Some 6,000 Filipinos have found new jobs from March to the middle of April this year under the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) of the government, according to the National Anti-Poverty Commission.
“The latest reports from the field indicate that around 6,673 were hired to work on CLEEP projects from March 23 to April 13 this year. That is an average of more than 300 jobs a day for 21 consecutive days,” Secretary Domingo Panganiban of the commission said in a statement over the weekend.
Panganiban noted that the latest batch of workers brought the total number of Filipinos hired under President Gloria Arroyo’s emergency employment program to 81,689. This, he said, provides evidence that a vast number of Filipino families have already benefited from the various public works and services generated under the President’s CLEEP effort.
“As of the end of the first quarter this year, our plans call for initial public investments amounting to over P10 billion. These investments will finance projects that will in turn create jobs for an estimated 280,686 unemployed or underemployed Filipinos nationwide,” he said.
Construction of farm-to-market roads, ports and Tindahan Natin outlets, rehabilitation of irrigation systems and hospital facilities and establishment of micro-enterprises will be the jobs designed for the newly hired laborers, Panganiban added.
“CLEEP projects are not only designed to create jobs for poor and underprivileged Filipinos, they are also meant to improve basic services and encourage private investments, which we need to keep our economy strong and forward moving,” he said.
Panganiban said that the President had anticipated the effects of the global crisis on the country’s labor force early on.
Mrs. Arroyo “began to lay out the basic framework and intent of the CLEEP as early as October last year. That gave the Cabinet ample time to make all the necessary administrative and logistical preparations prior to actual implementation in January of this year,” he added.
–Aprilmaan S. Magat, Manila Times