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Saturday, November 14, 2009

With Nego-Kart, mobile vendors say goodbye to five-six


Manila is one of the key cities in the country with heavy concentration of ambulant /mobile vendors or "hawkers". They come in all shapes and sizes, some in karts, others use bicycles, or simply in ordinary baskets or mats in sidewalks, market places or public areas with their foldable business enterprises.

Most of them borrowed money from Indian Nationals popularly known as "Bombay", who collects the daily interest of the five-six lending scheme they use as capital. Most of the time, the income of these informal sector group goes to the interest on 5-6 leaving them with empty pockets at the end of the day.

Until the Department of Labor and Employment introduces Nego-Kart, a special project to assist mobile vendors in enhancing their existing livelihood undertakings become profitable.

DOLE Secretary Marianito D. Roque said that the Nego-Kart or Negosyo Sa Kariton is a special project under DOLE's priority deliverable programs and services that offers a "cart of tools and services, such as vending cart and accessories, working capital, training on production skills, entrepreneurship and management and assistance in securing a business permit."

In a simple launching ceremony at the San Andres Gymnasium in Malate on Thursday, Secretary Roque together with Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim, Soroptimist International Manila Tourist Belt, President Mrs. Estrellita S. Hizon, and Soroptimist International Philippines, Governor Ms. Carmen Araneta-Flor, turned-over 20 Nego-Kart worth P12,000.00 each to mobile vendors coming from District1, (Morga and Balut, Tondo); District II (Dagupan, Tondo), District V (Paco).

DOLE-NCR Regional Director Raymundo G. Agravante announced that for the launch, 20 vendors will receive a custom-made vending cart, one unit stove, one unit stainless deep cooking pan courtesy of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) while the raw materials will be provided by Soroptimist International. The Manila Social Workers Office assisted in identifying the beneficiaries from the City of Manila.

Director Agravante added that there are 450 units of Nego-Karts for distribution in NCR until March 2010 out of the 450, 100 beneficiaries expected to be awarded with Nego-Karts by the end of the year.

More than 100T workers, managers nationwide

join vital labor education seminars


Industrial harmony and peace have been strengthened further in the country's economically-vital industries, including the special economic zones, through the continuous promotion of social partnership and labor-management education reinforcing the time-honored regard for labor rights, workers' welfare and conditions, and productivity, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today reported.


A preliminary report reaching Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque indicated that during the first semester (January to June) of 2009 alone, some 1,556 labor education seminars have been conducted in the country's industries with the participation of 101,530 workers, as well as the representatives of the management sector in these zones.


The DOLE's Bureau of Labor Relations' (BLR) report, as officially reflected by the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) indicated that the 1,556 labor education program (LEP) seminars conducted during the period had surpassed the full year figure (1,401 seminars) in 2008, while the 101,530 participants also exceeded the two-year participation rate reaching 82,295 workers, supervisors, and managers in 2008 (35,928), and 2007 (46,367).  Earlier in 2006, BLR had also supervised 2,304 LEP seminars benefiting 71,373 participants from industries around the country, or a total of 153,668 participants for the three-year period from 2006 to 2008.


Significantly, Roque emphasized that the massive intensification of the DOLE-led Labor Education Program thrusts in vital industries, with the fullest support of labor and management --- even among the investors and locators in the ecozones --- bodes well for the respect for labor rights -- complementing industrial harmony and productivity vital to the country's economic recovery and capacity to attract job-friendly investments.


The Labor and Employment Chief stressed the crucial importance of the labor education program particularly in educating workers and management, as well as trade and local government officials, on basic labor laws and regulations in the Philippines in accordance with the global standards of the International Labor Organization.


"The thrust emphasizes a strong focus on nurturing a plant-level culture that promotes labor-management cooperation in order to minimize and prevent debilitating labor-management disputes."


Roque said that in essence, the Labor Education Program underscores the social partners' endeavor to provide an environment favorable to industrial harmony, alongside the exercise of trade union rights including self-organization, as well as welfare and productivity. 


Amidst the development, the DOLE's Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) also bared the gains of a novel and significant thrust to promote social responsibility and ensure the safety, health and conditions of workers among the nation's industries.    


Roque was apprised by the BWC, headed by Director Brenda L. Villafuerte, that the Bureau has continued to intensify its program known as "KAPATIRAN-WISE TAV (Work Improvement in Small Industries-Technical Assistance Visits)" with results. Through the technical assistance visits promoting "KAPATIRAN," the BWC has fostered the noble tradition of Filipino brotherhood in the workplace through the small brothers-big brothers approach.  Under the approach, the big brothers consisting of large firms have adopted small and micro enterprises willing to improve the safety and health of their workplaces.


As a result of KAPATIRAN-WISE-TAV, Villafuerte said that from the initial three big and 44 small brothers in 2007, there are now some 15 big brothers (a 400% rise) and 116 small brothers (+164%) benefiting the workplace health and safety of some 17,574 workers nationwide, so far this year.


Adjunct to the promotion of working conditions nationwide in the current year, she said that the BWC's accredited Safety Training Organizations have also conducted 207 occupational safety and health (OSH) trainings for 1,947 participants, along with six batches of OSHC learning sessions for staff and the HHIC-Phils. (Hanjin) and contractors --- which were reinforced by training for construction site safety officers (SOs) joined by 35 participants, and the Appreciation Course on Workplace Safety and Health and Permit to Work System orienting 66 SOs from several Hanjin subcontractors.


Villafuerte cited the cooperation on these successful, ongoing efforts, as appropriate, of the Construction Manpower Development Foundation-DTI, as well as the Association of Safety Practitioners of the Philippines, Inc. (ASPPI).




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