Working together to build more resilient farming communities

ILO, FAO and Save the Children and Stakeholders Conclude Activities in Four Municipalities in Western Leyte

A culminating event entitled “Working together to build more resilient farming communities” was conducted on 18 February 2015 in Ormoc City. The event was a gathering of partners and stakeholders to showcase results of the DFID-funded project’s assistance package, which supported the livelihoods of more than 3,500 individuals affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan.

The International Labour Organization (ILO), together with the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Save the Children Philippines, collaborating under a DFID-funded project, successfully convened a culminating event entitled “Working together to build more resilient farming communities”, on 18 February 2015 in Ormoc City. In attendance were the representatives of ILO, FAO, Save the Children, the Mayors of Ormoc City, Villaba and San Isidro, as well as numerous government agencies, farmer associations and other community-based organizations.

Display of products of ILO's food processing and handicraft production graduates.
The ILO distributed toolkits to graduates of its skills development courses, undertaken in partnership with TESDA Region VIII and Save the Children. An exhibition booth displayed the products of ILO’s food processing and handicraft production graduates whilst also showcasing products of the local government unit (LGUs), FAO and Save the Children livelihood package.

Ms Loreta Banario, Provincial Director of TESDA in Leyte and Mr Jonathan Price, ILO Project Chief Technical Advisor, hand over carpentry tool kits to beneficiaries of the vocational skills training programme.
Mayor Susan Y. Ang from San Isidro articulated the sentiments of the LGUs on the effects of Super Typhoon Haiyan which struck the area more than a year ago. The disaster brought severe damage to the people’s livelihoods but “they continued to hope that a rainbow would await them after the rain”. Mayor Ang said she would remember and continue to be thankful for the assistance extended to the municipality by the different humanitarian agencies, through the DFID-funded project, which brought an array of interventions to help small farmers and vulnerable sectors of the community pursue productive economic activities.

The ILO was represented by Mr Jonathan Price, Chief Technical Adviser (CTA) for the Emergency Employment and Livelihood Recovery for Typhoon Haiyan Response Project. He delivered the message of the Director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines, Mr Lawrence Jeff Johnson. Mr Price highlighted the fruitful collaboration of ILO, FAO and Save the Children, through ILO’s promotion of its Decent Work Agenda in disaster response. He said that to minimize the risk of the people becoming victims again, we must ensure not only that we build back better and develop resilient livelihoods, but also that the good work that has been started is continued – meaning that workers should continue to be paid at least the minimum wage and provided with social protection in accordance with the law in the Philippines.

To cement their agreement to this obligation and to cap the event, the Mayors of Ormoc City, San Isidro and Villaba signed a letter of commitment, witnessed by the representatives of ILO, FAO and Save the Children. The signatories committed to promote ILO’s Decent Work Agenda by supporting only businesses and enterprises that comply with national laws on worker’s social protection, adhere to occupational safety and health standards and provide personal protective equipment, and apply standard wage rates.

 Honourable Susan Y. Ang, Mayor of San Isidro, Honourable Edward C. Codilla, Mayor of Ormoc City and Honourable Jorge V. Veloso, Mayor of Villaba signed the letter of commitment to decent work, witnessed by Mr Jonathan Price, ILO Project CTA, Ms Alessia Anibaldi, FAO Emergency Operations Manager and Mr Thomas Howells, Field Manager in Ormoc, Leyte, Save the Children Philippines.