A day after Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz allocated an initial P50 million for the DOLE’s emergency employment program for workers displaced by super Typhoon Yolanda, DOLE agencies composed of the Financial Management Service, Bureau of Working Conditions, Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns, and Regional Office No. 8, have estimated, based on per capita cost, 12,671 workers across the provinces of Leyte, Eastern Samar, and Western Samar who will benefit from the program.

Baldoz emphasized that the number of workers is an initial estimate, considering that assessment as to the number of business establishments and workers affected is only beginning, to give way to relief and recovery, particularly in Eastern Visayas where the whole regional office and its service infrastructure was destroyed.

Five DOLE contingent teams are now in place in Tacloban to get the Regional Office No. 8 up on its feet again.

Baldoz, who has vowed to re-open regional operation next week, said the DOLE regional office on Monday will start assessing the level of capability of local government units as they are the ones who propose the work plans containing the number of workers to be employed, the nature of work they will do, and the duration of the work.

“More displaced workers will be employed as we are prepared to roll-out close to P100 million in additional emergency employment funds in January under various DOLE programs with an estimated budget of P42.858 million, and under the Bottom-Up Budget (BUB) of more than P33 million. An additional P15.5 million under the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) rounds up the programmed budget for all of this assistance to Region 8,” Baldoz said.

The labor and employment chief said further the DOLE is already preparing to implement the Government Internship Program (GIP) early next year, which for Region 8 the amount of P144.653 million has been set aside. The GIP is a program which focuses on indigent young workers, inviting them to obtain work experience in government through the Government Internship Program (GIP).

“Starting January 2014, we will see young and talented Filipino college graduates join the DOLE. Through the GIP, we will enable them to get a feel of government work, for the program now will benefit disadvantaged youth at the grassroots,” said Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz who has issued Administrative Order No. 436 Series of 2013, or the Revised Guidelines in the Implementation of the “DOLE Government Internship Program” (DOLE-GIP) as component of Kabataan 2000 and For Other Purposes.

“Our priority for the emergency employment is the aforementioned worst-hit region where, according to BWC data, 1,199 business establishments have been severely affected,” said Baldoz.

The labor and employment chief explained that the DOLE’s emergency employment in Typhoon Yolanda-devastated areas will focus on the clearing of debris left by the torrent of seawater that inundated the areas.

“Our experience in past post-calamity rehabilitation tells us that jobs can also be created through the repair and restoration of damaged infrastructure or rehabilitation of basic service facilities, including, but not limited to, rural works, such as the clearing of canals and waterways and clean-up of public spaces,” she said.

Under the emergency employment program, the DOLE will hire 10,670 workers in Leyte; 1,001 in Eastern Samar; and 1,000 workers in Western Samar, or a total of 11,431. The DOLE focal person in Eastern Visayas is Assistant Regional Director Cyril Ticao, 098-567-3171; or Mediator-Arbiter Roy Buenafe, 0939-190-4969.

“All of the displaced workers who will be hired under the emergency employment program will be paid the prevailing regional minimum wage rate of P260 per day in Leyte, Eastern Samar, and Western Samar, or a total of P3,900 per worker during the 15-day period,” said Baldoz.

“The workers will work for 15 days minimum,” added Baldoz, who had recently signed with DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman a memorandum of understanding on approaches to emergency employment and livelihood and recovery. The MOU sets the standards and policies that will enable disaster-stricken families to rebuild their lives, with better access to social protection and sustainable income sources.

“The minimum 15 days-work and the prevailing regional minimum wage rates are enhancements to the policy,” she said.

END

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