emergency powers by Congress last week, yet “it still lacks the emergency action the people have been demanding to be able to survive this pandemic.”

Castro has scored Malacañang on the supposed extreme delay for socio-economic aid for workers, saying that government should also make sure private school teachers and education support personnel in private schools also receive government financial subsidy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Government has been slow with its medical and socio-economic solutions to protect the people from the virus and from hunger,” said Castro.

According to Castro, teachers and other school employees in the private sector are not spared from the economic impact of the Luzon lockdown, adding that they are the “most vulnerable in the education sector since many are contractual employees and are no-work-no-pay workers.”

“Many ordinary private sector workers still have yet to receive any socio-economic aid from the government,” said Castro.

“Teachers and education support personnel in the private sector also are still worried and anxious because they are not sure if the DOLE Order covers also private school teachers and private school personnel,” she added.

Educators in the public and private sector in both basic and tertiary education also need socio-economic aid brought by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, even though many have adopted a calendar shift having their classes until the end of May, according to Castro.

She explained that the ECQ left many teachers and professors “unsure of how they will be asked to continue their classes and if they would be compensated while classes are suspended.”

“Kailangan na talaga madaliin ng administrasyong Duterte ang pagbibigay ng ayuda sa ating mga manggagawa. Hindi maaaring iasa lamang sa LGU at sa mga pribadong sektor na tutulungan ang mga manggagawang apektado ng quarantine.”

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