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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

DOLE urges employers to assist calamity-stricken workers; activates communication teams to bridge up OFWs and their families at home


 In view of the need to extend humanitarian assistance to the victims of Typhoon Ondoy, Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque today encouraged employers in the country to assist workers in coping with the emergency.


Roque appealed to the employers, particularly in the country's private industries, to exercise compassion and flexibility to affected workers under their employ.


In particular, the Labor and Employment Secretary urged them, as necessary, to allow affected workers to avail of pertinent emergency leaves, or be granted leave with pay especially those whose families have been stricken by the calamity.


He said that extending or reinforcing the necessary relief and rescue assistance to such workers would also be in order, and complement the ongoing government and other humanitarian efforts to assist the victims.


Roque added that employers may also extend or facilitate the necessary financial, loan or livelihood assistance to the  calamity-affected workers and their families.


He stressed that such would go a long way in eventually assisting them to recover from the adverse effects and regain their productive footing as workers of their companies.      


As this developed, the Labor and Employment Chief has directed the DOLE's Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, complemented by the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs),  to immediately activate communication teams that would complement the government's evacuation centers established in the calamity stricken areas.


Roque indicated that as soon as the teams are formed, they will be deployed to the designated evacuation centers with communications equipment so that they can facilitate link up and long distance communication bridges with the families of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the affected areas.


"Through such communication lines facilitated by the OWWA and the POLOs, the worries and concerns of OFWs about their families and loved ones back in the Philippines would be assuaged."


Roque emphasized that the centers would be begin to facilitate free communication links and facilitate responses to any OFW families as necessary.


He added that the OWWA Operations Center's 24/7 communications facilities, in tandem with those of the POLOs in more than 30 strategic locations worldwide, have also been opened up to accommodate the calls of OFWs to their families and loved ones at home, and vice-versa.





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