No closure notices yet from displaced private schools: DOLE

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MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday said it has yet to receive notices of closure from private educational institutions whose operations were affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“We haven’t received notice of closure from educational institutions. Usually, if a company ceased operations, they must notify the DOLE on the number of workers that will be affected, and they have to explain to us the reason for closure or dismissal. So far we have no records of such,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a phone interview.

Bello, however, assured that they are ready to provide financial and livelihood assistance to displaced workers.

“If educational institutions will decide to close, they must notify us and then, in order to be able to avail of COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) benefit, they have to give us their list of workers who will lose their job so we can give them, initially, cash assistance,” he said.

The CAMP provides a one-time cash subsidy of PHP5,000 to formal sector workers affected by Covid-19.

“They may also avail livelihood program but initially we will give them one-time cash assistance,” Bello added.

Aside from the financial and livelihood assistance, he said teachers who would be retrenched are also entitled to separation pay.

“If they are regular employees, whatever nature of work in schools, they are entitled to separation pay. That is in the law,” he added.

In September, the Department of Education (DepEd) reported that 748 out of a total of 14,435 private educational institutions in the country will not operate for school year 2020-2021.

Under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, the government would allot PHP300 million for the grant of subsidies and allowances to displaced teaching and non-teaching personnel, as well as part-time faculty members of public and private educational institutions, including universities and colleges.-PNA

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