The Philippines government has agreed to provide female biodiesel workers with additional benefits, Business Mirror reported on 14 June.

Labour secretary Silvestre H Bello III expanded the benefits to female workers payable by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in his Department Order (DO) 225, Series of 2021, which could include maternity and death benefits.

“Under social protection and welfare benefits, qualified female coco or biodiesel workers can now avail themselves to the one-time maternity benefit amounting to P5,000 (US$103),” Bello was quoted as saying in a news statement.

The death benefit would be available to coconut farmers and farmworkers and employees of Department of Energy-accredited coco methyl ester (CME) plants, he said.

The benefit would be equivalent to P7,000 (US$144) and an additional P3,000 (US$62) if the cause of death had been exacerbated by or due to COVID-19, Business Mirror wrote.

DO 225, which took effect on 31 May as part of the government’s efforts to improve the benefits of biofuel workers, also allowed the release of start-up capital to workers, according to the report.

The benefits were given to biofuel workers through DOLE’s Social Amelioration and Welfare Program (SAWP), Business Mirror said.