The committee was in Phuket on Monday to assess the current economic impact on workers on the island, the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) reported yesterday (Aug 18).
However, it was state news agency NNT that reported the payout figure from the Phuket Social Security Office (SSO).
Pheeraporn BorwonThanasarn of the Phuket Social Security Office told the Senatorial committee that 11,541 business owners and 199,516 workers are currently registered with the Phuket SSO.
Ms Pheeraporn added that the Phuket SSO had assisted in making payments totalling B1.442 billion to help workers left unemployed or with diminished income due to the economic crisis.
Payments were made to 135,285 workers entitled to compensation under Section 33 of the Social Security Act, to 32,241 workers entitled to payments under Section 39 of the act (people who had resigned their jobs, but keep paying into the Social Security Fund), and to 32,017 workers entitled to payouts under Section 40 (people who were never employed, but pay into the fund), Ms Pheeraporn explained.
From March 1 through July 30, 42,978 people had reported themselves to the Phuket SSO as unemployed, and the office recognised that 137,346 workers had reported themselves as unemployed due to “unavoidable circumstances”.
However, B1.442 billion paid out by the Phuket SSO, and 199,516 workers registered with the office, the average payout per person over the past five months has been no more than B7,227.49 in total.
Present at the meeting were Phuket Vice Governor Phichet Panaphong together with Phuket Provincial Administrative Chief (Palad) Wikrom Jaktee and other officers.
Senator Suthep explained that the meeting aimed to listen to problems affecting workers and employment in Phuket, which he recognised “was heavily affected from the COVID-19 economic crisis, especially workers in the tourism industry”.
“A lot of hotels and restaurants in Phuket are still temporarily closed, while some have already shut down permanently, even though the central government has already implemented many measures to help business owners and workers, such as deploying funds from the Social Security Office,” he said.
In closing the meeting, Senator Suthep said that the committee will take the information to present it to relevant officials in Bangkok and push for the government to develop more measures to help people affected by the crisis.
No other comments from the committee were reported by PR Phuket or NNT.