Department of Labor and Employment
October 31, 2019
Response teams to quake-hit areas
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has dispatched senior labor officials and quick response teams to areas in Mindanao hardly hit by the 6.5 magnitude earthquake Thursday morning.
Bello said the teams will assess the extent of destruction in workplaces and possible displacement of workers in the affected areas.
“I have sent Undersecretary Ana Dione and Assistant Secretary Benjo Santos Benavidez to proceed to General Santos City, and Davao City to lead our regional DOLE officials in the assessment of the situation,” He said.
He added: “This Sunday, I will personally fly to Davao City to see the extent of the damage and its effect on the employment of our kababayans.” He said he is bringing along executive director Noel Binag of the Occupational Safety and Health Center for the safety assessment of affected workplaces.
Reports noted that Cotabato, Kidapawan City, and neighboring areas were severely damaged by the 6.5 magnitude earthquake.
Bello added that they have yet to receive reports on job displacements of the workers in the affected areas. He said this will be one of the priority tasks of the response teams while profiling of the workers will follow.
He also said labor inspectors were already deployed to check the compliance of establishments on occupational safety and health standards and ensure the safety of the workers.
The labor chief said after the assessment of the extent of the damage, the department is set to allocate funds to provide emergency employment assistance to the affected workers and livelihood assistance to informal sector workers.
“We have received a directive from the President to monitor and provide appropriate assistance to the earthquake affected cities. Even when the first earthquake jolted Mindanao early this month, we have already deployed our team to provide assistance for the affected workers,” Bello added. — ###Paul Ang