MANILA, Philippines – The Arroyo administration has increased by P1 billion the funding for the emergency employment program to provide more jobs for poor citizens, Malacañang reported yesterday.
National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) chief Secretary Domingo Panganiban said President Arroyo has instructed all members of her Cabinet “to fast-track the implementation of government programs designed to strengthen the country’s economic competitiveness and ensure new jobs and employment opportunities for workers affected by the global financial meltdown.
“The President is closely monitoring the progress of the Comprehensive Livelihood Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) and she has instructed all agencies to utilize all available funding for the program. We are confident that the country will emerge stronger from the challenges we now confront,” Panganiban said.
The NAPC chief said this latest infusion of cash into the CLEEP raises the government’s current and actual investments into the program from P9 billion to nearly P10 billion.
He said the additional P1 billion investment for the CLEEP will be sourced from the 2009 appropriations of agencies such as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the 2008 savings of various national agencies, and counterpart funding from local government units.
The jobs created under the CLEEP include infrastructure maintenance, rehabilitation of hospital facilities, micro-enterprise development as well as job opportunities in environmental protection.
“Some 64,000 Filipino workers and 580 households have already found new jobs and income opportunities through the President’s CLEEP as of February 25 this year,” Panganiban said.
He said the government is also ensuring public accountability and transparency in the implementation and planning of the program.
Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the emergency employment program involves the implementation of doable and fundable livelihood projects “that can immediately provide work, that requires little or no skill or education, engages the worker only part-time (less than 40 hours a week) or short-time, or allows workers to obtain more than one job.
“The program is intended to protect the most vulnerable sectors, the poor, hungry, returning expatriates, workers in the export industry, and out-of-school youth from threats and consequences of reduced or lost income as a result of the worldwide financial contagion,” Remonde said.– Paolo Romero, Philippine Star