The government has stepped up efforts in bringing assistance and services to workers affected by the global economic crisis with the setting up of the first ecozone-based one-stop workers’ assistance center at the Cavite Economic Zone (CEZ) in Rosario, Cavite, Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said.
Roque said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in collaboration with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) established the Cavite assistance facility dubbed the PEZA one-stop workers’ assistance center (POSWAC).
He said the facility in Cavite is the first of similar facilities that would also be set up in other public economic zones in Bataan, Baguio, and Mactan.
To be manned by personnel from the three agencies, the POSWAC would provide immediate assistance to displaced ecozone workers onsite, Roque said adding the operation of the facility complements the Help Desks in all regional offices of DOLE and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) which have been set up earlier to assist local and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who lost their jobs due to the global economic crisis.
Like the DOLE and OWWA Help Desks, the POSWAC will also provide employment, livelihood, and training assistance to displaced workers in ecozones, Roque said.
Initially, POSWAC will conduct profiling of displaced ecozone workers to determine the latter’s skills and assistance they want to avail. Assistance to be rendered them includes job matching and placement, livelihood loans, competency assessment and certification, skills training, and issuance of scholarship vouchers and pre-employment documents.
The DOLE Chief said the establishment of POSWAC is one of the government’s commitments at the multi-sectoral Job Summit, “Joining Hands Against the Global Crisis,” which identified measures that need to be pursued to help workers and industry cope with the economic slowdown brought about by the crisis.
In line with the Job Summit commitments, the DOLE has also started the groundwork on the establishment of one-stop workers’ assistance centers in private ecozones and industrial parks in collaboration with PEZA and TESDA, Roque said as he urged the stakeholders in 38 private industrial areas in the country to host such facility in order to immediately assist ecozones workers who may lose their jobs due to the crisis.
“Immediate assistance to displaced workers particularly in helping them find another employment or livelihood would mitigate in large measure the effects of the crisis on the economy,” he said.