Job program places more than 75,000

Published by rudy Date posted on April 7, 2009

The government provided 75,000 jobs for unemployed Filipinos during the first quarter of the year under the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP), an official said Monday.

National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Secretary Domingo Pa­nganiban said the number of jobless Filipinos who have landed jobs under the emergency employment program of the government increased to 75,016 workers as of March.

President Gloria Arroyo ordered the full implementation of the program in January to help poor Filipinos cope with the global financial crisis.

“The latest reports from the field indicate that around 11,000 more Filipinos were hired to work on CLEEP projects between February 25 and March 23 of this year,” Panganiban also said.

He added that the government’s total budget outlay for the emergency jobs effort has also seen a significant increase, as more national agencies have started implementing various projects under the program.

Based on a report issued by the commission’s macro-policy unit, the Arroyo administration’s plans to call for a total P10.6 billion in public investments for the employment program, up by P1.6 billion from the P9 billion planned allotments in February.

Large employers

“Most of the recent financial allocations have come from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources [DENR], led by Secretary Lito Atienza, and the Department of Labor and Employment, which is headed by Secretary Marianito Roque,” Panganiban said.

He said the bulk of the newly hired workers are now employed under the forestry and environmental protection programs of the Environment department and the Tulong Pang­kabuhayan sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers and Integrated Services for Livelihood Advancement of Fisher­folk programs of the Labor department.

“We have done well so far, but now is not the time to rest,” Panganiban added. “Plans are under way to hire more workers and allot even more government funds for the CLEEP.”

The Environment department earlier announced that it would hire more than 100,000 workers for “green-collar” jobs in upland areas.

Atienza said the “green-collar” workers would operate under two major components comprising the department’s emergency employment program—the Upland Development Program and the “Bantay Gubat” project.

He added that the department’s employment programs would cover 11 of the country’s poorest provinces. –Ira Karen Apanay, Senior Reporter, Manila Times

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