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PIA Press Release

DOLE RO 9 "all ready" amidst global financial crisis

Zamboanga City (5 February) -- The Deartment of Labor and Employment, Regional Office IX is "all ready" in the event of Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Zamboanga Peninsula businesses, as of press time, have not resorted to any major retrenchment nor closure of establishments. DOLE 9 Director Ponciano M. Ligutom directed his technical staff to conduct survey and validation in the Canning, Fishing and Seaweed industries relative to the effects of Global Financial Crisis in the region. There were no reports submitted to the DOLE on the effect of the GFC except for some fishing companies who temporarily ceased operation mainly due to lean season.

In preparation, DOLE has a funding assistance of 10 Million Pesos to implement the programs of TUlong Panghanapbuhay para sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) for the affected workers in the rubber, coconut and seaweeds industries to provide short-term wage employment as immediate source of income to the displaced workers and their families, it may also be in a form of livelihood and skills opportunities; and the other is the Integrated Services for Livelihood Advancement (ISLA) for the fisher folks at the coastal provinces. TUPAD and ISLA are components of the Comprehensive Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Relative to the GFC, the DOLE Secretary, Hon. Marianito D. Roque issued on January 30, 2009 DOLE Advisory on Flexible Work Arrangement, to guide employers and workers in the private sector in implementing mutually acceptable work schedules as a measure against the adverse effect of the global financial crisis. DOLE Regional Offices have been directed to visit establishments wanting to adopt flexible work arrangements and validate whether their adoption is in accordance with the DOLE Advisory.

The flexible work arrangements which labor and management may consider are the following: Compressed Workweek; Reduction of Workdays; Rotation of Workers; Forced Leave wherein the employees are required to go on leave for several days or weeks utilizing their leave credits; Broken-time schedule wherein the work schedule is not continuous but the work hours within the day or week remain; and Flexi-holidays schedule wherein the employees agree to avail the holidays at some other days provided there is no diminution of existing benefits as a result of such arrangement.

In addition, Secretary Roque instructed all regional offices to set up the "Help Desk" at the offices of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to facilitate delivery of assistance and services of DOLE to workers at the regional and community levels who have been displaced by the global economic crisis.

The DOLE has reactivated the Quick Response Team (QRT) which is a mobile team composed of technical staff representing DOLE-RCC (POEA, OWWA, TESDA, NCMB, NLRC, RTWPB and PRC) to conduct monitoring, validation and assessment of reports on displacement/retrenchment or closures. The data gathered by the QRT will serve as inputs in the implementation of the DOLE's Assistance for Workers Affected by GFC either through emergency employment, training, livelihood and job placement both for local and overseas employment. (DOLE/PIA ZC) [top]

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