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ILO: Jobs crucial to rehabilitation

With the Philippine government’s mantra of building back better in areas hit by super-typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan), the International Labor Organization (ILO) said it is crucial to create employment opportunities and restore the survivors’ livelihood.

Lawrence Jeff Johnson, director of ILO Country Office for the Philippines, made the observation on Thursday when ILO signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the skills training of Yolanda survivors with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The MOU seeks to lessen vulnerable workers and women’s vulnerabilities, the youth and the people through restoring and raising the families’ livelihood via gainful employment and other activities for income-generation.

Johnson signed the MOU with Secretary Joel J. Villanueva, TESDA director general at government agency’s Central Headquarters in Bicutan, Taguig City.

The ILO official said that in building back better the communities that Yolanda destroyed, it is crucial to create employment opportunities and restore the people’s livelihood.

“Emergency employment started on day one after the super typhoon. As the recovery gathers pace, this will translate into sustainable livelihoods through skills training, enterprise development and employment intensive investment to help revive the local economy,” Johnson said.

ILO noted that of the 14.2 million people that Yolanda affected when it landed on Nov. 8, 2013, around six million workers either lost their livelihood or have been affected economically.

Some 2.6 million of them were already in vulnerable employment and living at or near the poverty line.

TESDA said an initial number of 1,400 survivors of Super Typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) will benefit from the skills training project under the MOU.

The beneficiaries will be in Tacloban City in Leyte, with 400; Ormoc City and Guiuan town, 360; Northern Cebu and Negros Occidental, 300; Bohol, 230; and Coron, Palawan, 110, it added.

Beneficiaries will be provided with the necessary tools, materials and training allowance to boost their chances at finding employment and access to livelihood opportunities.

Spelled out in the MOU is the project’s main goal “to contribute to restoring the livelihood of families through gainful employment and other income generating activities” to alleviate the vulnerabilities of workers, women, the youth, and people with disabilities.