Nov 152013

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has earmarked P50 million to provide livelihood to displaced workers in areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz told reporters at the sidelines of the 3rd Philippine Manufacturers and Producers Summit of the Federation of Philippine Industries yesterday, DOLE is ready to provide P50 million for the cash-for-work program in typhoon-affected areas.

“All the P50 million will be spent for cash-for-work there (typhoon-affected areas),” she said.

She said the fund would be used as payroll for displaced workers to be hired for temporary jobs such as clearing of debris as well as rehabilitation work.

“We want to start the program within the year but we need the work plan which will come from the LGU (local government units),” she said.

“The idea is to have the P50 million immediately accessible,” she added.

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The hiring of workers would depend on the jobs identified by the LGU.

As the DOLE’s office in Leyte was destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda, the Labor chief said they have no estimate of the number of displaced workers due to the typhoon at the moment.

Baldoz noted that most of the workers in the Eastern Visayas region, which covers provinces hit by the typhoon, are employed by small and medium enterprises.

“The way I see it, everyone there needs jobs,” she said.

The DOLE is still in the process of restoring its operations in the province with just a third of its employees accounted for so far.

“Most of our workers are unable to work because they lost their homes and there is no water,” she said.

While the DOLE has already earmarked P50 million to provide temporary livelihood to displaced workers, the department has the option to spend more for the cash-for-work program.

Baldoz said the DOLE could use a portion of the P1.5 billion budget for next year for the cash-for-work program in the typhoon-affected areas.

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