PGMA underscores gov’t efforts to create jobs to soften impact of crisis on Filipinos

April 28, 2009 11:38 pm 

TACLOBAN CITY, April 28 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said today that the government is vigorously pursuing efforts to help more Filipinos find jobs in the Philippines and abroad as part of an overall strategy to soften the impact of the global economic meltdown on Filipino families

In an interview over Radio DYVL-Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC) here, the President said: “We are doing everything we can to support our workers during these challenging times.”

“Those efforts range from investments that will help create new jobs, livelihood assistance to affected workers and retraining programs that will help them find new employment,” she said.

The Chief Executive cited two priority programs that the government is vigorously implementing — the Economic Resiliency Plan (ERP) and Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP).

ERP’s main focus is on jobs generation.

On the other hand, the CLEEP includes Grassroots Entrepreneurs for Eco-Tourism (GREET), the Out of School Youth Servicing Towards Economic Recovery (OYSTER), and the Integrated Services for Livelihood Advancement of Fisherfolks (ISLA)

“So, those affected by the economic downturn can easily avail of the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP),” she said.

Likewise, the President said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has also instituted other measures to assist displaced workers who are seeking new employment.

The government is also extending a helping hand to displaced workers who have been denied their lawful wages as well as helping them find new jobs.

The Chief Executive also disclosed that there will be a nationwide jobs fair on June 10-12.

She also said that local government units (LGUs), in partnership with the private sector, are working doubly hard in creating and maintaining jobs as well as in investing on vital infrastructures, livelihood programs and other economic activities that will help generate more employment.

She expressed hope that the LGUs will spend their new increase in Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) on employment-related programs.

She added that as a result of the implementation of the expanded value-added tax (VAT) three years ago, the IRA of LGUs have been boosted by P40 billion.

“I hope they (LGUs) would spend their additional money for infrastructures,” the President said.

Data showed that some 68,562 jobs have been generated in the agriculture sector alone in Region 8.

Of the 136 municipalities in Eastern Visayas, 115 will have five nurses each when the Nurses Assigned in Rural Service (NARS) program gets fully implemented.

The beneficiaries of the NARS program are 13 municipalities in Eastern Samar, 36 in Leyte, 24 in Northern Samar, 26 in Samar, eight in Biliran, and 10 in Southern Leyte.

“With these initiatives, we are protecting the common Filipino from the brunt of global economic crisis,” she added. (PNA) scs/OPS/ssc

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