Director Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Satumba of the DOLE's Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) yesterday reported to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz on the successful conduct of a five-day strategic planning workshop aimed to equip implementers of the Social Amelioration and Welfare Program (SAWP) in Regions 4-A, 5, 8, 11 and the National Capital Region with the concepts and tools necessary to alleviate the plight of biodiesel workers utilizing coconut as feedstock.

Representatives of the said DOLE regional offices and of government and non-government institutions participated in the strategic planning workshop held at the Bayview Park Hotel in Manila.

Director Lobrin-Satumba said the focus of the planning exercise is on how to improve the lives of 16,000 biodiesel workers who are beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration and Welfare Program (SAWP) in the biodiesel industry.

The SAWP, as an amelioration program, seeks to improve and enhance the lives of the beneficiaries through the utilization of the fund allocated for livelihood (50 percent); educational assistance (20 percent); social and welfare benefits (15 percent); emergency assistance (10 percent); and administration (5 percent).

Identifying eligible beneficiaries of the program through careful profiling was one of the strategies as that emerged from the workshop.

"This is necessary to ensure that the services/benefits of the program reach the intended recipients," said Lobrin-Satumba, stressing the need to set up a monitoring and evaluation system which will focus not only on quantity but on the effect and impact of the program.

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