ILO allots $1.5M for Ruby victims
MANILA, Philippines — Some 800,000 workers have been affected by typhoon “Ruby,” (international name: Hagupit), with their source of livelihood damaged or disrupted overnight, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).
In a statement, the ILO said that Eastern Visayas accounted for the highest number of affected workers after Ruby, and most of them have not recovered the income lost to Super Typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan).
Over 350,000 workers or roughly 20 percent of the total employed in Eastern Visayas were affected by Ruby. Of these, more than half were in vulnerable forms of employment.
Apart from the Eastern Visayas, initial ILO estimates covered seven other regions in the country battered by the typhoon — Central and Western Visayas, Caraga, Bicol, Calabarzon (Region 4A), Mimaropa (Region 4B) and Metro Manila.
In response to the impact of Ruby, the ILO said it would allocate US$1.5 million to support the government through emergency employment and sustainable livelihood.
Emergency employment programmes guarantee minimum wage, extend social security, health and accident insurance coverage, and ensure safety at work through the presence of on-site medical support and provision of personal protective equipment, such as mask, hat, gloves, boots and protective clothing, according to the ILO.
“We’re not only putting much-needed cash into these areas, but also helping affected workers to develop new skills, to earn a decent wage and access better working conditions including social protection coverage. These are not just labor rights but also basic human rights, which we need to take into account in times of crisis and disaster,” said Lawrence Jeff Johnson, director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines, in a statement.
“Under the ILO emergency employment programme, affected workers get the chance to earn an income for their family and to receive much needed goods and services. This injection of cash into the local economy and the purchase of local goods and services create a multiplier effect to help build back better and faster after the disaster,” he added.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has further set aside funds for emergency employment. Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz activated the DOLE Quick Response Team to immediately help displaced workers.
In 2013, the ILO emergency employment programme in areas affected by Yolanda contributed to massive efforts for debris clearing and repair of critical community facilities and infrastructure.
Emergency employment has now transitioned to medium-term labor-based community work, skills training and enterprise development in affected areas, the ILO said.
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