Decent service jobs 'priority' in Yolanda areas
MANILA, Philippines – As reconstruction efforts gather pace in communities badly hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), providing decent jobs in the service industry is a priority, said the International Labor Organization (ILO).
According to ILO's Simon Hills, decent and sustainable work will speed up the recovery process because of the so-called multiplier effect: one wage earner will support a family of five who, in turn, will spend for basic good and services in a community.
"The money that goes to this family through this one job will then circulate," said Hills, ILO Disaster Response and Livelihoods Development officer.
Imagine then if jobs can be provided for 100,000 men and women in Yolanda-hit areas. Hills said, "[it] can change the lives of 500,000 people within 12 months and beyond."
Based on ILO's initial assessment, 5.6 million workers – half of whom were in the service industry – lost their livelihood, temporarily or permanently, because of Yolanda. Of the number, 2.4 million were vulnerably employed even before the typhoon happened.
Yolanda struck central Philippines on November 8, killing at least 5,000 people and rendering more than 4 million homeless.
The livelihood of about 10 million others, many of whom are poor, were destroyed.
In the first few days after the typhoon hit, the government, with the support of ILO, set up an emergency employment program in two of the worst-hit provinces – Leyte and Samar. Around 17,000 people have so far enrolled in the program working on clearing roads, repairing schools and cleaning hospitals.
The program is about to start in Northern Cebu, Negros Occidental and Coron in Palawan, noted ILO.
The program helps provide immediate support to families, but it is only for the short term.
Hills said: "We also need to provide people with opportunities to develop skills that will enable them to have more stable and reliable sources of income and social protection, inclusive of health insurance."
The government is about to implement a massive rehabilitation plan for Yolanda areas that will cost at least P40 billion.
Malacañang is appointing former senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson to oversee the plan, which Lacson hopes to accomplish by the end of President Benigno Aquino III's term in June 2016. (READ: Lacson: Yolanda rehab until June 2016)
The pace of rehabilitation efforts is crucial in preventing more people from falling into poverty. (READ: How Yolanda cancelled progress on poverty reduction) – Rappler.com