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Friday, March 13, 2009

First local gov’t based ‘One SWAC’ moves to assist GFC-affected workers in CALABARZON area

On the heels of an assistance facility made operational at the Cavite ecozone, the first local government unit (LGU-based) one-stop assistance center has also been swiftly established in the investments significant CALABARZON area in response to workers affected by the global financial crisis.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque emphasized that the establishment of the Calamba City One SWAC (acronym for One Stop Worker Assistance Center) is pursuant to the commitments in the joint Communique on Joining Hands against the Global Crisis approved bv President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo after being forged in unity by the country’s Three Plus (3+) Social Partners (labor, management, government and other sectors) in Malacañang recently.

Roque, in particular cited the City Government of Calamba, headed by City Mayor Joaquin M. Chipeco, for joining hands with the DOLE’s Region IV-A Office headed by Regional Director Ricardo S. Martinez, Sr. and other crucial government agencies in the area, to put up and operationalize the “One SWAC” at the J.P. Rizal School in the historic city.

At the same time, the Labor Chief acknowledged the role of government agencies, including the DOLE’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Agriculture, and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, even as he earlier stated that the DOLE will set up more synergized assistance centers in response to the GFC in Bataan, Baguio in the north, and Mactan, Cebu in southern Philippines.

DOLE Region IV-A (CALABARZON) Office Regional Director Martinez emphasized that the chief objective of the Calamba City One SWAC, which will be cooperatively manned by the personnel of the above LGU/agencies and volunteers, is to ensure fast and efficient access of GFC-affected workers to all government services/assistance.

Martinez added that the assistance to be jointly ensured by the participating LGU and government agencies under the agreed responsibilities, cover profiling of displaced workers and dependents, issuance of certificate of eligibility for all assistance packages, information on all assistance packages for displaced workers, information on job vacancies, job-matching and placement, livelihood assistance, training and scholarship vouchers, and issuance of pre-employment documents.

In behalf of Secretary Roque, Martinez and Calamba City Mayor Chipeco forged the accord, witnessed by Undersecretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz and Assistant Secretary Rebbeca J. Calzado DOLE and City Administrator Atty. Manuel P. Ladrido, successfully establishing the Calamba City One SWAC together with TESDA Deputy Director General for Regional Operations Roger C. Peyuan; Agriculture Assistant Secretary Dennis B. Araullo; Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria of DENR; and Regional Directors Julia F. Fabian of OWWA; Marilou Q. Toledo of DTI; Honorita B. Bayudan of DSWD; Bonifacio O. Seguit of DPWH; and Rosa F. Macas of BFAR, on March 6, 2009.

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