MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Marianito Roque on Tuesday said the Department of Labor and Employment’s (quick reaction teams (QRTs) have been reactivated in all regions to assist displaced workers.
Roque said the reactivation of the QRTs is just one of the department’s response to the work force reduction being implemented in the economic zones.
Roque said at the moment, “the QRTs conduct profiling of the displaced workers to determine their skills and assistance that may be extended them.”
The assistance includes helping them find another job locally or overseas. They may also be assisted in setting up income generating projects. PGMA training for work scholarships shall also be granted to workers who want to train in appropriate skills.
Roque, at the same time, denied the reports that huge number of workers in the Laguna Technopark had been displaced as a result of the global financial meltdown.
He said only 312 workers from the automotive and electronics sectors at the Laguna Technopark in Laguna province lost their jobs due primarily to the global financial crisis.
An earlier news report claimed that about 35,000 automotive and electronics workers from the Laguna Technopark have been displaced.”
“There were no actual displacements of such magnitude (35,000) even as displacements and slowdown of company operations occurred in Laguna and other provinces in the Calabarzon,” Roque said.
Citing the reports of DOLE region IV-A, Roque said that so far, a total of 10,344 workers in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizan and Quezon) were displaced from October 2008 to January 19, 2009.
Of the total, 1,511 displaced were from Laguna, of which 312 workers came from the Laguna Technopark.
Apart from the reactivation and strengthening of the QRTs, Roque said the government has also launched a caravan that started at the Cultural and Convention Center in General Trias, Cavite on Jan. 22 to bring employment and livelihood opportunities and other services to the grassroots, particularly to workers adversely affected by the financial crisis.
Apart from the one held in Gen. Trias, caravans are also scheduled in Calamba City (Jan. 31); Taytay, Rizal (Feb. 6); Quezon Province (Feb. 6); and Batangas City.
He said a series of Serbisyo Caravans are being planned for the year at the municipal, city, and provincial levels in coordination with Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs), employers, and recruitment agencies.
Aside from employment facilitation and livelihood services, the Caravan shall also provide pre-employment services to the new entrants to the labor force. Personnel from the Social Security System (SSS), National Bureau of Investigation, PhilHealth, and the National Statistics Office shall be at the Caravan for workers seeking their services.
Roque said despite the crisis, there are still hundreds of thousands of overseas jobs that are available for Filipino workers.
These jobs are found mostly in countries that have not so much been affected by the financial crisis such as those in the Middle East and in emerging markets in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Bulgaria.
Local employment, on the other hand, are expected from industries that rely mainly on domestic consumption, which will be complemented with pump-priming projects of the government, he said. – GMANews.TV