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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

DOLE Reiterates Livelihood, Employment Assistance to Displaced OFWs

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque today reiterated that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have lost their employment or may also be displaced due to the global financial crisis can avail of livelihood assistance or find another job locally or overseas under the contingency plan of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Roque also said that local workers who may be adversely affected by the financial crisis could also avail of the same assistance from the DOLE.

He said affected OFWs could seek assistance from the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) in Intramuros, Manila or at the regional branches of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). Affected local workers, on the other hand, could go to the nearest regional or provincial DOLE office for assistance.

He said that assistance to the affected workers under the DOLE╩╝s contingency plan primarily involves either helping them set up livelihood or income generating projects or finding them another suitable employment locally or overseas.

For displaced OFWs or local worker who prefer to engage in business undertakings, Roque said that they would be initially granted an assistance package consisting of 1) entrepreneurship counseling, 2) entrepreneurship training, and 3) access to equipment.

An accredited co-partner (ACP) of the DOLE would provide the assistance to the workers, Roque said adding that the initial assistance could be enhanced if the beneficiary wanted to.

The Labor and Employment Secretary also said that DOLE and OWWA are also prepared to assist OFWs and local workers who want to form business or livelihood cooperatives. He said that a workers╩╝ coop would be granted loans depending on the number of its members.

He said the mechanism aims to develop the capability of the workers to collectively start and manage a business or livelihood undertaking, adding the beneficiaries would be assisted to form a project management team which will direct and supervise the daily operation of their business.

At the same time, the NRCO and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) would provide the necessary assistance to OFWs as well as local workers wanting to find another employment overseas.

Those who want local employment, on the other hand, can seek assistance from the Bureau of Local Employment or at the nearest DOLE office.

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