Department of Labor and Employment
2 March 2023
DOLE allocates reserve fund to fast track delivery of maternity and death benefits for biodiesel workers
Workers in the country’s coconut industry can somehow breathe a sigh of relief after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Administrative Order No. 23 allocating a reserve fund at the DOLE Regional Offices for the implementation of the Maternity and Death Benefits Assistance Program (MDBP) under the Social Amelioration and Welfare Program (SAWP) for Workers in the Biofuel Industry.
The order specifically tasks the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) to “transfer and replenish” funds for the SAWP MDBP for workers in the biodiesel sector of the biofuel industry.
The labor department envisioned the SAWP to become an effective tool that will help uplift workers’ livelihoods and well-being through the regular provision of services such as maternity and death benefit assistance; livelihood assistance; training / techvoc and college education assistance; emergency assistance; social protection; and welfare assistance, through the liens collected by the Department of Energy from accredited coco-diesel producers.
The order also instructed the BWSC to “immediately download” the initial SAWP MDBP funds to the following DOLE regional offices: NCR, Region 4A, Region 10, Region 11, and Region 12.
The BWSC was also tasked to download the amounts covered by DOLE AO 23 to the SAWP/SAP accounts maintained by DOLE regional offices.
Moreover, the releasing and replenishing of the reserve funds will be based on the total number of actual claims processed and released by the concerned DOLE regional offices monthly, subject to the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations.
The order does not restrict the BWSC from creating a reserve fund for the DOLE Regional Offices, to be determined later as potential sources of feedstock for biodiesel production, should the need arise and the number of SAWP MDBP claims significantly increase in their respective regions.
The basic computation for the amounts to be used for the SAWP MDBP fund was made per Department Order 225 released in 2021 and amendments to Department Order 194 of 2018 or the Revised Guidelines on the Implementation of the SAWP for workers in the biofuel industry.
Under the “Biofuels Act of 2006”, DOLE is tasked to promote gainful livelihood opportunities, facilitate productive employment, and ensure biofuel workers’ access to productive resources and social protection coverage. # # #