Workers in the biofuel industry utilizing coconut as feedstock are assured of livelihood and social protection and welfare benefits as the labor department further spelled out assistance accorded to them under the Social Amelioration and Welfare Program (SAWP).
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III issued Department Order No. 225, Series of 2021, which provides that start-up capital to be given to qualified coco or biodiesel workers and their dependents may now be given either in cash or in kind. It also sets the amount that beneficiaries will receive under the maternity and death benefit assistance.
The issuance amends Department Order No. 194-18. Previously, start-up capital was given only in-kind, while maternity and death benefits were not mentioned in past issuances.
Since 2012, the labor department is collecting lien from Coco Methyl Ester (CME) producers amounting to P0.05 per liter of CME sold to oil companies.
The accumulated fund is used to implement projects under SAWP, such as livelihood assistance, training, and vocational education assistance, social protection and welfare benefits, and emergency assistance for coco or biodiesel workers, including their dependents.