DOLE to offer jobs, livelihood to displaced Marawi workers

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 19) — The government is looking into emergency employment opportunities for the thousands of workers displaced by the Marawi crisis, Labor Undersecretary Bernard Olalia said Monday.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has the "Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating (employment aid for) Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers" (TUPAD) program, which Olalia says will assist workers get employment even without documents such as certificates or diplomas.

"Our Department offers so many types of jobs with respect to these Tupad programs… any form of employment would be offered to them," Olalia told CNN Philippines' The Source.

Among their options are clean and green jobs, such as street sweeping and cleaning drainage, as well as labor in the rehabilitation of Marawi.

"We have to get their skills first. We have to assess their qualifications and then get... a match between the skills and the jobs that would be given to them," Olalia added.

He also said that they would offer the displaced livelihood programs to help them get back on their feet.

"We can introduce them to some livelihood programs... which we will give to these families who are willing to do some entrepreneurial jobs so that they will have some source of income," said Olalia.

The crisis broke out on May 23 after government forces clashed with the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group in Marawi City. It had prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao and the fighting had since displaced over 200,000 residents.

Olalia added that although Marawi City did not fall under the DOLE mandate, because it is in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, the office was  "still willing to extend assistance and interventions to the displaced workers and residents of Marawi."

"We're willing to train these displaced workers from Marawi so that their employability will be enhanced," Olalia added.

According to Olalia, displaced workers who moved to Iligan City or other areas in northern Mindanao were under the jurisdiction of DOLE Region 10 Director Joffrey Suyao.

He also noted that employers in the region were open to hiring the displaced, and it would not negatively impact locals also searching for jobs in the area.

"There are so many employers in Region 10 that are willing to extend also their help to our displaced workers," said Olalia.

However, Olalia said they were also expecting many of the displaced to return to Marawi because their primary source of livelihood was farming.

"The sector in Marawi is predominantly agricultural in nature so some of these workers would have to go back… they cannot leave their farmlands in Marawi," said Olalia.

Should they wish to migrate to the neighboring provinces, however, DOLE is willing to lend a hand.

"If these Marawi employees decide permanently to live outside of Marawi and live in Region 10, then the Department is willing to assist them in securing employment," Olalia said.