Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Philippine president hikes emergency employment budget to P1-billion


MANILA (PNA)-- The administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has assured the availability of jobs and employment opportunities for poor and underprivileged Filipinos in the face of the global economic slowdown with the allotment of an additional P1 billion to finance its emergency employment program this year.

Secretary Domingo F. Panganiban of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) said President Arroyo has instructed all members of her cabinet to fast-track the implementation of government programs designed to strengthen the country’s economic competitiveness and ensure new jobs and employment opportunities for workers affected by the global financial meltdown.

“The President is closely monitoring the progress of the Comprehensive Livelihood Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) and she has instructed all agencies to utilize all available funding for the program. We are confident that the country will emerge stronger from the challenges we now confront,” he said.

He said the additional P1-billion investment for the Arroyo government’s emergency jobs program will be sourced from the 2009 appropriations of agencies such as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the 2008 savings of various national agencies, and counterpart funding from local government units.

The jobs created under the CLEEP include infrastructure maintenance, rehabilitation of hospital facilities, micro-enterprise development as well as job opportunities in environmental protection.

The NAPC chief said this latest infusion of cash into the CLEEP raises the government’s current and actual investments into the program from P9 billion to nearly P10 billion.

“Some 64,000 Filipino workers and 580 households have already found new jobs and income opportunities through the President’s Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) as of February 25 this year,” Panganiban said.

Panganiban made the announcement at the conclusion of a NAPC-initiated high-level technical meeting on the CLEEP held in Quezon City recently.

“The purpose of the meeting was to ensure public accountability and transparency in the implementation and planning of the program,” (PR/PNA)V3/eda

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