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DOLE provides almost 20M employment and livelihood assistance to Zamboangueños.
Tue, Jul 22, 2014 (Source: DOLE IX)
The Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office 9 (DOLE RO-9) has allocated a total of P19, 176, 533.71 as part of the recovery and reconstruction efforts of the government to the city of Zamboanga relative to the armed conflict which happened September of last year that caused damage to the livelihood of thousands of Zamboangueños.

DOLE, in its pursuit to provide gainful employment opportunities to every Juan dela Cruz came up with a DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP), a program that provides livelihood assistance to registered Rural Workers Associations, displaced persons, persons with disabilities and out of school youths.

For Zamboanga City, DOLE allocated P4, 974,200.00 under the DILP for Zamboanga City. Initially, P2, 243,513.00 was already released as of June 2014 for group projects and livelihood assistance to 197 beneficiaries, most of which were internally displaced workers, parents of child laborers, and associations which need livelihood formation, enhancement, and restoration. An amount of P2, 730,687.00 grants are yet to be released.

The Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) provided greater impact to the lives of the not so financially privileged students who aim to pursue their education by engaging to part-time jobs. DOLE obligated a total of P7, 138,704.00 and released a total of P3, 240,207.00 to 1,441 student beneficiaries in Zamboanga City.

To ease the problem of youth unemployment, DOLE implemented the Government Internship Program (GIP) last year. This program is designed to provide work experience to graduates and prepare them for the real world of work. DOLE Regional Director Sisinio B. Cano said, the DOLE allocated P5, 562,360.00 for the salaries of the GIPs, while targeting the temporary employment of the young graduates aged not more than 25 years old and continues to receive inquiries and applications, as more applicants take their chance for a possible slot.

Two hundred (200) government interns are now working in 19 various offices in Zamboanga City to earn a six-month work experience with a salary 75% of the basic minimum wage. The first batch of GIPs began to serve since the month of April and will end on September this year. The second batch began serving last June 16 up to the end of December.

TUPAD, a moniker for Tulong Pangkabuhayan Sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers, is an emergency employment mechanism which was implemented since April 1 this year for the one hundred and forty three displaced workers and IDPs in eleven barangays in Zamboanga City. Workers undertook various clean-up drives such as drainage cleaning, waste disposal and maintenance, greening and mangrove planting. For the two districts in Zamboanga City, DOLE released a total of P960, 960.00 as wages and stipends to 143 beneficiaries. Included in the work package are various personal protective equipment such as gloves, boots, t-shirts, hats and face masks all provided for free.

At present, the barangays serviced by TUPAD workers are Sta. Maria, Sta. Catalina, Zone 2, Zone 4, Guiwan, Tetuan, Tugbungan, Taluksangay, Arena Blanco, Talabaan and Talon-Talon. The next batch of TUPAD workers will be deployed in District 1.

DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis- Baldoz, in a meeting held November 12, 2013 with the Zamboanga City Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco- Salazar and the DOLE Family of Agencies have committed to extend overseas employment facilitation assistance to those identified as internally- displaced persons aged 18-35 years old who are residents of the seven barangays which was directly affected by the siege.

As an offshoot of this commitment, DOLE and its Family of Agencies are up in providing assistance to internally displaced workers. During the 2014 Labor Day celebration and following the series of information caravans on different transitory sights in Zamboanga City, ninety-five (95) IDPs were profiled and 30, whom were passport holders and identified as skilled workers, are presently complying with their requirements with SPEED Recruitment Agency for employment abroad. Meanwhile, POEA urged other recruitment agencies to hire IDPs/ skilled applicants for overseas employment.

Furthermore, a total of 445 registered nurses, 13 X-ray specialists, 9 Respiratory Therapists, 5 Pharmacists, and 18 Radiologic Technicians are bound to undergo interviews with the Ministry of Health slated first week of August this year, for possible employment in various government hospitals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Another significant program initiated especially for Zamboanga City is the Cash for Work Program (CWP), which was born as part of the rehabilitation plan for the city. This program, which aimed to provide emergency employment to Zamboangueños was made possible thru the intervention of the International Labour Organization (ILO). ILO supported the rehabilitation program of the government by providing emergency employment to 110 laborers, 1 nurse, and 1 Information Technology worker and released a total of P541, 013.71 covering the wages and stipends of the said employees.

With these series of interventions and series of convergence with partner agencies, unemployment issues in the city will be answered.

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