Davao to hire 42,000 displaced workers
DAVAO CITY—The local government here seeks to hire more than 40,000 emergency workers in a cash-for-work scheme that would immediately infuse some P170 million into the local economy and pump prime consumer spending amid a business downturn caused by the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Called “Work for Davao,” the initiative is designed to provide beneficiaries with a temporary source of income after they either lost work or were displaced as businesses closed shop because of the community quarantine, explained Norman Baloro, the program’s head.
Baloro said they were targeting to employ from June 22 to December about 42,900 workers for 10 days each, at P396 per day, the region’s minimum wage.
Work includes, among others, doing dengue awareness campaign in the communities; maintaining cleanliness and the disinfection of public facilities such as parks, markets, health centers and district offices of the local government; cleanup of drainage canals and parts of the Davao Bay; and helping prepare schools for the reopening of classes.
Baloro said that everybody was welcome to apply but they would prioritize those who were displaced when the business of their employers closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
These businesses could be in the agriculture, manufacturing, transport, food service and other sectors.
The displaced workers are required to submit certification from their employers that they lost their jobs, while those from the informal sector will need to secure certification from the local social welfare office or the district office.
The funds for the program will come from the Department of Budget and Management that will be downloaded to the city government through its local government support fund, said Baloro.
Throughout the Davao region, some 200,000 workers lost their jobs as businesses either closed shop or downsized due to the impact of the pandemic. Many of these establishments are located in Davao City, the economic center of the region.
Davao City is still under general community quarantine, leaving several businesses still closed. But the local government’s mode has started shifting to a new normal by, among others, ending the pioneering telemedicine service as the residents can now visit dental and medical clinics. The telemedicine service was operated through the Davao Central 911, the city’s emergency response center. From March 23 to June 13, it has served 12,038 patients.
About 150 doctors, including pediatricians, internists, obstetricians, and ear, nose and throat specialists, volunteered in responding to medical concerns through the telemedicine system.
Doctors affiliated with the Philippine College of Physicians and Philippine Pediatric Society also rendered service for the 911 hotline.
With the service, the local government arranged with pharmacies to honor drug prescriptions sent through short message service as long as these came from the 911 hotline.
Mayor Sara Duterte honored the volunteer doctors for their “contributions and sacrifices as front-liners” in helping flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections.
“[You] serve as an inspiration to all our fellow Dabawenyos and give us the strength to steady through these challenging times,” Duterte said.
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