Emergency employment and COVID-19

ILO, Japan, MOLE provide emergency employment amid COVID-19 in BARMM

The Bangsamoro government, ILO and the Government of Japan will provide emergency employment to workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

News | Cotabato City, Philippines | 06 October 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the world of work. Among those significantly affected are workers in the informal economy and enterprises. The economic shutdown has led to an increase in unemployment at 7.3 million in April 2020. The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) recorded the highest unemployment rate at almost 30 per cent.

MOLE, ILO and Japan partner to cushion the impact of COVID-19 to informal sector workers.
In response, the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE) in BARMM inked a Php 11.9 million partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) for the implementation of the Community Emergency Employment Programme (CEEP).

With funding from the Government of Japan, the project aims to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The signing was held on 6 October 2020 in Cotabato City.

Workers under the project are guaranteed minimum wage set by MOLE and social protection benefits. Almost 1,750 workers from the informal economy in Cotabato City, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and 63 barangays in North Cotabato will benefit.

Bangsamoro Labour Minister Romeo Sema said the joint initiative is meant to cushion the impact of the pandemic to informal sector workers.

“We are grateful, so thankful for ILO’s support for our displaced informal sector workers so affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The BARMM government will help address this problem with the help of the ILO.” Sema said.

Workers under the project are guaranteed minimum wage set by MOLE and social protection benefits. figcaption>
Bangsamoro Labour Minister Sema said the CEEP shall complement the efforts of BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim to ease the plight of the local labour sector now suffering from the effects of the government’s COVID-19 containment regulations.

The ILO will further support by providing necessary tools, personal protective equipment, and other Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) provisions to ensure the efficient and safe work of beneficiaries.

Moreover, around 70 handwashing facilities will be installed in the sites and workers will be taught proper handwashing and how to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace and at home. MOLE will cover administrative cost in implementing the project.

Aside from the CEEP, MOLE also works closely with the ILO as chair the Project Advisory and Review Committee (PARC) of the ILO-Japan Water and Sanitation Project in the region, which targets to improve access to safe water and provide employment with social protection. The Project will very soon complete its first water system construction in South Upi.

A turnover ceremony is being planned to mark this significant event. Implementation of four water projects in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur are also ongoing. The ILO partnered with the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) and A Single Drop for Safe Water (ASDSW) to ensure the quality and timely construction of these water systems.

This Project has become more relevant as it tackles essential elements during this COVID-19 pandemic – employment promotion and safe water.

For further information please contact:

Ms Ma Jennylyn Aguinaldo
ILO-Japan WatSan Project