Monday, March 16, 2009

Hire displaced workers

Seek out the workers who lost their jobs and hire them.

President Macapagal-Arroyo gave this order to the labor department, saying displaced workers should get priority in the government’s emergency livelihood and employment program.

Press Secretary Serge Remonde said the DoLE was ordered to trace these workers “para makuha yung mga pangalan at addresses ng mga nawawalan ng trabaho.”

He said the government will give priority to displaced workers from the export-related industries, who are taking the brunt of the global crisis.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto earlier said some 800,000 Filipinos are in danger of losing their jobs this year as the global economic slowdown hits the export sector including the key electronics industry.

Remonde said the President also reiterated her directive for the government to tighten its belt to be able to pay subsidies for the poor and provide emergency employment for those who lost their jobs.

The President earlier issued an executive order for all government agencies to reduce by 1.5 percent their respective maintenance, overhead and operating budgets. She said the savings translate to P7 billion that can be used to pay the salaries of workers that can be accommodated in government offices for at least six months.

The government is hiring 180,000 contractual workers for six months. By: Tess Bedico - Journal online


Employment program editorial
MANY quarters fear that more and more members of the Philippine labor force, including overseas Filipino workers, face the specter of losing their jobs this year due to the expected deepening of the international financial crisis.

The fear is not without basis since the hard-pressed working class, the creator of wealth in society, is the major victim of this economic meltdown, which continues to terrorize millions of people in both the industrialized and developing nations across the globe.

This is the problem that United States-educated Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who has reached the apex of her colorful political career, faces as she nears the end of her six-year term as President of the Philippines.

Without doubt, the Arroyo administration is up against one of its major challenges: Meeting the employment needs of the rapidly-expanding population at a time when manpower-importing nations are laying off their migrant workers.

This is where we add our voice to persistent calls that there’s now an urgent need to support the government move to allocate some P10 billion for the country’s emergency employment program.

The public applauded when the House of Representatives expressed its full support to the Arroyo regime’s program to put in place mechanisms to create new jobs because private businesses are now generally holding back their investments.

President Arroyo instructed Cabinet members to fast-track the implementation of government programs designed to strengthen the country’s economic competitiveness and ensure new jobs and livelihood opportunities for workers affected by the economic turmoil.

Whatever her critics say, there’s now this snowballing move to make the Comprehensive Livelihood Emergency Employment Program a permanent fixture of the government’s social reform and poverty alleviation policy with or without the global economic meltdown.

But what is needed to ensure the success of CLEEP, which is being administered by the National Anti-Poverty Commission? It is for concerned government authorities to spend the funding wisely and judiciously.

We are all for this. And we will be drawing the ire of the people, notably the poor and other unfortunate members of society, if we allow the money to end up in the deep pockets of unscrupulous public servants.

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