ILO director general visits Philippines

By Niña Corpuz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 16 2012 08:35 PM | Updated as of Dec 17 2012 04:36 AM

MANILA, Philippines – International Labor Organization (ILO) director general Guy Ryder arrived in the Philippines on Sunday for a two-day visit.

This is the first time in 17 years that the highest official of the ILO has visited the country.

Ryder expressed his sympathies to the victims of typhoon Pablo and said losing loved ones, their homes, as well as their means of livelihood is unimaginable tragedy.

According to the ILO, an estimated 2.3 million workers have been directly affected as of December 14. These are mostly women; youth aged 15-24; and vulnerable or unpaid family workers with limited income and social security.

The ILO also reported that majority of affected workers were in the Davao region, where the impact has taken toll on the livelihoods of 767,000 agricultural and fishery workers.

The ILO has set aside initial funding of US$50 million (P2 million) to jump-start a livelihood program in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Labor and Employment.

The program allows survivors be part of the cash-for-work and emergency employment by clearing and cleaning tons of mud.

This was also done to the victims of typhoon Sendong, who were encouraged to be involved in skills training and hands-on site mentoring in construction.

Survivors also received starter kits such as hammers and saws with safety gears.

With the transfer of skills, they are now earning more and rebuilding their communities which the ILO hopes to happen with the victims of typhoon Pablo.