Dole bares P6-million aid for fire victims, caddies

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Thursday, May 1, 2014


CEBU CITY -- Labor Day took a meaning for the families who lost their homes in the March 18 fire in Barangay Lorega, Cebu City and to the caddies who lost their jobs.

The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) Central Visayas appropriated P5 million for the 1,300 fire victims of Lorega, to be equally shared.

Another P1.120 million grant from Dole 7 will be given to the 100 caddies who lost their jobs at the Cebu Country Club.

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Dole 7 Assistant Director Lilia Estillore said the department’s grant for the Lorega fire victims will be coursed through their organizations. The amount will be used for livelihood initiatives like food processing or mini stores.

The fire victims can also avail themselves of the emergency employment program of Dole 7 wherein they work for the agency and get paid. This was already implemented in the clearing of the affected area.

“They cleared the fire scene within 10 to 15 days and we paid them and equipped them with the corresponding personnel protective gear so that they would be safe while doing their job,” Estillore said during the Labor Day celebration at SM City Cebu.

The highlight of the celebration in Central Visayas was simultaneously holding five job fairs at SM City Cebu, SM Consolacion, Cebu Provincial Capitol, Cebu City Sports Complex (CCSC) and Robinsons Place in Dumaguete City.

“There are 17,500 (job) vacancies from 165 participating companies,” Estillore said.

At the jobs fair in CCSC, which is organized by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) 7, at least four people were hired on the spot. POEA 7 Director Evelyn Durato told reporters that the four successful applicants were among the 600 job seekers in the Labor Day jobs fair.
Durato said 27 licensed recruitment agencies are looking to fill thousands of job orders abroad.

Registered nurse Annette Chiong was among the hundreds of applicants trying to get a job abroad. She said she braved the heat and the long queues just to find job openings from other countries because she wants to help her family.

Most of the job vacancies at the CCSC fair are in the Middle East like Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). During the formal opening of the jobs fair, Durato said, “Dili unta nga mang-apply sila og trabaho nga wala silay kamahoan (Applicants should not apply for a job they are not capable of performing).”

Durato said future job applicants should widen their skills and that those who failed to get jobs yesterday should not be discouraged. “If you are not lucky today, then don’t despair. There will always be openings in the future,” Durato said.

It wasn’t all about celebrating Labor Day with employment opportunities as thousands of dissatisfied employees converged at Colon Street for a demonstration demanding a wage increase of P125.

The Associated Labor Union (ALU), with about 3,500 rallyists, marched from Plaza Independencia to Colon. Another group, which had about 100 participants from Bayan Central Visayas, Anak Pawis party-list, and ACT (Asian College of Technology) and UP (University of the Philippines) Academic Employees Union Chapter, marched to Colon Street from Fuente Osmeña.

City Intelligence Branch (CIB) Chief Romeo Santander said about a hundred policemen were deployed along the demonstration route. The Civil Disturbance Management unit was on standby, but Santander said the rallyists were not aggressive.

Also yesterday, a commemorative program on industrial peace was hosted by the Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC) chaired by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

Among those who attended were Rama, Talisay City Mayor Johnny V. delos Reyes, Mandaue City Vice Mayor Glenn Bercede and Lapu-Lapu City Councilor Ed Cuizon.

They took their oaths of office before Estillore at SM City Cinema 7.

In her speech during the commemorative program, Estillore said Dole 7 entered into a memorandum of agreement with Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) requiring all concessionaires and locators inside the airport to be compliant with labor laws especially on health and safety. “So, no business operators can be allowed inside the airport if they don’t comply,” Estillore added. (EOB/JKV with JTR)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 02, 2014.

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