ILO: 800,000 workers affected by 'Ruby'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 10 2014 01:19 PM | Updated as of Dec 10 2014 09:19 PM

MANILA – An estimated 800,000 workers have been affected by Typhoon Ruby, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).

ILO said the affected workers, nearly half of whom were in vulnerable employment, living in poverty and accepting whatever work is available, came from Eastern, Central and Western Visayas, Caraga, Bicol, Calabarzon, Mimaropa and Metro Manila.

Eastern Visayas took the biggest hit with over 350,000 workers or about 20 percent of the total employed in the region affected by the typhoon. Of these, more than half were in vulnerable forms of employment.

The ILO is working closely with government, employers’ and workers’ organizations and the Humanitarian Country Team to ensure that decent work and livelihood is prioritized.

“We’re not only putting much-needed cash into these areas, but also helping affected workers to develop new skills, to earn a decent wage and access better working conditions including social protection coverage. These are not just labor rights but also basic human rights, which we need to take into account in times of crisis and disaster,” said Lawrence Jeff Johnson, director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines.

The ILO has also implemented an emergency employment program to provide workers the chance to earn an income for their family and to receive much needed goods and services.

“This injection of cash into the local economy and the purchase of local goods and services create a multiplier effect to help build back better and faster after the disaster,” said Johnson.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), meanwhile, has also allocated funds for emergency employment.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz has deployed a quick response team to immediately help displaced workers.

Typhoon Ruby first made landfall in Eastern Samar Saturday night, and crawled across the central Philippines before heading out to sea Tuesday night.

It was later downgraded to a tropical depression as it moved away from the country.