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Bong Go seeks temporary employment for displaced workers in rural communities
AS the government strives to achieve economic recovery, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go underscored how imperative it is for all sectors in the country to be well-taken care of, especially those who reside in rural areas lacking job opportunities.
Thus, one of the priority measures filed by the senator in the 19th Congress is Senate Bill No. 420 which seeks to provide temporary employment for qualified members of poor households in rural areas who are willing to do unskilled manual work for a period of time.
Under his proposed measure, there shall be a Rural Employment Assistance Program (REAP) under the Department of Labor and Employment, which shall provide temporary employment to qualified individuals who are poor, disadvantaged, displaced or seasonal workers willing to work for a minimum of ten days, but not more than 90 days in a calendar year.
The Local Social Welfare and Development Officers, in close coordination with DOLE and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, shall conduct an assessment and survey of all poor, disadvantaged or displaced individuals who signify interest in undertaking work under the REAP.
The assessment shall take into consideration the inherent knowledge, skills, capacities and capabilities of potential qualified participants so as to properly determine the type and nature of projects that are most suited to them and their respective communities.
The DOLE shall likewise facilitate basic knowledge and skills orientation, including briefings on minimum public health standards and protocols in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, and capacity-building training and seminars as deemed necessary towards project development for qualified participants.
The local government units and program partners concerned may make available for use any tools and equipment necessary for project development to the qualified individuals.
These projects may include, but are not limited to the development, rebuilding or rehabilitation of damaged agri-based livelihood assets, common service facilities, and physical assets to open up access to areas necessary to transport rural products; protection of natural and productive assets through mitigation and disaster risk reduction measures; social community projects such as repair, maintenance or improvement of common public facilities and infrastructure; and remote or online work projects such as digitization of records and collation of inquiries submitted to government agencies.
At the height of the pandemic, Go had also been at the forefront urging the Executive branch to roll out various assistance programs to help cushion the socio-economic impacts of the ongoing global health crisis. These include the series of Social Amelioration Program and Supplemental Amelioration Program for the poorest of the poor, and the Small Wage Subsidy Program for displaced workers employed by micro, small and medium enterprises, among others.
The senator was also the main proponent of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program (BP2) which is a long-term plan of the government to decongest urban areas, boost countryside development, and improve the quality of life in all regions.
“Ako naman po ay hinihikayat ko po ang bagong administrasyon na ipagpatuloy po ‘yung Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa program po based on Executive Order po ito ni dating Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte,” said Go.
“Pagandahin pa natin lalo itong programang ito. Marami sa ating mahihirap ang nabigla nang dahil sa pandemya. Nawalan sila ng tirahan at trabaho. Kaya naman sa pamamagitan ng Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa program, bibigyan po sila ng pagkakataon, ‘yung sino lang po gustong bumalik ng probinsya. And of course, ma-decongest po natin ang Maynila,” he explained.
As Go enters the second half of his term as senator, he also vowed to continue pushing for more people-centered and service-oriented legislation, while ensuring non-stop public service delivery to those who need government attention the most.
“All my efforts are directed towards sustaining the gains that former President Duterte has achieved for the country during his term, while also supporting the programs and initiatives the new administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. have in store for every Filipino,” he reassured.