PRRD orders release of P0.5-B aid for Boracay workers

MANILAPresident Rodrigo R. Duterte has ordered the release of PHP448 million to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to finance its assistance program to close to 18,000 formal sector workers affected by the temporary closure of Boracay island.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III explained that under the department's Adjustment Measures Program (AMP), financial support equivalent to 50 percent of the prevailing minimum wage in the region will be provided to 17,735 affected formal sector workers for six months or starting this month up to October this year.

This is part of the mitigation measures that DOLE has put in place through our Boracay Emergency Employment Program (BEEP) for the affected workers in the area, Bello said in a statement.

Under the BEEP, the DOLE provides interventions such as financial support for formal sector workers, emergency employment for informal sector workers, opportunities for government internship, job facilitation through the conduct of job fairs, and social preparation training for micro-entrepreneurs.

On the other hand, the DOLE noted that a separate emergency employment program is available to informal sector workers with a total budget allocation of PHP52 million.

Those who will benefit under the program are transport workers, haulers, vendors, and indigenous peoples. The workers will be temporarily employed for 30 days to do coastal clean-up, as well as clearing and reforestation in mangrove sites in the island.

Likewise, the department has allocated 200 slots for the youth who might be interested in the Government Internship Program (GIP) with a budget of PHP6.5 million.

They will be trained in government service for six months with stipend equivalent to 75 percent of the prevailing minimum wage in the region.

Meanwhile, a total of 200 micro-entrepreneurs, under the Livelihood Assistance Program, will be trained on basic entrepreneurship development, business planning, business work improvement, and production skills, as well as livelihood assistance in anticipation of the revival of their microenterprises after the island's rehabilitation.

The DOLE is closely working with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Tourism, Department of Science and Technology, and Department of Agriculture to address the needs of affected workers. (PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency