POST-earthquake “cash for work” obligations in Bohol have already been settled, according to one of the social welfare officers of the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The said official (name is withheld) assisted in program preparation for school building of barangay Villacaryo, Carmen, Bohol, inaugurated by United States ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg in his recent visit to Bohol.
However, she did not give details as to how much the agency has paid to the workers. It will be recalled that 17 workers under “Cash for Work” program launched by the DSWD earlier claimed they have not been paid for their daily wages for four months. Amancio Evangelista, 55, of Catigbian town confirmed this in an exclusive interview. Rodrigo Ruben, 60, also a worker of the program did the same in separate interview.
The workers are hired to pack seedlings of either fruit-bearing or just plain wood trees, Evangelista said. And they rendered the services for two weeks, he said. After they accomplished their job no pay was received by them. Each one of them is tasked to make at least 600 seedlings after they were recruited by the Department of Agriculture (DA) but it was the DSWD shouldered the wages, Evangelista said.
Evangelista said they started to work last June 2014, but they have not been paid for 15-day work until the months of last year. Each of them is supposed to receive PhP207 per day, he added. The seedlings they had gathered and packed have already been distributed. This town has enacted an ordinance requiring graduating students to plant trees prior as a pre-requisite prior to their graduation, according to one of the municipal government employees here.
It will be recalled that workers in clearing the debris of the churches damaged by the earthquake also experienced delayed payment of their wages. The wages employed under church recovery program was funded by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA). And the National Museum which was the in-charge of the clearing works said that the obligations have been settled already. (rvo)