Govt to draft plans for assisting the unemployed

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañanag has ordered Cabinet officials to draw up plans to assist the thousands of Filipino workers expected to lose their jobs due to the worldwide downturn, including finding new opportunities overseas and using state funds to create livelihood programs.

A hurdle, however, is that authorities are in the dark as to how many workers will be affected.

Labor Secretary Marianito D. Roque wants troubled firms to come forward and notify the government before closing shop, laying off employees, or reducing work hours, to give the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) enough time to provide assistance and retraining.

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