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This study assessed client experience and perception of the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP 1) implemented by the Philippine government, through the Department of Labor and Employment, as a response to mitigate the adverse economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Filipino workers in the private sector. Following an explanatory sequential mixed method design and using primary and secondary data collected through the rollout of a cross-sectional perception survey and conduct of focus group discussions, CAMP 1 implementation gaps, bottlenecks, and issues in service delivery and utilization, including availment and beneficiary satisfaction, were thoroughly assessed.

Results show that: (a) program awareness contributed to information symmetry in terms of intended and perceived purpose of assistance; (b) difficulties related to documentary requirements and notification were commonly experienced by both worker- and establishment-respondents; (c) varied perception on the reasons for denial attributed to either lack of awareness or lack of notification; (d) while financial support is seen as a necessary response to cushion economic impacts related to the imposition of lockdowns, amount and frequency thereof were deemed insufficient; and (e) successful re-employment of retrenched workers was less attributed to employment facilitation services of DOLE. Further, client satisfaction for both the financial support and employment facilitation components of CAMP 1 were mostly neutral. Recommendations based on identified implementation and policy gaps include consideration of a program for re-employment support specifically for those whose employment was involuntarily terminated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the integration of a quick response team in the overall strategy of DOLE in addressing worker displacement and income insecurity, among others.

KEYWORDS: COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program, CAMP, social protection, social safety nets, unemployment

RESEARCHERS: Joanne Camille P. Bejarin, Carl Sean S. Pablico, John Emmanuel B. Villanueva 

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