In line with pump-priming efforts aimed at cushioning the impact of the global crisis on the people, the government awarded emergency employment, training scholarships, and livelihood assistance to 158,253 unemployed and disadvantaged workers during the commemoration of the 111th anniversary of Philippine Independence on June 12, 2009, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today said.
Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said the awarding ceremonies for the identified beneficiaries were held simultaneously as part of the Independence Day celebration in 16 regions, with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo leading the awarding ceremony in SOCCSKSARGEN (Region 12).
SOCCSKSARGEN consists of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and Gen. Santos City.
Roque said the DOLE as the lead agency in the celebration of this year's Independence Day closely collaborated with other government agencies for the awarding of emergency employment and other forms of assistance to the beneficiaries following the directives of President Arroyo to step up the implementation of the Comprehensive Livelihood Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP).
CLEEP complements government investments in physical infrastructure. It aims to help workers particularly the low-income under privileged sector cope with the economic crunch by employing them in various government projects in the development of infrastructure systems and provision of healthcare services. It also extends enterprise development services to needy workers who want to engage in small business enterprises.
Roque said President Arroyo led the Independence Day flag-raising and wreath –laying rites and later distributed CLEEP emergency employment certificates, training scholarships, and livelihood funding checks to a total of 20,171 beneficiaries in Region 12 in simple ceremonies held at Rizal Park, Marbel, South Cotabato. At the same time, a mega job and livelihood fair was held in Koronadal and Gen. Santos cities as part of the Independence Day celebration in the region.
The DOLE Chief said other officials who have been designated CLEEP stewards led the Independence Day celebration and distribution of CLEEP services in other regions. Overall, he said that more than 150,000 workers in 16 regions were awarded CLEEP services during the June 12 Independence Day celebration.
The beneficiaries included 56,453 workers who were granted emergency employment. Another 32,982 workers received training scholarships while 67,822 workers received livelihood assistance.
Roque said the CLEEP awards amount to more than P1 billion out of government funds.