SENATOR Nancy Binay appealed to the Department of Labor and Employment to immediately extend aid to workers affected by the closure by police over the weekend of more than 30,000 lotto stations and gaming outlets nationwide.
With more than 120,000 workers affected, Binay said DoLE can extend its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers” (TUPAD) program, and assist them in securing employment.
“DoLE can step up and help. May mga pamilyang binubuhay ang mga staff ng PCSO gaming outlets, at malaking bagay ang agarang tulong na maibibigay ng DoLE para maibsan ang epekto ng kanilang biglaang pagkawala ng trabaho,” she pointed out.
Under the program, DoLE usually extends emergency employment for 30 days with a minimum pay of P300 per day. Each beneficiary will earn around P9,000 for one month.
According to Binay, DoLE’s 30-day Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program was created exactly for the purpose of providing assistance and alternative means of employment to displaced workers.
“Habang hindi pa malinaw kung kailan ili-lift ang suspension ng PCSO gaming operations, marami sa mga franchise operators ang tiyak na mapipilitan i-lay off ang kanilang mga empleyado dahil wala naman nang source of revenue para paswelduhin sila -- not to mention the monthly rental and utility expenses,” she said.
As of yesterday, the Philippine National Police reported it has closed down more than 30,000 gaming outlets.
“If each outlet has an average of 4 employees, with more than 30,000 franchise stations closed, we’re looking at a minimim of 120,000 displaced workers. Sana mabigyan ng DoLE ng emergency employment at iba pang tulong.
The senator said she expects the DoLE to have started coordinating with the PCSO to track its outlets and the number of employees involved.
Binay said that while she understands the President’s desire to rid the PCSO of corruption, she wondered whether another route could have been taken that did not negatively impact the jobs of thousands.
An opposition solon asked President Rodrigo Duterte to address the corruption in the PCSO without sacrificing ordinary people who are relying on the charity and assistance of the agency.
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares has questioned the shutting down of PCSO’s gambling activities and operations.
“If the corrupt people involved are President Duterte’s appointees then he should have sacked these officials and overhauled the said office,” said Zarate, the House deputy minority leader.
The solon said since 2011 the progressive lawmakers have been pushing for probes and reforms on the PCSO.
With Jester P. Manalastas