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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

DOLE sets up 24/7 hotline on global financial crisis to assist affected workers

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has activated a local and global hotline to assist workers affected by the global financial crisis.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said the Hotline is available on a 24/7 basis at hotline no. [632] 527-4337.

“The vital hotline is for the purpose of responding to all pertinent queries from all sectors on available assistance to affected workers, along with ongoing interventions under the supervision of the DOLE’s Global Financial Crisis (GFC) Task Force, to assist the workers affected by the global financial crisis.”

This developed as the Labor Chief led the country’s 3+ Social Partners (or labor, management, government, global organizations such as the International Organization for Migration, and other sectors) in zeroing in on the need to assist affected local and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Roque convened the Multi-Sectoral Action Conference and Workshop on the Global Financial Crisis on the theme, “Responding to the Employment Challenge,” at the Ichikawa Hall of the DOLE’s Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC).

In his message, Roque disclosed that the DOLE has allotted a P402.852 million fund to assist the workers displaced by the crisis, which has so far affected some 33,000 workers who are beginning to experience shorter working hours in affected industries, along with some 40,000 others who have been displaced, along with some 5,404 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have been displaced.

Nonetheless, the Labor Chief cited that in 2008, the country’s labor market has remained resilient, with nationwide employment expanding by 1.6% or a net addition of 530,000 employed persons in the labor force mainly in the services, and agriculture, fishery and forestry sectors, offsetting the hard-hit industry sector which contracted by –1.5%. He earlier said that the global deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) surged to a record 1.376 million in 2008

Roque strongly urged the 3+ Social Partners to work together as one in standing up to the global financial crisis. He said that together, they must work to assist affected workers, adding that the opportunities must also be identified as they arrive at the necessary commitments and timelines, and deliver assistance to affected workers.

He apprised them that the DOLE has now successfully assisted to-date a total of 4,460 affected workers as follows: 613 provided with emergency employment assistance, 965 with job referrals, 1,007 with legal assistance on their money claims, 422 with skills training, and 1,453 with livelihood assistance/seed capitalization.

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