ILO’s P7.375M livelihood project to benefit four Leyte towns

By Perla G. Lena

TACLOBAN CITY, Aug 24 (PNA) — Some 700 workers from four towns of Leyte are slated to benefit from the sustainable livelihoods though contour farming supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO) through a P7.375 million fund from the government of Japan.

The initiative is part of the efforts undertaken by the international organization in “stepping up its efforts to provide sustainable livelihoods to affected workers, including coconut farm workers,” ILO said in a statement.

On Friday, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was inked between the ILO, provincial government of Leyte and the Leyte Union of Producers of Agri-Products (LUPA) for the implementation of the Sloping Agriculture Land Technology (SALT).

The provincial government will lead the implementation of the project in towns of Palo, Sta. Fe, Burauen and Leyte in close coordination with the LUPA and concerned local government units (LGUs).

High value short-term crops will be utilized to provide the workers with immediate income.

An integrated farming-cum-entrepreneurship development skills training will also be provided to workers as well as assist them to have linkage with producers, consumers and traders in making sure that they will generate high income for their produce.

“In line with national labour policy, the workers will receive minimum wages and social protection that include one year accident insurance, social security benefits and health insurance as well as personal protective equipment,” according to Fred Rodriguez, ILO Project Coordinator in Tacloban.

Rodriguez added that the project help workers build resilience to climatic shocks and develop better coping mechanisms even as some of them already availed of ILO’s emergency employment programme implemented right after Yolanda.

“We are glad to work with the provincial government of Leyte, LGUs and LUPA in providing sustainable livelihoods to the typhoon-affected workers as well as improving food security through contour farming intervention. There is a possibility of scaling up this intervention to other municipalities in the future,” said Rodriguez.

To recall some 3,791 workers in the province received assistance from the ILO during the emergency employment phase where they were tapped to undertake the clearing of areas with destroyed coconut trees. (PNA)