DSWD to spend P31.7 million for job, livelihood programs for displaced workers

Published by rudy Date posted on February 8, 2009

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will spend some P31.7 million for the implementation of the government’s employment and livelihood programs to help Filipinos here and abroad displaced as a result of the global economic crisis.

Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral said the DSWD has intensified its Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Programs (CLEEP) to counter the ill effects of the global financial turmoil on the local economy.

CLEEP will provide emergency employment and income-generating services for the poor, returning expatriates, workers in the export industry, and out-of school youth.

Cabral said President Arroyo has directed the DSWD to implement the CLEEP in Tawi-Tawi, Maguindanao and Shariff Kabunsuan in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and in Apayao and Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

Cabral said the CLEEP is expected to affect 15,658 beneficiaries in these areas.

For the ARMM provinces, the livelihood and emergency employment activities include cash for work in the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan (KALAHI) project, Botika ng Barangay, cultivation of organic fertilizer, construction of flatbed dryers, coconut-corn intercropping, roadside maintenance, Programang Gulayan Para sa Masa, Tindahan Natin, fisherfolk livelihood, bantay-dagat and livelihood projects for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

For CAR areas, services to be extended are cash for work on KALAHI projects, Gulayan Para sa Masa, Tindahan Natin, roadside maintenance, agro-forestry, Botika ng Barangay, and Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) program.

As of Jan. 23, Cabral said the DSWD has provided livelihood and emergency employment assistance to some 11,639 beneficiaries. Of these, 10,124 were from the three provinces in ARMM while 1,515 were from the two provinces in CAR.

Meanwhile, Cabral said the DSWD and the Department of National Defense (DND) are jointly implementing emergency work and SEA-K programs in the provinces of Sarangani and North Cotabato that will benefit some 1,000 IDPs.

Meanwhile, a senior administration lawmaker urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Education (DepEd) to provide children of displaced workers access to school grants that can be used to pay their tuition, even if only in part.

“We should encourage families to keep their children in school, even if a member of the household recently lost his or her job,” Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas said.

In a statement, the legislator said DepEd and DOLE should use the special voucher system under the P3.6-billion Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Program (GASTPE) as one of several interventions for displaced workers.

Under GASTPE, students who apply for assistance may get vouchers worth P7,000 that they can use to cover a portion of their tuition. The program does not have any requirement, other than the willingness of the student’s parents to pay for the balance of the tuition. – Helen Flores, Delon Porcalla, Philippine Star

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