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PIA Press Release
2009/02/24

Gov't to give green collar jobs to 111,000

by Jemin B. Guillermo

Roxas City (24 February) -- The government is set to hire more than 111,000 green collar workers under the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP).

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza disclosed that around 111,536 green collar jobs will be opened by the DENR in response to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's directive to provide income-generating services to the Filipinos.

Atienza, in the agency's online news, said that said green collar workers will operate under two major components of the DENR-CLEEP, namely, the Upland Development Program (UDP) and "Bantay Gubat" (BG) project.

He explained that the UDP and BG project form part of the President's endeavor to provide green collar jobs to the country's most vulnerable sectors by providing them access to short term employment opportunities.

Atienza added that the emergency employment will give them economic resiliency to respond to the anticipated adverse impacts of the ongoing worldwide economic downturn.

Under the UDP component, some 52,425 upland farmers will be hired as workers to plant forest and fruit tree seedlings, including high value cash crops, he said.

He pointed out that the agency has set aside about 49,318 and 2,000 hectares of upland and mangrove areas, respectively, for reforestation and agroforestry activities by upland families.

In the BG project, about 59,111 qualified upland residents will be hired as forest guards, with a monthly pay of P3,000 who will conduct foot patrol, monitoring of forest fire and seed collection.

Each BG will be allotted an area of 342 hectares to monitor, bringing to a total of 6.2 million hectares of forest lands placed under the BG project.

For its UDP's agroforestry scheme, each farmer will be given a hectare to develop for a fee of P3,270 per month to plant cash crops, Atienza said, adding that the projected earnings are expected to reach around P23,270 per year from the sale of their produce.

More than 20 million forest and fruit-bearing trees are expected to be planted under UDP's reforestation and agroforestry components.

Meanwhile, Atienza explained that the DENR-CLEEP takes a four-pronged approach to create emergency work in the uplands as it addresses forest protection and rehabilitation of watersheds and mangrove areas, while opening up job opportunities for income generation and food and crop production. (PIA) [top]

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