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PIA Press Release

Cordillera employment rate improves

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (27 February) -- Employment rate in the Cordillera region improved to 95.5 percent in 2009, with the agriculture sector the top employment generator.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Director Atty. Ana Dione disclosed that CAR's 95.5 percent employment rate last year is equivalent to about 700,000 employed persons. This is even better than the 92.5 percent employment rate of the whole country and the 94.8 percent employment rate in the third quarter of 2009.

In the same manner, CAR's unemployment rate also improved to 4.5 percent compared the 5.2 percent recorded in the third quarter of 2009.

Under-employment rate also improved to 17.7 percent compared to the 22.6 percent recorded in 2008 and is also better compared to the 2009 national figure of 19.1 percent.

In terms of sector, the agriculture and services sectors are the top two contributors followed by restaurants/hotels, retailing and manufacturing sector, respectively.

Dione however stressed that while the agri sector remains the top employment generator, it has low contribution in terms of income output and still needs more collective effort of the different government agencies in providing more opportunities to the said sector.

In a related issue, Dione pointed out that the agri sector particularly the farmers, are now under threat of El Niņo. DOLE she said is now closely coordinating with the Department of Agriculture in gearing up for a possible assistance to small farmers.

According to Dione, they have also recently received a letter from farmers in Alfonso Lista, Ifugao requesting for assistance in putting up water pumps. She said DOLE will be coordinating with the DA and the National Irrigation Authority so that they can also identify the assistance they could give to the small farmers in the area

In line with the national government's effort to combat climate change, Dione also stressed that the DOLE is also an advocate of Organic Farming. The agency is providing funding assistance on organic farming processes. In the case of Tublay, this was in the form of equipment like shredders which is essential in processing basic inputs in organic farming and in the purchasing of jars which is used in fermenting.

Through the initiative of the municipal government of Tublay and with the assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency in terms of organic farming technology and the Benguet State University in terms of training, Tublay now has a community processing center of organic fertilizer, Dione added. (PIA) [top]

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