In the Bangsamoro region, the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE), since the onset of the pandemic last year, has been active in implementing various programs that help crisis-affected private and public labor groups.
Speaking a day before the Labor Day Celebration, MOLE Minister Romeo Sema said workers’ welfare has always been on the top priorities of the Bangsamoro Government.
“Mahalaga sila sa ating ekonomiya dahil kung wala ang ating mga workers, ang ating labor sector, ay malamang na babagsak ang gobyerno natin,” said Sema in an interview Friday.
In 2020, he said MOLE was able to provide Php5,000.00 each to 12,037 workers through its Covid-19 Assistance Program (CAP).
“Ito ay pinondohan ng ating butihing Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim ng nasa Php60- million,” Sema said.
CAP is MOLE’s financial assistance program for workers in the formal sectors affected by the pandemic.
For the informal sector, Sema said MOLE partnered with the International Labour Organization and the Government of Japan for the implementation of the Community Emergency Employment Program (CEEP).
With a budget of Php11.9 million, CEEP aimed to provide emergency employment with social protection to 1,750 workers from Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, cities of Cotabato and Marawi, and 63 barangays of North Cotabato. Workers under this program were employed for 15 days with a minimum wage approved by the Bangsamoro Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board.
Furthermore, the ministry has also released certificates of registration to 536 Rural Workers Association. Of the number, 76 has so far received Php25,000.00 financial assistance.
For the overseas Bangsamoro workers, Sema said there is also a reintegration program for those who have already completed their employers’ contracts and have no plans of going back. Under the Hanapbuhay for Bangsamoro Balik Manggagawa, Php20,000.00 livelihood assistance was each given to 2,450 qualified beneficiaries across the region. Repatriated workers, on the other hand, received Php10,000.00 assistance.
Meanwhile, 1,500 students also benefitted from the ministry’s Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES). The students were given a stipend worth 40% of the minimum wage.
Furthermore, MOLE also deployed 1,500 students to the different offices of the Bangsamoro Government for its Government Internship Program (GIP). The students received stipend worth 75% of the minimum wage.
In closing, Minister Sema assured that for this year the Bangsamoro Government, through the MOLE, prepared various programs which will generate jobs that will greatly help the livelihood of the Bangsamoro people.
He said it is the ministry’s mandate to promote and protect workers and employment opportunities in the BARMM.
“Malaki ang ginagampanan ng labor sector sa paglago o pag-unlad ng ekonomiya dito sa Bangsamoro […] Sa ating mga workers, kayo ay ang aming mga partner,” Sema said. (Bangsamoro Information Office)