PGMA assures jobs creation for laid-off workers, early retirees

May 29, 2009 1:46 pm 

MANILA, May 29 –- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday assured unemployed workers and professionals across the country that the government is doing its best to provide jobs and livelihood programs for them.

The Chief Executive was reacting to a report by the Department of Labor Employment (DOLE) report which said an estimated 60,000 Filipino workers have been laid off nationwide due to the economic slump but close to 15,000 have already been rehired by their employers.

“We are doing everything we can to support our workers during these challenging times and our initiatives range from investments to help create new jobs, livelihood assistance to affected workers, and retraining programs that will help them find new employment, among others,” the President said in a speech aired over Radyo ng Bayan DZRB from Zamboanga City.

More and more business firms have started rehiring their laid-off workers, DOLE reported, but President Arroyo said she remains focused on jobs creation and helping workers displaced by the global economic downturn.

The President, who inaugurated on Friday morning the Phase II of the Zamboanga Port Expansion Project, said the government’s Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) was conceived to create jobs.

The umbrella program of several employment projects handled by different agencies, CLEEP is funded by the 1.5 percent savings from the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) of all government agencies.

The President said over DZRB that CLEEP starts by first identifying retrenched workers who are given priority attention under CLEEP.

The priority beneficiaries are either given emergency jobs, jobs referrals, skills-retraining or livelihood assistance packages.

Earlier, the President said government initiatives for workers include “assistance for the recovery of fees and unpaid salaries, facilitation of money claims by affected workers, referrals or redeployment of workers to other markets, livelihood packages from OWWA, and TESDA skills training scholarships.”

She urged jobless workers to visit the nearest DOLE and other government offices and inquire about the CLEEP projects where they can obtain employment.(PNA) V3/JCA

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