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Government confirms allowances transferred

Sorn Sarath / Khmer Times Share:
According to the Ministry of Labour a total of $684,294 was paid to 33,231 suspended workers yesterday. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The government confirmed that it transferred some of its out-of-work allowances yesterday, issuing payments of up to $40 to more than 30,000 factory and tourism workers, whose jobs have been temporarily suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Ministry of Labour, a total of $684,294 was paid to 33,231 suspended workers from 83 factories and 28 hotels and restaurants via the third-party payment system, WING Specialized Bank.

It added recipients should receive a confirmation message to their registered mobile numbers advising them of the payment. “In case anybody does not receive a confirmation message from Wing, they can contact the payment provider directly or go to their ex-employers’ administration department,” the ministry said.

The transfer marks the first phase of the out-of-work payment allowances that have been scaled dependent on the period of time a worker has been suspended for, with $15 paid for 7 to 10 days of a suspended one month contact, $30 for 11 to 20 days and $40 over 21 days.

Khmer Times attempted to contact the Ministry of Labour spokesperson, Heng Sour, yesterday to follow up his claims last week that the government would transfer payments to almost 60,000 workers this week. However, he could not be reached for comment.

Sour had also previously told Khmer Times, that there had been some problems processing the cash payments because some workers had given incorrect phone numbers that impacted the ability for WING to transfer payments correctly.

In addition, stating payments will only be provided to workers whose employers formally registered their businesses with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training or the Ministry of Tourism or the Ministry of Commerce.

Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, welcomed the news today for those workers who have received funds, but said the government should further assist tour operators during this crisis.

“As I know, only about 10 tour operators have obtained approval from the government for wage assistance, as most of the companies that have applied for help have been rejected, she said. Adding, that the because of the government’s strict criteria many businesses in the tourism sector will most likely receive no help at all.

“We want the government to ease some of the strict conditions that they have put on tourism businesses. As we have a lot of people who cannot receive help, these are effected people too,” she said.

According to the ministry’s latest figures, 237 local garment and footwear factories have applied to suspend operations, due to a lack of orders from overseas customers mainly from Europe and the US.

payments to almost 60,000 workers this week. However, he could not be reached for comment.

Sour had also previously told Khmer Times, that there had been some problems processing the cash payments because some workers had given incorrect phone numbers that affected the ability for WING to transfer payments correctly.

In addition, he said payments will only be provided to workers whose employers formally registered their businesses with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training or the Ministry of Tourism or the Ministry of Commerce.

Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, welcomed the news today for those workers who have received funds, but said the government should further assist tour operators during this crisis.

“As I know, only about 10 tour operators have obtained approval from the government for wage assistance because most of the companies that have applied for help have been rejected, she said, adding, that because of the government’s strict criteria many businesses in the tourism sector will most likely receive no help at all.

“We want the government to ease some of the strict conditions that they have put on tourism businesses. Because we have a lot of people who cannot receive help, they are affected too,” she said. According to the ministry’s latest figures, 237 local garment and footwear factories have applied to suspend operations because of a lack of orders from overseas customers, mainly from Europe and the US.

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