Labor sec’y orders release of money for emergency jobsBy Tina G. Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said Saturday she has given the green light for the release of funds for the provision of temporary jobs for flood-displaced workers in the National Capital Region and at least nine provinces.
Through the emergency assistance fund of the Department of Labor and Employment, affected workers will be given emergency employment in the NCR and the provinces of Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Bulacan, Pangasinan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal.
Baldoz ordered the release of all available funds for emergency employment in DOLE regional offices with operational jurisdiction over the nine provinces while she approved the disbursement of P8.8 million for 5,861 affected workers in the NCR.
She said the funds will be used to pay for the salaries of workers to be employed to do rehabilitation work, specifically the clearing, cleaning and de-clogging of drainage and other small infrastructure in flood-affected communities.
She said DOLE aims to provide displaced workers immediate relief from the calamity by giving them income, and at the same time, enlisting them for the rehabilitation, clearing and cleaning of their affected communities.
The workers will be employed for about 15 days, she added.
The funds will be sourced from DOLE’s Adjustments Measures Program.
“The DOLE-AMP is intended to assist displaced workers from employment—wage-earners or self-employed—due to closure or slowing down of operations of companies as a result of economic disruptions and occurrence of natural disasters, calamities, or armed conflicts affecting the economic base/activities of the communities,” Baldoz explained.
Responding to the directive, DOLE Regional Office No. 4-A Regional Director Alex Avila announced that the regional office is releasing this week an initial P3.5 million for the emergency employment of 680 displaced workers.
Avila said he is requesting for P6.5 million more to cover 2,000 more displaced and disadvantaged workers in the region’s various towns.
In Region 3, Regional Director Raymundo Agravante disclosed that the regional office is releasing an initial P1 million in emergency employment assistance, even as he requested for an additional P3.8 million for workers affected by the floods in Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Bulacan.
In the NCR, the affected workers were from 254 barangays, including the calamity-declared areas of Malabon, Valenzuela, Caloocan, Navotas, Pasig, Pateros, Marikina, Manila, Quezon City, Pasay, San Juan, Muntinlupa and Taguig and non-calamity declared areas of Makati, Las Piñas, Parañaque and Mandaluyong.
To complement the DOLE emergency employment assistance, concerned local government units have allocated an equity of P2,197,875, bringing the amount to a total of P10,989,375. The equity will be for administrative expenses such as cost of tools, equipment and meals, among others.
Baldoz had also directed the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), headed by Administrator Carmelita Dimzon, to mobilize its regional welfare offices for the conduct of emergency relief and medical mission for families of OFWs affected by the floods.