A total of 93 workers from a biofuel company based in Pasig City received a financial assistance worth seven thousand pesos (Php 7,000.00) each on September 29, 2020, through the Social Amelioration and Welfare Program (SAWP) – Adjustment Measures Initiative (SAWP-AMIN) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Instituted under Republic Act No. 9367 or the Biofuels Act of 2006, the SAWP aims to improve the socio-economic well-being of workers engaged in the production of Coco Methyl Ester (CME) by providing livelihood assistance, training and educational assistance, social protection and welfare benefits, and emergency assistance through the lien collected from CME producers that are accredited by the Department of Energy.

Workers’ Social Amelioration and Development Division (WSADD) Chief Louie Reynoso from the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) spearheaded the distribution of financial assistance for the said CME workers in coordination with DOLE-NCR PAPAMAMARISAN Field Office.

“Part ng programa ay may naka-allocate na financial assistance for CME workers in case ang isang kumpanya from a biofuel industry ay magkaroon ng problema tulad ng displacement or totally mag-close. Since may pandemic tayo ngayon, nabigyan sila ng financial assistance through SAWP with the approval of the Tripartite Consultative Council (TCC) who oversees the program,” said Reynoso.

The TCC for SAWP in the biofuel industry, as provided further in Section IV of the DOLE Department Order 194-2018, are composed of representatives of management, labor and government sectors, which serves as the advisory body of the labor department in policy-making, program implementation and monitoring. The BWSC and the concerned DOLE regional office provide secretariat and technical support.

Excluding the managerial-level employees, those who are eligible to avail of the SAWP benefits are all coco- or biodiesel workers such as coconut farmers, farm workers and plant workers; dependents of bonafide members of plant workers’ group, association, cooperative or union, farmers’ and farm workers’ group, association or cooperative.

For details, interested beneficiaries may contact DOLE-BWSC at (02) 8404-3336 or visit the nearest DOLE regional or field office.

END / Edelyn Galos