Iloilo City. With the pronouncement of President Rodrigo R. Duterte for a six-month closure of Boracay over concerns that the island’s famous beaches and clear blue waters have been transformed into a “cesspool” due to sustained environmental damage, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) immediately came up with package of interventions to help mitigate the impact of the closure to the displaced workers as well as to contribute in the rehabilitation of the Island.
DOLE 6 implemented the Tulong Panghanapbuhay Para sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) or the Emergency Employment Program, Boracay Emergency Employment Program Adjustment Measures Program (BEEP AMP), Government Internship Program, Livelihood Programs under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP Kabuhayan) and conducted several job fairs to cushion the impact of the closure to both formal and informal workers.
In addition, the Office immediately sent a quick response team to the Island to conduct the profiling of informal sector (IS), including the aetas, and formal sector (FS) workers which served as basis in the provision of assistance to these workers.
A month after the opening of the resort island, DOLE 6 conducted an assessment of the status of the implementation of its programs and services in Boracay.
As of January 31, 2019, the DOLE has disbursed a total of Php507,096,751.55, benefiting directly thousands of beneficiaries under the various programs the Department has implemented due to the closure of the resort island.
Under TUPAD, DOLE 6 has disbursed a total of Php50,962,633.69 for the salaries of 5,005 beneficiaries. These beneficiaries were the informal sector (IS) workers and indigenous people (IP) who were affected by the closure of the resort island. They were assigned in various areas of Brgys. Manoc-Manoc, Balabag and Yapak to assist in the government’s rehabilitation efforts.
These TUPAD beneficiaries received a minimum wage of Php323.50 per day for 30 days.
DOLE also disbursed Php3,000,000.00 for 527 DILEEP Kabuhayan beneficiaries. Of the number, 399 are members of the Malay Sailing Boat Owners Incorporated, 68 beneficiaries from Boracay Women Producers Cooperative and 60 from Caticlan Multi-Purpose Cooperative.
In addition, to fast-track the profiling and encoding of affected informal and formal sector workers, 200 interns under the Government Internship Program (GIP) were given to Boracay. The Office has hired 166 government interns. Of this number, 34 interns were assigned in the various Field Offices and Divisions of DOLE 6 to assist in the implementation of the BEEP AMP. A total of Php5,488,040.00 was disbursed to pay the salaries of this 166 interns.
DOLE also launched the BEEP AMP, a program that offered a comprehensive package of assistance for formal sector workers affected by the temporary closure of the resort island. It aimed to enhance the employability and competitiveness of workers, as well as mitigate the adverse economic impact of the island’s rehabilitation.
Under the program, displaced, suspended and retained workers were provided financial assistance of 50% of the prevailing minimum wage in Region 6 or Php4,205.50 per month.
As of January 31, 2019, Director Ticao said that the Office has received a total of 28,304 applications under the BEEP AMP. Of the number, 19,279 applicants were already paid. Ticao also said that DOLE has disbursed a total of Php447,401,140.36 for the payment of the beneficiaries’ financial support.
Ticao also confirmed that those applications received after the cut-off period were not processed.
In view of the increase of the volume of applicants, nearly double than the data of LGU Malay, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III issued Department Advisory No. 3, Series of 2018 dated October 10, 2018, announcing that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will no longer process new BEEP Adjustment Measures Program (AMP) applications of workers whose names are not included in the database of profiled affected formal sector database. Bello also emphasized that because the number of BEEP AMP applications received by the Department exceeded the fund allocation for the program, priority shall be given to those who were profiled and verified.
“DOLE is committed to support the sustainable development of Boracay,” said Ticao. Both employers and employees as well as our intermediaries can expect the Department’s full support to the various endeavors in the Island to improve its economic and environmental status.