Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said assessments by the DOLE’s regional Quick Reaction Teams indicate some 4,000 workers in the MIMAROPA region and Region 8 may have been severely affected by Typhoon Nona and assured the workers the DOLE will provide them emergency employment to help them recover from the calamity.

“We are working with the International Labor Organization (ILO) which pledged assistance for the emergency employment, since the DOLE, at this time of the year, has exhausted its funds under theTulong Alalay Panghanapbuhay for Displaced Workers, or TUPAD,” she said.

“I have directed our regional directors in Region 4-A, Region 4-B, Region 5, and Region 8—the regions most-affected by Typhoon Nona—to coordinate closely with the ILO for the fast delivery of the emergency employment program. I also instructed them to complete within the week the assessments of their respective QRT,” Baldoz said.

In Region 5, Regional Director Nathaniel Lacambra reported that initial assessment of the regional QRT shows that no worker was displaced by Typhoon Nona, but observed there has been work disruption in some parts of the region since Monday. However, the regional official said work has since resumed since yesterday.

He further said the QRT has already been profiling worker-evacuees in relocation centers for possible provision of emergency employment under TUPAD, and other interventions, such as alternative livelihood.

“Our priority will be worker-members of evacuees, mostly informal sector workers and farmers,” Lacambra said, adding project proposals for alternative livelihood projects could be completed on or before 28 December. By 11 January, he said, the regional office is set to roll out its livelihood interventions under the DILEEP.

In Region 8, Secretary Baldoz said the DOLE regional office headed by Regional Director Elias Cayanong reported that there was temporary work displacement occurred due to typhoon in three Gaisano Malls in Catarman involving about 400 workers, but added the workers were recalled back to work yesterday to do cleaning work in the malls.

“The heavily-hit municipalities in Northern Samar are Allen, Lapinid, Lao-ang, and Rosario,” Baldoz said.

Cayanong further reported that about 2,000 workers, mostly in the informal sector, may have been affected and said the regional office, in partnership with the International Labor Organization, will provide emergency employment as soon as the assessment by the DOLE regional QRT is completed. He said he had requested the ILO for P6 million for the emergency employment program.

“The assessment by our QRT in Northern Samar was hampered by the impassable roads in some municipalities. Also, our field office was soaked by heavy rains because its roof was destroyed by the typhoon, but we have already resumed normal operation,” Cayanong said.

In the CALABARZON Region, Secretary Baldoz said Regional Director Zenaida Angara-Campita had reported that the regional QRT has noted no work stoppage and workers displaced in Quezon, but said she is awaiting report from Batangas and Laguna field officers because the typhoon has just hit these provinces today.

“Hopefully, there will be no workers displaced, too, in these provinces,” Baldoz said, adding that the regional office has set aside P5 million in emergency employment fund if this will be needed.

In the MIMAROPA Region, Regional Director Alvin Villamor reported that badly hit areas in the region included five towns in Marinduque, seven towns in Oriental Mindoro, and seven island-towns in Romblon.

“The regional office QRT is still conducting rapid assessment to determine if workers have been displaced or affected, but if there will be any, these could be mostly informal sector workers and we may need to provide emergency employment,” said Assistant Regional Director Roderick Tamacay. He reported that Regional Director Villamor, who personally went around Or. Mindoro yesterday, has set aside about P7.5 million for emergency employment, but may need P4 million more.

Secretary Baldoz had instructed Villamor to request the ILO for the additional emergency employment funding.

END

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