Siargao, the island famous for its ‘Cloud 9’ surfing waves, and certified as a protected biodiversity area in the country, basks on yet another level of recognition as Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz had declared the island-province as labor laws-compliant tourist destination.
“With the recognition, Siargao becomes the fifth in the country to join the league of tourist destinations that had been declared labor laws-compliant,” said Baldoz, counting the islands of Boracay, Guimaras, Camiguin, and Dinagat as eminent members of the league. Baldoz had unveiled markers in these island tourist spots proclaiming them as labor laws-compliant after they passed the DOLE’s Labor Laws Compliance System’s tripartite-led joint assessment.
To herald Siargao’s achievement, Secretary Baldoz, along with DOLE senior officials led by Undersecretary Rebecca C. Chato, DOLE Caraga Regional Director Atty. Johnson G. Cañete Bureau of Working Conditions Director Catherine L. Parado, Bureau of Local Employment Director Dominique R. Tutay, Labor Communications Office Director Nicon F. Fameronag, Institute of Labor Studies Executive Director Grace Riguer, and Planning Service Director Adeline de Castro, and Siargao province’s local leaders led by Governor Sol F. Matugas and Congressman Francisco T. Matugas, unveiled the marker declaring Siargao as labor laws compliant tourist destination at the Philippine Ports Authority in Dapa, Siargao Island on 17 April 2015.
“The labor reforms that we have initiated are continuously taking shape and in fact, bearing fruits, and the recognition of labor-laws compliant tourist destinations and eco-zones in the Philippines, in which your province is the latest addition, is now further energizing the emergence of a ‘culture of compliance’ in the industry,” the Secretary said as she addressed a gathering of tripartite partners at a ceremony in Dapa Port.
The Secretary also led the inauguration and recognition of DOLE initiated projects in the Siargao Island and in the Caraga Region.
At the Siargao Provincial Capitol Building, Secretary Baldoz turned-over a Job Search Kiosk (JSK) to Gov. Matugas, while Director Tutay oriented the province’s Public Employment Service Office staff and other local government officials on the operation of the employment information portal.
Baldoz assured Siargao officials, led by Governor Sol F Matugas and Congressman Francisco T. Matugas of the First District of Surigao del Norte, that Siargaonon jobseekers have now access to relevant information on job openings, to hiring requirements of employers, and to information on upgrading their skills through the TESDA programs and BLE career guides with the use of JSK.
Baldoz also led, along with DOLE Siargao Provincial Head Hermie Baytoc, the signing of Memorandum of Agreement on Voluntary Code of Good Practices.
Atty. Cañete, DOLE Caraga Regional Office Director, also joined the Secretary in awarding the Certificates of Compliance to 127 establishments in Siargao province and Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) Caraga Board Secretary Earl dela Victoria in recognizing Isla Cabana Resort as recipient of the Productivity Incentive Award.
The labor and employment chief had also a chance to personally meet former OFW Helen A. Nalupa of Agusan del Norte who is one of the pioneer recipients of DOLE’s ‘Sa ‘Pinas, Ikaw ang Ma’am/Sir.” Nalupa, a teacher who had worked as a household service worker, passed the Licensure Examination given by the PRC in Hongkong in 2014.
Baldoz also awarded former OFW Rechie K. Alcolar P10,000.00 worth of welding equipment for his machine shop as a beneficiary of the National Reintegration Program for OFW’s Livelihood Development Assistance Program.
Moreover, Secretary Baldoz, together with OWWA Regional Director Samuel Madrid awarded certificates of completion to 35 beneficiaries of the OWWA skills training on coco sugar and coco vinegar production.
TESDA also awarded during the program the P1 million worth of scholarship grants to select Siargao residents.
Secretary Baldoz’s declaration of Siargao Island as Labor Laws-Compliant Tourist Destination now complements and completes the package of the province as an ecological haven.
Siargao has been declared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as one of the country’s key biodiversity areas (KBA) which paved the way for the establishment of the Siargao Island Protected Landscape and Seascape or SIPLAS under Presidential Proclamation No. 902.