Reporting on its contribution to the rehabilitation of devastated communities exactly one year after super howler Yolanda wrought death and destruction in four regions of the country, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda-Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the DOLE had spent P556.69 million of its budget from November 2013 to date, which had directly benefited 98,590 individuals/persons in Region 4-B, 6, 7, and 8.

“Transparency is a major pillar of our labor governance agenda, hence, I report to the Filipino people that over the past year since Typhoon Yolanda struck, the DOLE has, I believe, contributed meaningfully to President Benigno S. Aquino III’s task to build back better the communities affected by the typhoon,” Baldoz said.

“The DOLE spent ?556,696,095 of its budget and in the process assisted 98,590 individuals through two main activities – emergency employment and livelihood assistance,” she added.

For emergency employment, the labor and employment Chief said the DOLE, between 9 November and 31 December 2013, spent ?113.500 million for minimum wage salaries, social insurance, and personal protective equipment of 31,969 individuals who were engaged in short-term employment in Region 4-B –3,507 persons; Region 6—2,747 persons; Region 7—1,651 persons; and Region 8—24,064 persons.

“The 31,969 individuals were employed to clear canals and railways, restore health centers and other public buildings, and repair roads and bridges. Many of them cleared public spaces of debris,” Baldoz said.

Baldoz said that immediately at the onset of 2014, the DOLE continued its emergency employment program spending ?171.253 million to employ 33,283 individuals who continued the restoration/rehabilitation of damaged communities.

“In Region 4-B, our emergency employment program benefited 766 individuals in 2014; in Region 6—11,558 individuals; in Region 7—12,041; and in Region 8—8,918 individuals.”
Baldoz also said that in January 2014, the DOLE began implementing its livelihood assistance program and had spent to date ?271.94 million benefiting 33,338 persons.

“On a region basis, we had spent ?49.920 million in livelihood assistance that benefited, 4,393 individuals in Region 8; ?15.360 million that benefited 1,959 in Region 7; ?175.501 million that benefited 23,544 in Region 6; and ?31.159 million that benefited 3,442 in Region 4-B,” Baldoz explained.

Baldoz also said that the DOLE’s utilization of its livelihood assistance budget had reached 62.3 percent, while for emergency employment, it was 95.20 percent, bringing the DOLE’s overall utilization rate to 71.92 percent.

She further said the DOLE’s livelihood assistance covered thousands of income-generating activities, including auto repair, handicraft, sawali-making, dried fish, fruits and vegetable production and processing, livestock raising, shielded metal and welding, organic fertilizer production, fishing, etc.

“We have a compilation of the list of our beneficiaries for transparency. We also continue to monitor their livelihood projects,” she said, adding.

“The DOLE continues to actively involve itself in the rehabilitation of the areas destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda. Our contribution to the nation effort in the four regions is focused in the area of employment facilitation and capacity building.”

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