Use supplemental budget to give jobs to Yolanda victims, government told

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

THE chairperson of the House committee on labor and employment on Tuesday appealed to the Aquino government to allocate a portion of the proposed P14.6-billion supplemental budget to job generation and livelihood creation in areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

"A part of the budget for rehabilitation should go to job generation because we have to get the money flowing," the House panel chairperson, Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles, said in a media briefing.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) earlier said that at least five million workers were affected by the devastation brought by the typhoon.

"We have to jumpstart the economy, that's the preliminary and first task at hand," Nograles, son of former House Speaker Prospero Nograles, added.

Nograles said both the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) should get a slice of the supplemental budget pie.

The proposed supplemental budget pending before Congress will be sourced from the unused 2013 Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) of members of Congress following the Supreme Court's decision to declare as unconstitutional the pork barrel system.

Congress will authorize the Executive department to use the lump sum budget of P14.6 billion for areas affected by recent disasters and calamities, including Yolanda, the siege in Zamboanga, and the magnitude-7.2 earthquake in Bohol, among others.

Negros Occidental Representative Alfredo Benitez, chairperson of the House committee on housing and urban development, meanwhile said that the government should take drastic measures to ensure that the Yolanda destruction in Visayas will not happen again.

"There should be prepatory work to ensure that there will be zero casualties and damages to homes and infrastructure are minimized... It's something that we really should engage experts into," Benitez said.

Benitez said he hopes Leyte and Samar, both badly hit by Yolanda, will be able to recover from the destruction.

"Leyte and Samar can still be the best cities in the world because they can design it from scratch. That is probably something that people from Samar and Leyte can look forward to," he added. (Sunnex)

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