DOLE to assist workers in Zambo affected by ‘closed fishing season’ PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 18 September 2011 16:57

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), in coordination with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), initiated and convened a series of meetings with concerned stakeholders to assist workers in the sardines, fishing and canning industries who might be affected by the closed fishing season.

The meetings to discuss alternative employment programs were aligned in one of the provisions of our Voluntary Code of Good Practices for decent work in the Fishing and Canning Industries.

Last September 13, 2011, a consultation-meeting among the stakeholders was conducted at BFAR conference room to discuss the different alternative employment programs which were enrolled as interventions in the event the closed fishing season shall be observed. Present were heads and representatives of national government agencies such as BFAR, TESDA, DSWD, DTI, DOST, DA and DOLE, Department Heads of the City Government of Zamboanga, owners/managers and representatives of
the Industrial Group of Zamboanga Incorporated (IGZI) and Southern Philippines Fishing, Inc. (SOPHIL), and the local media.

DOLE-9 Regional Director Ponciano M. Ligutom said, “we are alarmed on the effects of this closed fishing season (spawning period) which will affect around 30 Thousand workers in the sardines, fishing and canning industries in Zamboanga Peninsula Region. We have to be ready of our doable interventions in the form of alternative employment programs under the Sustained Availability thru Genuine and Intensified Preservation of Tamban or SAGIP-Tamban project.” “Your active presence and pledges will probably address the concern in the industries in the event the closed fishing season shall be observed,” he added.

As an immediate response and follow through, the Technical Working Group (TWG) and major players convened this afternoon, September 16, 2011 to review and finalize the enrolled alternative employment programs and discuss the guidelines on the availment of enrolled programs, services, and commitments of different government agencies. The Stakeholders identified the shopping list or menu of services of agencies as a form of relevant assistance geared as an alternative employment in the form of skills trainings, livelihood, and emergency employment for would-be displaced workers.

Seven major players participated in the meeting. A total of 17.3M standing pledges were committed by government agencies with counterparts from the companies/industries.

The menu of services, convergence and partnership shall be jointly signed by the Stakeholders of the Voluntary Code of Good Practices for decent work in the sardines, fishing and canning sectors, labor organizations, local government units and national government agencies on October 18, 2011.