The International Labor Organization (ILO) said half of the 5.6 million workers in the services sector have lost their jobs because of the devastation brought by super typhoon Yolanda.
ILO Philippine Office Director Lawrence Jeff Johnson said that people working in shops, public markets, restaurants, vendors, tricycle and jeepney drivers, mechanics, clerks, and teachers, “have seen their sources of income literally wiped away” just like the farmers and fishermen.
“At least 2.4 million affected workers were in a vulnerable situation before the typhoon struck, living at or near the poverty line, doing whatever work they could find to survive and provide for their families. These people have lost the little they had to begin with. They have no home, no income, no savings and no one to turn to for help,” Johnson said.
Based on the ILO report, over one third or 1.8 million were in agriculture and around 15 percent in the industry sector were displaced by the typhoon Yolanda.
With the cash-for-work prog-ram, Johnson said that the government should ensure that the displaced workers in typhoon-affected areas should have the access to decent jobs, including “at least minimum wage, social protection and safe working conditions.”
To date, the ILO is working with the local government units, business and workers’ organi-zations and international partners in the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Social Welfare and Development emergency employment program.
Johnson said the government’s program for displaced workers is the first step to boost the lost economy in Yolanda-ravaged areas.
“This is a very first step to jumpstart the economy and quickly put the affected communities back in the driver’s seat in rebuilding their lives. Ensuring minimum wage and social protection will help stimulate economic growth and speed the recovery process,” he said.
He stressed that the workers should receive the minimum wage in the area with access to social protection benefits.