In Region 6, Baldoz approves P5.036-M in emergency employment for 1,212 Typhoon Yolanda Victims With the primary intention of alleviating the plight of Western Visayas workers displaced by Typhoon Yolanda, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz has allocated P5,036,000 million for the emergency employment of 1,212 workers who were severely affected when the super typhoon hit the region last 8 November 2013. DOLE Regional Office No. VI Director Ponciano Ligutom Jr. said the emergency employment funds were realigned from existing unutilized programs of the regional office. “We needed to defer some projects in order to raise additional funds to provide bridging income to workers who desperately need help,” Ligutom explained. The funds will be equitably distributed among the provinces in the region but will prioritize towns and barangays which suffered extensive damages, such as Iloilo and Capiz. They will be employed by the local government units (LGUs) for an average of 15-days work at the minimum rate of P277 per day to work in rehabilitation projects such as clearing of sewerage systems, rebuilding of government buildings and schools, and cleaning of plazas and markets, among others. Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council VI placed the amount of damage on the region’s crops, livestock, and fisheries at P1,985,743,649.11 affecting 556,377 families in 2,941 barangays. On the other hand, the Department of Agriculture Region VI disclosed that the aggregate number of affected farmers sum up to 3,861. “This is the most critical time for our workers who have lost their livelihood. They need employment to earn income. The number of days that we can give them to work may be limited but the income that they will earn will definitely help buy food and other basic necessities for their families,” Ligutom said Driven by the need to expand the emergency employment program to be able to enrol more displaced workers, Ligutom said that the regional office has already requested the amount of P18,078,405 as additional program fund to be able to support the employment of 4,351 more workers. “If granted, the additional fund will benefit 4,351 workers, increasing the number of emergency employment beneficiaries from 1,212 to 5,563 workers,” Ligutom said. “Our aim in implementing emergency employment and livelihood programs is to enable disaster-stricken families to rebuild their lives, with better access to social protection and sustainable income sources,” Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said. End/rhev With reporting from Amalia N. Judicpa, LCO, DOLE Region VI

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