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Thu, Jan 09, 2014 (Source: DOLE IX)
Zamboanga City-The Industry Tripartite Council (ITC) in the Fishing and Canning together with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), in coordination with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and other government agencies spearheaded series of meetings with concerned stakeholders to assist workers in the sardines, fishing and canning industries who might be affected by the closed fishing season. The series of meeting aimed to discuss alternative employment programs and services for the affected workers this season.

Last November 26, the Chairperson Michael Kelly Lim of the ITC in the Fishing and Canning, TESDA Regional Director Lorenzo Macapili together with DOLE Regional Director Sisinio B. Cano and the secretariat had its initial discussion on the different programs and services to be implemented this season such as emergency employment, livelihood and skills training for the affected workers.

On December 5, the ITC in the Fishing and Canning together with the other stakeholders both from the national and local governments convened and presented different alternative employment programs and services including issues and concerns on the previous implementation of the different programs during the closed fishing season in 2012. The DOLE in particular, has only assisted 22 workers coming from PERMEX Producer and Exporter Co., who availed of the Starter Kits amounting to Php. 219, 100.00.

Dir. Sisinio B. Cano during the ITC Meeting emphasized that the 3rd year implementation of the closed fishing season has already prepared the industry to address their respective concerns as the government particularly DOLE with the PESO through the Local Government Unit and TESDA are ready of the programs and services. He said, the biggest challenge lies to the industry and he reiterated that the industry players are to come-up with a comprehensive plans for their workers during this season for government intervention.

As of December 16, 2013, only 2 companies reported with displaced workers totaling to 317 workers while other companies are still doing their inventory of workers and will be submitting report on retrenchment by end of this month.

As an offshoot of the meeting, the ITC came up with a resolution requesting the deferment of payment of premiums during closed fishing season to Social Security System (SSS), Home Development Mutual Fund (HMDF) and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) and deferment of Payment of the Salary Loan Amortizations with the SSS, HMDF incurred by the employees of the fishing and canning industry of Zamboanga City.

The enrolled programs of the DOLE in coordination with the PESO-LGU and TESDA for this season are the emergency employment and starter kits, SPES and the DILP with the total budget of Php. 4,974,200.00.

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