DOLE prepares emergency jobs for Boracay workers

Published April 3, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Tara Yap

Iloilo City – As the proposed closure of Boracay Island hangs, the Western Visayas office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has prepared contingency plans for workers that may be displaced.

Atty. Johnson Cañete, DOLE-6 regional director, said that emergency employment is one viable option.

The registered workers who may lose their jobs from hotels, resorts or restaurants may be utilized in the rehabilitation programs to fix sewage systems or take part in demolition jobs of illegal structures, he said.

Cañete told Manila Bulletin that DOLE will fund the emergency employment scheme that will give workers a minimum daily wage. He explained there is the standard 30-day emergency employment, and the proposed program that will give employment up to three months.

Based on data from the local government of Malay town in Aklan province, there are 17,735 registered workers in the 1,032-hectare island.

DOLE-6 will also handle job facilitation and job referrals of other displaced workers while coordinating with Technical Educations and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for skills upgrading.

DOLE-6 is also spearheading two job fairs in the next two months. The job fairs are backed by both the Aklan provincial government and Malay local government.

Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) continues to work on other key government programs in the region, explaining that not all personnel are attending to the Boracay problem.

“The identified programs for this year are in place.  Not all of our personnel are in Boracay,” DENR-6 Regional Director Jim Sampulna told Manila Bulletin.

Sampulna assured that DENR and its attached agencies are not neglecting mandated tasks that aim to reduce threats to ecosystems in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental provinces.

For instance, DENR-6 is still working to reach the target of planting five million seedlings this year. The enhanced National Greening Program (eNGP) will cover 7,129 hectares in selected areas of the six provinces.

Sampulna also bared a crackdown on forest violators, especially in the northern part of Negros Occidental province.  He noted that while the government is pushing to regenerate denuded forest areas, illegal logging and illegal forest occupants remain a threat.