MANILA — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday signed an agreement to recruit more workers for the government’s forestation and coastal projects.
The agencies are still calculating how many workers may be hired, but they will be placed under the DOLE’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program, said Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga.
“While it is not a permanent livelihood opportunity, it provides a holdover livelihood period over those who are seeking support,” she said in a press conference on the sidelines of the DENR’s first Multistakeholder Forum.
“Hindi lang po ito (This is not just) land-based. There are also coastal areas in need of support… It is a strategic way of looking at how environment and economics might actually intersect,” she said.
Among the jobs that are expected to be offered under the said deal are “planting and forestation”, as well as “monitoring and upkeep” of areas that will be identified by the DENR, Yulo-Loyzaga said.
The environmental labor agreement was created as part of the DENR’s commitment to “creating partnerships and accelerating cooperation and collaboration for the country’s resilience,” the agency said in a statement.
The DENR said it is also working to create a “Resiliency Framework for Environment and Natural Resources” that will “serve as the foundation for a science-based, data-driven and socially, politically and culturally-sensitive environment and natural resource policies.”
The agency hopes to “apply a climate risk lens to the work of DENR,” Yulo-Loyzaga said.
This means that “climate and risk assessments will be part of the process when we evaluate projects moving forward,” she said, noting that the Philippines is among the world’s most disaster-prone countries.
The DENR is also pushing for the creation of the Philippines’ natural resources geospatial database, the Environment Secretary said.
“It will be the foundation of the national capital accounting system — a new way of valuing our ecosystem as assets,” Yulo-Loyzaga said.