Government workers to get conditional cash transfer during calamities

A LAWMAKER is pushing for the passage of a bill urging the government to earmark sufficient funds for government employees both at the national and local levels as a form of financial assistance when they become victims of disasters, calamities, emergencies or similar crises.

Rep. Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City) filed House Bill 6639 authorizing the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to set aside a buffer fund appropriated for government employees who would be victims of natural calamities.

“The mechanics of these funds are akin to the grant of conditional cash transfers for marginalized sectors of society. Hence, in the case of prospective grantees, barangay officials in their respective barangays or communities shall attest to the accuracy and veracity of the applicants’ claim for grants under this Act,” Castelo explained.

Castelo said government employees both at the national or local levels are themselves victims of vicious cycles of disasters, calamities or other natural crises and it is imperative to explore the possibility of them being granted what may constitute as a government employee benefit fund from which financial assistance for that single purpose may be sourced.

“This is premised on the idea that employees of government should also be assisted when sad times befall them since they are the government’s forerunners in the delivery of basic goods and services to the point that they actually render public service sometimes even beyond the call of duty,” Castelo stressed.

Castelo said it is only fitting and proper that the government has a way to recognize this sacrifice and somehow compensate them, if and when they become victims of natural disasters like typhoons, storms, floods, landslides and the like.

Under the proposed “Government employees Benefit Fund of 2012,” the DBM in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are directed to issue the appropriate regulations and guidelines for the effective implementation of this Act.

“Government should take a pro-active stand on situations that seriously affect individuals who are workers in government.  They too must be served by the government,” Castelo said.

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