Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque cited a report from DOLE-Region 2 Director Grace Ursua which said that the displaced workers were absorbed by the Geograce Resources Corporation, the new owner of the mining firm, the Platinum Groups Metals Corp. (PGMC), which had to close down two months ago due to the crisis.
Roque said the Regional Global Financial Crisis Special Task Force in charge of monitoring the crisis's effects in Cagayan Valley assessed the needs and assistance that can be extended to some 400 workers who were affected by the closure of PGMC.
He said that 97 of the affected workers were assisted by the task force when the new owner of the mining firm re-employed them.
At the same time, he said that the DOLE-Region 2 office organized another 36 affected workers who also engaged in fishing into an association to help these workers avail of a P300,000 livelihood assistance under the Comprehensive Livelihood for Emergency Employment Program-Integrated Services for Livelihood Advancement of the Fisher Folks (CLEEP-ISLA).
The DOLE Chief said the group called the Samahang Mangingisda ng Digumased used the CLEEP-ISLA funds in the purchase of a motorized fishing boat, adding that Dinapigue Mayor Renato Candido served as the group's accredited co-partner and gave a 20% counterpart financial assistance to the group's livelihood project.
He lauded Mayor Candido for its support to efforts in helping displaced workers find alternative livelihood while urging local government units and other organizations to also provide similar assistance to displaced workers as this would greatly help the country survive the global economic crisis.
DOLE-Region 2 Director Grace Ursua also reported that another 100 workers affected by PGMC's closure were provided with emergency employment assistance under the CLEEP-Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD).
Ursua said the program released P500,000 to the LGU of Dinapigue to provide for the wages of the 100 workers who were hired in the construction of an Infirmary, adding the regional office referred the rest of the displaced workers for employment in other establishments in Region 2.
Another 50 marginalized farm workers in Ambaguio, Nueva Viscaya were given emergency employment in road improvement projects within the municipality.
Meanwhile, three DOLE-registered rural workers associations composed of 91 rural workers received a total of P456,000 financial assistance for their livelihood projects in bakery operation and bio-fertilizer production under the program for the rural employment through self-employment and entrepreneurial development (PRESEED). The beneficiaries included tribal farmers from Dupax del Norte and women workers from Quezon Nueva Viscaya.
Members of the Nueva Viscaya Electric Cooperative (NUVELCO) Employes Labor Union were also granted a P400,000 livelihood fund under the DOLE's workers income augmentation program (WINAP). The union members would use the fund for their rice wholesale and retail project.