THE government has spent close to half a billion pesos to place the previously unemployed or underemployed nationwide in various government projects, the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) reported.
NAPC Secretary Domingo Panganiban said some 20,958 workers throughout the country have benefited from the government’s initial investment of P424.5 million in its emergency employment program.
These workers now populate public health’s repair and rehabilitation facilities and the government’s watershed maintenance and environmental protection programs, among others. Jobs have also opened to them in microfinance and cash-for-work projects, the Commission said.
Panganiban said the workers were hired through the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) over the past fifteen days alone.
“The job generation and emergency employment projects under the CLEEP will benefit not only the workers hired but also their families and the communities in which they live,” Panganiban said.
The lead convenor of the Commission said President Gloria Arroyo has instructed all government agencies to consolidate and fast track their jobs and employment generation programs under CLEEP to counter the effects of the global financial crisis on the country’s economy and labor force.
“President Arroyo personally oversees the planning and management of the program,” Panganiban said.
A report issued by the NAPC macro-policy unit indicates that more than 800 households in 2,316 towns and villages throughout the country have benefited from the infrastructure and various services produced through the government’s emergency employment program.
“The funds invested into the program from the second week of January to early February this year have come mainly from the savings of agencies such as the Department of Health, the Department of Environment and National Resources, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Agriculture,” Panganiban said.
He added that the president is closely monitoring the planning and implementation of all projects under the emergency program.
— Ira Karen Apanay, Manila Times