DOLE fast-tracks assistance to displaced workers in areas affected by typhoon ‘Nina’

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional offices in areas affected by typhoon "Nina" are currently conducting profiling of displaced and affected workers to be able to provide emergency employment assistance to them.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the profiling of affected workers is a standard operating procedure after each calamity in coordination with the local government units and the Public Employment Service Offices in the region.

"The DOLE regional directors of the affected regions are under instruction to fast-track the profiling of displaced and affected workers so that we can implement the DOLE's emergency employment program and other interventions, including livelihood," he said in a statement.

Initial report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), revealed that around 300,000 persons were affected by the typhoon that hit Bicol region on Christmas Day.

Bello said the emergency employment program will be funded by the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers, or TUPAD, the department's support program which provides short-term and immediate employment for victims of natural calamities.

Among the jobs that may be available to workers in the affected areas are engaged in community and rural rehabilitation work, specifically in de-clogging, clearing, and cleaning of communities, schools, and evacuation centers.

"Some of the areas are still flooded and without electricity. But, I told our Regional Directors to immediately provide the necessary assistance to our displaced workers by giving them income, and at the same time, enlist them for the rehabilitation, clearing and cleaning of their affected communities," the DOLE chief said.

The department has several programs for calamity victims under its Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program or DILEEP, which can be made available to worker-victims, including the TUPAD.

Bello noted that even before Typhoon "Nina" hit the country, their Regional Offices have activated their respective Quick Response Teams (QRTs), which is currently assessing the extent of damage to firms and establishments in the affected regions.

After assessment, the QRTs will deliver DOLE's package of assistance to displaced workers, which consists of the following: profiling of displaced workers; employment guidance and counselling; facilitation of payment of separation pay; employment matching and referral for wage employment (using available facilities, such as the PhilJobnet and jobs fair); information on and certification for SSS loan availment; referral to other DOLE programs; and referral of qualified displaced workers to other government and non-government organizations for technical and financial assistance for livelihood or self-employment.

Source: Philippines News Agency