Manila — Undersecretary Joel B. Maglunsod led the induction of the first Tripartite Consultative Council for the implementation of the Social Amelioration and Welfare Program (SAWP) for the Bioethanol Sector on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at the Labor Governance Learning Center.
The creation of the TCC for the implementation of SAWP for the bioethanol sector is pursuant to Republic Act No. 9367 (An Act to Direct the Use of Biofuels, Establishing for this Purpose the Biofuel Program, Appropriating Funds, Thereof, and for Other Purposes, or the ‘Biofuels Act of 2006’) and Department Order No. 144, series of 2015.
SAWP is a social amelioration scheme which aims to improve the socio-economic well-being of workers in the biofuel industry including their families, through augmentation of income and access to productive resources, social protection coverage, and provision of livelihood and employment opportunities.
The council composed of representatives from the labor, management, and government sector shall serve as the advisory body to the DOLE in policy-making, program implementation, and monitoring of the program for bioethanol workers.
The newly inducted members of the council are Mr. Arnel J. Amparo and Ms. Novelyn R. Mariano from the Plant Workers’ Group; Ms. Juanita C. Bringas and Ms. Ginalyn G. Cordova from the Field Workers’ Group; Atty. Job Adrian M. Ambrosio and Mr. Ferdinand B. Masi from the Producers’ Group; Assistant Secretary Robert B. Uy and Ms. Ruby De Guzman of the Department of Energy as well as Ms. Rosemarie S. Gumera and Jennifer Marie S. Artates of the Sugar Regulatory Administration from the Government Sector.
After the induction, the TCC held its first meeting presided by Undersecretary Maglunsod. The Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns, as the program manager of SAWP, acted as Secretariat and discussed the overview of the program, the proposed program budget for the implementation and monitoring, and the existing issues concerning the program.
The council members, especially the labor sector, were pleased with their participation in the TCC. “Nagpapasalamat ako at nabigyan ako ng pagkakataong makapunta dito. Malaki na ang naitulong ng DOLE sa amin. Sana ay magtuloy-tuloy ang ganitong pag-uusap namin at makatulong pa lalo itong programa sa mga workers, lalo na kapag nagkakaproblema”, Ms. Bringas from the labor sector said.
“Sana ay maisagawa ang mga plano at napag-usapan kanina sa meeting dahil makakatulong talaga ito, lalo na doon sa mga hindi napapansin na sektor”, Ms. Mariano, also from the labor sector, added.
In an interview after the meeting, Undersecretary Maglunsod shared, “Tripartism ito at kailangan talagang ma-involve lahat ng stakeholders. Year 2006 pa ang R.A. 9367 at dapat magdoble effort tayo dahil marami nang manggagawa ang nagtatanong tungkol sa implementation ng batas na ito. Since bago itong TCC, siguro about time na makaabante na at makuha ang sentiments ng lahat ng sectors involved dito”.
“Napapansin ko rin at ng mga council members na kailangan talaga ng information dissemination at advocacy campaign para lalo pang maiparating sa mga manggagawa at employers kung ano itong SAWP.”, Undersecretary Maglunsod added.
The next TCC meeting will be held on February 15 to 16, 2018 to discuss more about the existing issues and concerns within the industry and the proposed amendments to the Department Order No. 144, series of 2015 to improve the implementation and monitoring of SAWP.