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PIA Press Release

DOLE offers assistance to affected farm workers

Iloilo City (26 February) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is ready with an intervention designed to assist farm workers and their dependents in Western Visayas who are affected by the El Nino phenomenon.

DOLE 6 Technical Support Services Division Chief Salome Siaton presented the intervention at the meeting of the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) held February 25 at the Philippine National Police regional headquarters at Cam Delgado here.

Siaton said the intervention covers emergency employment assistance, livelihood assistance, and other forms of assistance intended for qualified dependents of farm workers including the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES).

She added that they have dispatched personnel to municipalities of Iloilo heavily affected by the dry spell to determine the kinds of interventions needed in these areas.

Their agency offered the same kind of intervention to assist victims of typhoon Frank that wrought havoc in Panay Island in 2008.

The meeting, the first for the council this year, focused on the current situation arising from the onset of El Nino and the contingencies adopted by concerned government agencies to mitigate its effects specially on vulnerable sectors.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Regional Director and Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) chair Chief Supt. Isagani Cuevas said there is no substitute for preparedness in times of natural calamities.

He said the natural disasters that have struck Western Visayas notably typhoon Frank have taught us its importance.

He said this is again important now that the region is feeling the ill effects of El Nino.

RDCC members who also rendered reports and updates during the meeting were the Department of Agriculture, PAGASA, Office of the Civil Defense, National Irrigation Administration, Metro Iloilo Water District, and the RDCC Communication and Warning Group.

In particular, the DA which chairs the El Nino Task Force, presented updates on the extent of effects of the phenomenon on crops and fisheries and the mitigating interventions adopted by the government to help vulnerable sectors and ensure food security.

It will be recalled that the DA regional office also convened last week member-agencies of the task force to have a dialogue with the local media to apprise the public about the issue. (PIA 6) [top]

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