Balancing a Flourishing Economy and the People

Home to indigenous tribe Pala’wan, the municipality of Brooke’s Point is one of the emerging municipalities in the south. With its rapid development, the local government preserves the environment through a mining moratorium. The local citizens are one of the staunch advocates of environmental protection.

The municipality’s economy is primarily based on agriculture, particularly rice and coconut production. For the past two years, the agriculture industry continues to grow. This eventually resulted to the creation of large number of job opportunities related to agriculture.

Among the projects of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) in the province, this town invests into agro-industry with their vast and developed agricultural lands. Due to the fast-paced development of this town, there are factors such as income, skills, employment, and social insurance which are not equally proportionate to their booming economy.

Addressing the needs

To address this concern, a partnership between different government agencies – DSWD-SLP, MLGU and a private company called WILSERV had inked an agreement to execute a project that will be a great help to the people of Brooke’s Point: a micro-enterprise that focuses on manpower services. The enterprise hopes to capacitate the participants through the assistance of partners and service providers.

Partner Agency

WILSERV (Worldwide Service Provider Multi-Purpose Cooperative), operates and advocates the values of self-help, self-responsibility, equality, equity and solidarity as their core values. It extends its services to big companies and small property owners all over the Philippines since December 8, 2010.

With its mission to its clients, the MLGU and DSWD-SLP see WILSERV as a potential partner for this project. Also, WILSERV is the sole manpower agency of Cardinal Agri-Products Inc. (CAPI), an agribusiness enterprise in the Philippines that aims to uplift the agricultural communities in the country.

With the SLP Guidelines on Employment Facilitation Track, MAT-Brooke’s Point set a dialogue with WILSERV to discuss the terms and proposal of both parties. The output from the said meeting was presented during the Municipal Inter-Agency Committee meeting for critiquing and deliberation of its members. This yielded into a positive result in which all parties involved agreed to enter into an agreement with the company. A tripartite agreement that defines and formalizes the responsibilities of the parties involved was drafted in.

Fulfilling the tasks

Barangay Captains, Barangay Health Workers, Child Development Workers, Parent and IP Leaders in the municipality were called to disclose the results of the efforts of partner agencies to clinch an agreement with WILSERV. The project received positive response among different sectors and even the Philippine Marine Corps in Brooke’s Point declared their pledge of support to the said initiative.

The screening and referrals of applicants will be facilitated by DSWD-SLP and WILSERV. Those who will qualify the screening will undergo various skills training such as nuts deshelling, nuts pairing and nuts harvesting. These skills are essential in the operation of CAPI farm in Brooke’s Point.

Aside from the skills training, a Pre-Employment Assistance Fund (PEAF) will be given to those who will complete the training. This will be a great help for the applicants to be able to comply the necessary documents that they will need for their pre-employment requirements.

A total of 393 trainees or program participants are identified to be provided with guaranteed employment upon the completion of the implementation.

Turning the weakness into strengths

The factors that need to be strengthened in the municipality of Brooke’s Point are now being realized. The beneficiaries already enjoy the benefits of employment, income, and insurance.

Skills training

DSWD-SLP will shoulder the funding for capacity building activities while the technical skills training will be provided by WILSERV. Each aspiring qualified applicant needs to complete the following for each skills training:

80 hours           –             Nuts Pairing

56 hours           –             Nuts Deshelling

160 hours        –             Nuts Harvesting

Upon completion of trainings, the applicants are subject for assessment.

Employment

307 of 393 participants targeted for this program are already employed for regular positions. Just like other company rules and regulations, their employment is still subject for termination if found violating policies provided by the company. Upon retirement, the employee can recommend the vacant position to the person of their choice.

Income

As regular employees, they will receive a daily salary of PHP 290.00/day for those who will be assigned in the production area while those who will be working overtime and night-shift will receive PHP 355.00/day. Unlike the normal employer-employee status, those who were hired under this program are treated as co-owner of the cooperative. An amount of PHP 250.00 will be deducted from their monthly salary and will be placed on their capital share until they complete the PHP 5,000.00 of their individual shares. This will enable them to receive dividends from the cooperative, from 20% up to 30% of the total shared capital. Upon their resignation they will receive their shared capital from the cooperative as their back pay.

Social Insurance

At this modern times, one has to secure insurance to protect the individual in case an emergency happens. The beneficiaries under this program will receive benefits such as Social Security System (SSS), PAG-IBIG, PhilHealth, hospitalization insurance, incentive leaves, emergency loan, and a life plan. With regards to their hospitalization insurance, WILSERV gives a self-insurance of up to PHP 2,500.00 per year for outpatient consultations including medicines and an amount of up to PHP 20,000.00 per year. For inpatient, their insurance can amount up to PHP 100,000.00 under the company Insular Life.

Shares and dividends

Upon employment, program participants automatically become a member of WILSERV Multi-Purpose Cooperative. Members are required a maximum capital share of PHP 5,000.00 to be deducted from their salaries within 2 years. Members are also entitled to receive dividends equivalent to 20 up to 30% of the total shared capital.

The intervention of LGUs and DSWD-SLP had provided a great impact among the people under this project, particularly members from the Indigenous People.

Contributor:

DSWD-SLP Palawan

This post was written by:

- who has written 54 posts on DSWD Field Office IV Mimaropa Official Website.


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