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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

375,000 unemployed workers given jobs, livelihood under CLEEP


Emergency employment and livelihood assistance as bridging mechanisms have given jobs and new livelihood sources to some 375,000 unemployed, displaced, and other vulnerable workers since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo initiated the implementation of the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) early this year, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today said.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said CLEEP, along with efforts of the DOLE to preserve employment and the pump priming measures of the government, has significantly contributed to the country's capability to cope with the global economic crisis.

Roque said the program is the administration's nationwide effort intended to protect the country's most vulnerable sectors from threats and consequences of reduced or lost income as a result of the global crisis.

He said the President has assigned all Cabinet members to act as stewards  tasked to ensure and oversee the implementation of identified CLEEP projects in particular regions.  He added that with the DOLE as lead agency, the government has so far allocated more than P13 billion for CLEEP investments in public works and enterprise development projects that have employed and given livelihood to the beneficiaries.

The DOLE Chief said that by providing emergency employment and funds for livelihood projects, CLEEP had helped its beneficiaries consisting mostly of low-income workers including those in industries affected by the global crisis as well as displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and out-of-school youths cope with the crisis' adverse effects.

Sec. Roque also stressed that CLEEP as a bridging employment program provides the beneficiaries not only income sources but also the skills and necessary experience they need in order to compete in the job market.

The jobs created under the CLEEP, he added, also helped improve the country's infrastructure, stimulate private investments, push the growth of rural enterprise, and boost public health care and food security.

At the same time, the DOLE exhausted all means to preserve jobs.  It issued guidelines on the implementation of flexible work arrangements and possible options that establishments particularly those affected by the global crisis may consider to avoid retrenchment and, thus, keep workers in their jobs.  It also assisted OFWs displaced by the crisis found new employment or livelihood.


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