• DOLE eyes livelihood program for typhoon-displaced workers in E. Visayas

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    The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is now looking at providing livelihood programs to sustain the income of displaced workers when super typhoon “Yolanda” devastated portions of Eastern Visayas.

    DOLE Eastern Visayas Director Exequiel R. Sarcauga said that Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz would like to “roll out programs that could give money to displaced workers.”

    He said that they have people on the ground doing assessment of groups that previously were able to avail of livelihood projects for possible restoration.

    In addition to the informal sector, especially the marginalized group that was the priority of DOLE in the provision of livelihood, the department will also look into displaced workers from the formal sector.

    Sarcauga said there are private companies that have closed shop as an effect of “Yolanda”.

    DOLE earlier introduced P50 million emergency employment program targeting some 12,500 workers in the region. To date, however, they already have commitment for 14,000 workers thus they now have a budget deficit of around P13 million.

    Thirty workers are deployed in every barangay with at least one worker per household to undertake clearing and cleaning operations.

    For 15 days they will be paid P3,900 or P 260 per day for an eight-hour work with insurance from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

    “We are exhausting still other funds and hopefully we can meet the P13 million excess,” he said.

    Meantime, he said that they are already accepting proposals for displaced workers who would like to avail of livelihood projects. He said that the provision of livelihood will be their focus until the rest of 2014 because the emergency employment is just temporary.

    DOLE he said has availed of a bigger budget next year following the abolition of the priority development assistance fund (PDAF).

    Each congressional district has a P7 million increase in project allocation of DOLE that can be utilized for livelihood, training for work and special program for the employment of students (SPES), among others that could help augment the income of the informal sector, he said. PNA

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