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COVID-19 affected workers yet to receive gov’t help

Sorn Sarath / Khmer Times Share:
Factory worker return home after finishing work. KT/Siv Channa

The government is in the process of providing money for the unemployed affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but the total amount is as yet unknown, according to the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training.

Heng Sour, the Ministry of Labour’s spokesman, said yesterday that now it is hard to specify the exact amount because each worker has had a different experience.

“Those who are on the official suspension list drawn up by labour inspectors after the Khmer New Year will receive the cash assistance within two weeks after being suspended,” he said, adding that those who are on the official suspension list drawn up by labour inspectors before the Khmer New Year must first fulfill soft skill training.

“They are now starting their training,” he noted.

The government has announced it will provide money for the registered unemployed who were affected by the pandemic since March.

Meas Soksensan, the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s (MEF) spokesman, said so far the total exact amount of expenditure for the unemployed has yet to be calculated.

“The MEF will comply with the request from relevant institutions such as the request from the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Health,” he said.

“However, we would like to announce that the MEF is ready to provide money upon request. We have enough of a budget to solve the issue, so there is no need to worry. We will release it on time when requested,” he added.

To mitigate the economic shock of the pandemic, the government has announced a $2 billion reserve budget to help the Kingdom’s economic pillars, including agriculture and banking, and also help the unemployed in the garment and tourism sectors.

The government has announced a $40 incentive per month while also requesting factory owners to pay $30 a month. The $40 incentive per month will also be provided to those affected in the tourism sector.

Chay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said so far the association has yet to learn the official number of tourism staff who have applied for the government’s incentive.

However, she said for those who have the proper documents are very small in number.

According to Sivlin, staff who registered as unemployed before the government’s announcement will not receive ministry help and applicants who reapplied have been rejected.

“When they reapplied, the [Ministry of Labour] refused them. I don’t know why it is too strict like this and I think that the number of those who can obtain the government’s budget is very small,” she said, adding that so far no one from the tourism sector has reported obtaining any money yet.

“I would like to call on the government to help to ease the procedure to help the jobless people and not be so strict. The government should encourage those who register for unemployment benefit legally.”

Calculating the $40 per month to 100,000 workers affected at 130 suspended factories, we can see the government will be spending $4million per month and $1,200,000 for some 30,000 out of 630,000 people in the tourism sector affected by COVID-19.

According to the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, so far nearly 200 factories have suspended their operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Payments will only be provided to workers with businesses formally registered with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, the Ministry of Tourism or the Ministry of Commerce, according to a government announcement.

Meas Soksensan, the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s (MEF) spokesman, said so far the total exact amount of expenditure for the unemployed has yet to be calculated.

“The MEF will comply with the request from relevant institutions such as the request from the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Health,” he said.

“However, we would like to announce that the MEF is ready to provide money upon request. We have enough of a budget to solve the issue, so there is no need to worry. We will release it on time when requested,” he added.

To mitigate the economic shock of the pandemic, the government has announced a $2 billion reserve budget to help the Kingdom’s economic pillars, including agriculture and banking, and also help the unemployed in the garment and tourism sectors.

The government has announced a $40 incentive per month while also requesting factory owners to pay $30 a month. The $40 incentive per month will also be provided to those affected in the tourism sector.

Chay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said so far the association has yet to learn the official number of tourism staff who have applied for the government’s incentive.

However, she said for those who have the proper documents are very small in number.

According to Sivlin, staff who registered as unemployed before the government’s announcement will not receive ministry help and applicants who reapplied have been rejected.

“When they reapplied, the [Ministry of Labour] refused them. I don’t know why it is too strict like this and I think that the number of those who can obtain the government’s budget is very small,” she said, adding that so far no one from the tourism sector has reported obtaining any money yet.

“I would like to call on the government to help to ease the procedure to help the jobless people and not be so strict. The government should encourage those who register for unemployment benefit legally.”

Calculating the $40 per month to 100,000 workers affected at 130 suspended factories, we can see the government will be spending $4million per month and $1,200,000 for some 30,000 out of 630,000 people in the tourism sector affected by COVID-19.

According to the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, so far nearly 200 factories have suspended their operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Payments will only be provided to workers with businesses formally registered with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, the Ministry of Tourism or the Ministry of Commerce, according to a government announcement.

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