The wrath of typhoon Pablo (international codename: Bopha) in December 4, 2012 has left a beaten and floored economies in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces.

While devastation was wide and large-scale, government agencies including the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Davao region led in the rehabilitation effort to help the devastated provinces rise again.

The DOLE’s Sectoral Approach in the Generation of Income Project (SAGIP) Program, a brainchild of DOLE Davao Region, has provided incomes and spurred local economic development through job generation and income pump-priming.

“The SAGIP program was our immediate response to help the local economies moving despite the wide devastation,” said Regional Director Joffrey M. Suyao.

The program has two arms: the SAGIP Manggagawa and SAGIP Mag-aaral.

It has identified the vulnerable sectors of students; vendors especially those belonging to the informal sector and those self-employed; and the agriculture and fisherfolk sectors.

Emergency Employment
“The aftermath of the typhoon has left many farmers and residents with no opportunity to eke out a living anywhere in their place and the emergency employment program was a way to fuel the local economy,” Suyao said.

The SAGIP Manggagawa thru Emergency Employment spent P8,942,942 in wages for the 2,816 beneficiaries who earned a P226.00 per day (equivalent to 75% of the existing Minimum Wage Rate in Davao Region) of clearing operations within a 12 to 15-day period.

Of the number of beneficiaries, 1,865 who accessed a total of P5,872,837. They were from the mostly devastated areas including the towns of New Bataan, Monkayo, Laak, Compostela and Montevista in Compostela Valley Province, 951 beneficiaries allotted with P3,070,105.00 were from the towns of Baganga, Cateel Boston and Caraga in Davao Oriental.

The program included clean up drive, de-clogging of canals and sewerages, and minor repair of small infrastructures.

“It was really a big boost for our devastated populace. Our economy was down and our spirits were broken but the opportunity provided by DOLE was one of the boosts we needed,” said Ben Lavisurez, a PESO staff in Baganga town said.

Support to Labor Unions
Apart from the individual beneficiaries, the Program also extended help to members of six Labor Unions by providing a total of P1,490,315 to jumpstart livelihood projects.

The Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farms of Upper Siocon in Compostela town was provided with goods and equipment for their Rice Trading and Meat Processing Project. The project which benefitted the 77 union members, amounted P250,000.

While two Consumer (Sari-Sari) Stores worth P250,000 each were erected for the members of Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa San Jose and Freshmax Workers Union in Compostela town benefitting a total of 140 members, Callawan Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative of New Bataan town received a total of P420,315 for their Garments Making and Textile Printing project.

The displaced workers of Packing Plant 92 Workers Union and Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa OS San Miguel availed themselves of P250,000 assistance to start a consumer store for the respective associations.

SAGIP Convergence
In partnership with the Department of Agriculture, the SAGIP program was able to help the small scale banana farmers in the region.

Compostela Valley is known as the booming banana Industry.

The SAGIP (this time dubbed as Support to Agri-Workers for Generation of Income Project) targeted small banana holders or those with farms with maximum of five hectares.

About 36,775 hectares of banana plantation were affected by typhoon Pablo. The affected area represents about 46 percent of at least 80,000 hectares total production area for Cavendish bananas in Mindanao.

DOLE has provided the 3,834 farmer-beneficiaries P226 per day for 12 days of disilting activities in their respective banana farms.

“Disilting, the process of digging the silts from canal brought by intense rain and flooding, is critical in maintaining the good aeration (air flow) and water control in banana farms,” said Melani Provido of DA 11.

The agency also partnered with the International Labor Organization (ILO) to benefit 425 individuals in Baganga town in Davao Oriental spending a total of P1,976,344 for clearing operations.

Saving the Youth
SAGIP Mag-aaral (Student Assistance thru Government Internship Program) has also benefitted 1,031 students in the identified areas.

DOLE has spent a total of P2,412,869.75 by providing the participating students with an allowance of P226.00 a day of work.

“The students were assigned in the packing and re-packing of thousands of relief goods and profiling of about 52,000 typhoon victims,” Suyao said.

SAGIP was delivered through the existing DOLE Programs: Workers Income Augmentation Program(WInAP), DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) and Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers thru DOLE Adjustment Measures Program (TUPAD DOLE AMP).