In line with government initiatives, cash handouts are being extended to displaced workers engaged in the garment sector at 39 factories specialising in textile, footwear, travel products and bags that have temporarily suspended their operations.

This move is in harmony with the government's comprehensive measures, as conveyed in an announcement from the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training dated October 26.

"The cash assistance will be extended to factories across Phnom Penh, Kandal, Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Chhnang, Svay Rieng and Preah Sihanouk provinces. These factories temporarily suspended their operations during the months of July, August and September this year," stated the announcement.

According to the ministry, affected workers will receive 81,000 riel ($20) for employment contract suspensions lasting seven to 14 days, and 162,000 riels ($40) for suspensions of 15 days to one month.

The Wing Bank will refund uncollected funds to the government if individuals fail to withdraw their money within 21 days of receiving the bank's notification on their mobile phone. To facilitate this process, it is imperative to carry both the Cambodian ID card and the mobile phone that received the notification when visiting the nearest Wing agent for cash withdrawal.

For those among the workers of the 39 factories who do not receive a notification from Wing Bank, the ministry advises them to reach out to their respective factory administrations for additional information or to update their contact details.

Pav Sina president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers believes that the government's financial aid to workers is a direct response to the economic challenges faced by the workforce.

"This financial assistance should be formalised into a labour sector policy since it benefits workers across all industries," he said.

Regarding purchase orders in garment sector, he believes the situation has not yet returned to normal, despite the government's efforts to attract investors and address their concerns related to electricity prices and transportation fees.

"The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has resulted in a decrease in purchasing orders due to reduced consumer demand and rising inflation. Additionally, the conflict between Israel and Palestine has raised concerns for buyers. These issues affects not only Cambodia but also all other exporting countries," he stated.

Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC), said that the cash handout is beneficial in the short term, but he seeks more substantial investments in the sector.

"The government should explore methods to generate jobs, invest in sectors and uphold agreements that foster job creation, ensuring long-term employment for Cambodians," he said.