“The unprecedented temporary closure of establishments such as resorts, malls, restaurants, lodging houses, hotels, and stores that used to provide income directly and indirectly to residents and non-residents in Boracay now accounts for the alarming number of unemployed or underemployed individuals and families on the said island. We recognize and are responding to public calls for all concerned government units to implement  immediate interventions to provide the necessary protection and safety nets for said residents and their families.”

This is the statement of DSWD Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel A. Leyco as he announced the DSWD’s guidelines for its cash-for-work (CFW) scheme in Boracay and for Filipinos whose income and livelihood have been directly affected by the island’s closure to tourists.

“The lack of economic activities and employment opportunities aggravates their condition and increases their vulnerability to the social ills created by poverty, and we cannot allow this to happen. As part of our efforts to address the situation, the DSWD has adjusted its guidelines for the CFW  scheme for the affected residents of Boracay,” he said.

OIC Leyco said that the DSWD has amended the previous rate of assistance for the CFW. Beneficiaries under the CFW program will now receive 100% of the regional wage rate rather than 75% . In the Western Visayas, the existing regional minimum wage rate is P323.50/day.

Similarly, for affected migrant workers who have returned to their original regions outside of Iloilo, they will also receive the established minimum wage in their respective regions.

“The increased rate of assistance is meant to help alleviate the economic difficulties of Filipinos affected by the Boracay closure. The CFW scheme can be accessed by said eligible individuals for 30 days. Among those who are eligible are workers and employees displaced because of the Boracay closure; those who returned to their hometowns; those who transferred employment; and those who migrated to other provinces,” the welfare official explained.

There are two types of projects and activities covered under the CFW:

1)      Labor work, i.e.  digging, dredging, desilting canals and drainage systems, planting trees, clearing pathways, shelter/facility repair; demolition of illegal infrastructure; clearing debris, garbage collection, installation of support facilities; and, other similar work. Those who will be working in relatively hazardous activities will be provided with the necessary protective gear and tools.

2)      Technical or office work, i.e. assisting in enumeration tasks/profiling; report preparation; preparation of replenishment and liquidation reports; disbursement during actual payment operations; camp management; operations center work; and the like.

OIC Leyco said that affected residents in Boracay should go to the DSWD Operations Center run by DSWD Field Office VI in Boracay.

“Those who have been displaced because of the closure and have returned to their places of origin can also go to the DSWD Field Office in their region to seek other forms of assistance,” he said. #