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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Key agri-based industries jointly tackle solutions to global financial crisis in DOLE-led Mindanao summit

The common fight to push back and mitigate the effects of the global financial crisis (GFC) has been brought to priority areas of the country particularly among vulnerable sectors in the agri-based industries with the Multi-Sectoral Conference for Global Financial Crisis-Affected Workers in Selected Agri-Based Industries convening Friday in Davao City.

Labor Secretary Marianito D. Roque was joined by 3+ Social Partners (labor, management, government and other sectors) at the Apo View Hotel where about 120 participants gathered.

Following his message opening the conference, two major business leaders in the south provided a vital local perspective in the joint efforts against the GFC, in the persons of Vic Lao, chair of the Mindanao Business Council who tackled, The Global Financial Crisis’ Impact On Mindanao Economy: A Mindanaon’s Perspective,” and Simeon Marfori II, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who dwelt on “Finding our Strengths and Taking Advantage of New Opportunities in These Challenging Times.”

A workshop proper subsequently focused on the issues and responses to GFC-issues affecting workers and business in the country’s Rubber, Coconut, Abaca, Tuna/Sardines, and Banana Industries.

At the culmination of the event today (February 14), the sectors will join hands and close ranks, as they earlier did on the national level in Malacañang, in facing together, addressing and supporting the need for uninterrupted growth of business and job loss prevention and preservation in crucial agri-based industries of the country, along with the application of appropriate safety net measures as necessary for affected workers and industries.

“Indeed, these are job-generating industries,” Roque said, “in which the Mindanao region happen to have a major role, thus indicating the timeliness and importance of the current conference on GFC-affected workers in the selected agri-based industries.”

Aside from the signing of a joint communiqué by the participants, beneficiaries of the TUPAD (Tulong Panghanapbuhay Para Sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers, one of DOLE’s two enrolled programs in the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program of President Arroyo) will receive their checks for their coconut rehabilitation-cum-abaca projects from the Secretary of Labor and Employment, to be witnessed by Governor Corazon Malanyaon of Davao Oriental. Beneficiaries are coconut farmers in the municipalities of Manay, Caraga, Tarragona and Governor Generoso, all in Davao Oriental.

Roque, prior to branching out the GFC efforts regionally, had earlier spurred the successful Summit themed, “Joining Hands against the GFC” wherein the 3+ social partners together presented to President Macapagal Arroyo a joint Communique of support to continued business growth, safety net measures and assistance to GFC-affected workers and industries. Ahead of the Summit in Malacañang, the Labor Chief initiated the first national Multi-Sectoral Conference on the GFC wherein the social partners jointly participated in workshops to the necessary GFC measures.

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