City pursues livelihood initiatives for IDPs PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 September 2014 14:41

The Livelihood Cluster under the Rehabilitation Coordination Structure continues to provide livelihood opportunities for internally displaced persons (IDPs), rolling out different employment support, ranging from emergency employment responses to skills inventory and livelihood referrals.

At the onset of the emergency response following the siege, livelihood initiatives focused primarily on immediate employment initiatives in the form of Food for Work, Cash for Work, and Emergency Employment programs.

A total of 20,018 families benefited from the four batches of Food for Work program which ran from November 2013 to August 2014. Under the Emergency Employment program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), City Social Welfare and Development Office – Public Employment Service Office (CSWDO PESO), and the International Labor Organization (ILO), 222 IDPs were employed for various work.

The latest batch for the Emergency Employment program currently has under its employ 45 IDPs working for the construction of houses-on-stilts in Buggoc, and will run from September to November 2014.

Lulung Francisco, PESO in charge said, aside from emergency employment, the Livelihood Cluster also rolled out skill-based livelihood programs which provided relevant training and start-up support to IDPs. From January to September, starter kits on dressmaking, plumbing, carpentry, food processing, and beauty care were provided to approximately 103 IDPs.

In addition, a total of 9.7 million was released by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the CSWDO as capital assistance for 970 IDP families under the Sustainable Livelihood Project for IDPs. On its second run, a total of Php 6.45 million for capital assistance is set to be provided to 645 IDP families from October to November 2014, according to Francisco.

Capacity building programs were also initiated to orient and build up skills of IDPs in basic business management and specific skill-sets for plumbing, carpentry and masonry, food processing, and beauty care. Job fairs, screenings and referrals were likewise facilitated to connect and match IDPs to employers and other livelihood opportunities.

For overseas employment opportunities, a special Overseas Employment Project for IDPs was spearheaded under the supervision of DOLE and PESO, in coordination with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Philippine Overseas Employment Authority (POEA).

In the meantime, Francisco said, the Livelihood Cluster is overseeing the implementation of ongoing initiatives, which include training for IDPs on animal dispersal, and agriculture-based livelihood opportunities. A total of 59 Bajau women from the Mampang transitory site are also currently undergoing a two-month training on mat weaving, which will run from September 18 to November 18 and onward.

More livelihood initiatives are expected to be made available in the coming months prior to yearend. From September 23-26, 180 IDP families from the Tulugantung TS, Mampang TS and Grandstand will undergo a livelihood sustainability workshop and psychosocial support to be spearheaded by CSWDO, the Community and Family Services International (CFSI), DSWD, and DOLE. Starter kits for various skills will also be provided to 79 families from October to December 2014.

Two more livelihood are also currently in the pipeline, and these include the proposed Livelihood Summit, an integrated livelihood program plan anchored on the Z3R plan, slated for October, and the various entrepreneurship projects for informal sectors.

Organized as early as September last year as one of the working groups under the Rehabilitation Coordination Structure to address the humanitarian crisis brought about by the siege, the Livelihood Cluster is tasked to respond to both short and long-term livelihood needs of IDPs. It is composed of various organizations and agencies from the local and national governments, humanitarian organizations, and civic groups, Francisco added. — Jasmine Mohammadsali