Jobs set for displaced tourism workers of Samal

Workers heavily relying on tourism industry severely affected by the pandemic were given opportunities by the labor department to engage in alternative jobs and income-generating undertakings.

The DOLE Davao regional office adopted the CARESS program or Caring for Retrenched Employees in Service Sector to benefit displaced tourism industry workers such as ‘habal-habal’ drivers and resort employees in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS), In her report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Regional Director Ofelia Domingo said the program is DOLE’s way of helping workers in the tourism industry recover from job loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing them training on sustainable income-generating business or craft, such as floriculture.

Officer-In-Charge Leo Ariel Pepino of the DOLE Satellite Office in the island said the project brings many opportunities to the retrenched employees of IGaCoS.

“This will provide training and starter kits for those who want to be floriculturists, plumbers, carpenters, welders, hollow block makers, and many more,” Pepino said.

Domingo said the project will contribute to the livelihood sustainability of the beneficiaries and help boost the economy of the city of Samal.

“We envision CARESS to empower the locals in transforming Samal island as the flower capital of the Davao Region, or even of Mindanao,” Domingo said, adding that the “Island Garden City of Samal should have a garden as part of its tourist attraction.”

An initial funding of P1.5 million has been released to the local government of IGACOS to kick-start the project.

Domingo and Mayor Al David Uy had signed an agreement allowing DOLE XI to use a 1,000 square meter land in the city for the establishment of the Workers Development Training Center.

The center will serve as a showroom for all the products and crafts of local workers, a plant nursery, and an area for the permanent DOLE XI IGACOS Satellite Office to closely monitor the project’s implementation.

“We are grateful to the local government of IGACOS for their cooperation and generosity. We look forward to more fruitful project collaborations with them,” Domingo said.