Baldoz Orders Release of Emergency Employment Funds in 9 Provinces, Approves Disbursement of P8.8-M



Baldoz orders release of emergency employment funds in 9 provinces, approves disbursement of P8.8-M for 5,861 flood-displaced workers in NCR

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday ordered the release of all available funds for emergency employment in DOLE regional offices with operational jurisdiction over nine provinces devastated by the floods brought by the southwest monsoon (Habagat), even as she gave the go-ahead for the release of P8.8 million in DOLE emergency employment funds for 5,861 worker-flood victims from the National Capital Region.

The nine provinces are Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Bulacan in Region 3; Pangasinan in Region 1; and Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal in Region 4-A.

"We must be ready to assist our workers," said Baldoz in ordering the release of the emergency employment funds. "This situation is not something new that should surprise or stop us on our tracks bewildered. As regional directors and heads of offices, you know what to do to alleviate the plight of our countrymen and the DOLE central office is ready with its support and to provide leadership," she added.

Responding to the directive, DOLE Regional Office No. 4-A Regional Director Alex Avila announced that the regional office is releasing this week an initial P3.5 million for the emergency employment of 680 displaced workers, and said he is requesting for P6.5 million more from Secretary Baldoz to cover 2,000 more displaced and disadvantaged workers in the region's various towns.

In Region 3, Regional Director Raymundo Agravante disclosed that the regional office is releasing an initial P1 million in emergency employment assistance, even as he requested for an additional P3.8 million for workers affected by the floods in Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Bulacan.

Secretary Baldoz, acting swiftly on the recommendation of DOLE National Capital Region director Atty. Alan Macaraya, had given approval for the release of P8,791,500 under the DOLE's Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa Ating mga Disadvantaged Workers or TUPAD, to pay for the wages/labor costs of the 5,861 disadvantaged workers from 212 barangays in the calamity-declared areas of Malabon, Valenzuela, Caloocan, Navotas, Pasig, Pateros, Marikina, Manila, Quezon City, Pasay, San Juan, Muntinlupa, and Taguig, and from 42 barangays in the non-calamity declared areas of Makati, Las Pinas, Paranaque, and Mandaluyong, or a total of 254 barangays.

The workers to be hired will be engaged in community clean-up activities, like clearing of debris and de-clogging of canals, sewers, drainage, and waterways clogged with garbage.

The fund release is pursuant to DOLE Department Order No. 85, Series of 2007, entitled, "DOLE Adjustment Measures Program for the Prevention of Job Losses and Assistance to Displaced Workers."

"The DOLE-AMP is intended to assist displaced workers from employment, wage or self-employed, due to closure or slowing down of operations of companies as a result of economic disruptions and occurrence of natural disasters, calamities, or armed conflicts affecting the economic base/activities of the communities," Baldoz explained.

National Capital Region director Alan M. Macaraya said, “as an immediate response to the calamity, we have allotted P8.8 million for the initial implementation of DOLE’s emergency employment program through its TUPAD project to help our Local Government Units (LGUs) in the arduous task of rehabilitating Metro Manila.”

To complement the DOLE emergency employment assistance, concerned local government units have allocated an equity of P2,197,875, bringing the amount to a total of P10,989,375. The equity will be for administrative expenses, such as cost of tools, equipment, meals, etc.

Relative to this, Baldoz has also directed the regional directors of the Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 1, 2, 3, 4-A, and 4-B, including the NCR, to submit update reports on the package of assistance being delivered and planned to be delivered to displaced workers in their respective regions, as well as reports on the extent of damage of the floods to DOLE employees and offices. The same directive was issued to the DOLE's heads of offices, services, bureaus, and attached agencies.

"In view of the monsoon rains and the consequent flooding in Luzon, all concerned officials are instructed to report on or before 10 August 2012 the extent of damage to their employees and offices and the number of workers displaced in their respective regions," wrote Baldoz in a memorandum.

As to the latter, Baldoz said all regional directors should already identify the name/s of the worker/s and the company they are employed, the complete address and contact details of the worker/s, and the status of their displacement, whether they are temporarily or permanently displaced.

Baldoz had also directed the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), headed by Administrator Carmelita Dimzon, to mobilize its regional welfare offices for the conduct of emergency relief and medical mission for families of OFWs affected by the floods.