Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday directed Regional Directors Grace Y. Ursua, DOLE Regional Office No. 1; Sixto Rodriguez, DOLE Regional Office No. 2; John Jalbuena, DOLE Cordillera Administrative Region; and Atty. Ana Dione, DOLE Regional Office No. 3, to mobilize their respective region’s Quick Reaction Team (QRT) as soon as the weather clears to assist workers and their families who may have been displaced after Typhoon Egay hit Northern Luzon.
She also instructed the four regional directors to be ready to implement emergency employment for the displaced workers under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP).
“All the other DOLE regional directors should also be on alert as this is the onset of the typhoon season,” reminded Baldoz, saying lessons from past natural calamities should serve as valuable inputs by the regional directors to their calamity responses.
“Let’s prepare for some more typhoons. All regional personnel should be ready to provide assistance to our workers, but they should also secure themselves first. We all should take precautions,” she added, as she received a report from Director Ursua saying that 16 DOLE employees in the region have sustained damages in their personal properties because of Typhoon Egay.
The DOLE compose and activate its QRTs to assess and evaluate the extent of damage to firms and establishments once a calamity has passed, and to provide DOLE’s package of assistance to displaced workers.
A team within the DOLE, it is also activated to assist workers displaced by business closures and retrenchments.
The QRT’s main responsibility is to deliver a package of assistance which consists of the following: (1) profiling of displaced workers; (2) employment guidance and counselling; (3) facilitation of payment of separation pay; (4) employment matching and referral for wage employment (using available facilities, such as the PhilJobnet and jobs fair); (5) information on and certification for SSS loan availment; (6) referral to other DOLE programs; and (7) referral of qualified displaced workers to other government and non-government organizations for technical and financial assistance for livelihood or self-employment.
Baldoz said workers who will be displaced from the closures of firms and establishments in the regions that will be affected by the typhoon will qualify for the package of assistance.
She also said several programs under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program, or DILEEP, can be made available to worker-victims, including the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD), where workers in the affected areas are engaged in community and rural rehabilitation work, specifically in de-clogging, clearing, and cleaning of communities, schools, and evacuation centers; and the Nego-Kart or Negosyo sa Kariton and Kabuhayan Starter Kits, the DOLE’s livelihood enhancement program consisting of a package of services that will enable the target beneficiaries to quickly start livelihood undertaking and become self-employed to recover lost incomes.
Baldoz issued her instructions after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said another typhoon, Typhoon Falcon, is maintaining its strength and beginning to move in a northwest direction, with heavy to intense rainfall within a 300 km radius. While PAGASA has not issued any public storm warning signal concerning Typhoon Falcon (it is expected to be outside the Philippine area of responsibility tomorrow), rains will affect the areas of Ilocos Region, Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Mimaropa, threatening flash floods and landslides.