Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III yesterday ordered the DOLE Regional Office in Region 13 to fast-track the profiling of workers displaced by the magnitude 6.7 earthquake which hit Surigao del Norte.

“Our goal here is to provide our displaced workers immediate relief from the earthquake by giving them income, and at the same time, enlist them for the rehabilitation, clearing, and cleaning of their affected communities.”

He added that the emergency employment will be initially for 852 workers affected by the earthquake in Surigao City on February 10.

Bello, citing a report from DOLE Regional Director Evelyn Ramos, said that the 852 workers were from the nine establishments which were advised by the City Government of Surigao to temporarily stop operation because of structural damage of the buildings where the said establishments are located.

“I was told that the establishments were temporarily closed because the buildings are severely damaged and it can be detrimental to the workers. The Regional Office also conducted on-site visits and are in direct contact with the managements of the establishments,” said Bello.

The profiling of affected workers is a standard operating procedure of the DOLE after each calamity, in coordination with the local government units and the Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) in the region.

“I already directed the DOLE Regional Office to fast-track the profiling of displaced or affected workers so that we can implement the DOLE’s emergency employment program and other interventions, including livelihood. They are also under instruction to coordinate with the local government unit to firm up collaborative efforts towards preserving employment in their sectors,” said Bello.

The emergency employment program is to be funded from the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers, or TUPAD, the DOLE’s support program which provides short-term and immediate employment for victims of natural calamities.

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