DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno gives update on the government's plans for the rehabilitation of Boracay island.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will readily support the government’s efforts in rehabilitating Boracay Island, including the provision of social safety nets and livelihood assistance to affected workers and residents.
“The budgetary requirements for the island rehabilitation may be sourced from the budgets of the government agencies involved,” said Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno. “Pending a consolidated budget request from Task Force Boracay, funds may also be sourced from the Contingent Fund or the Calamity Fund,” he added. “Should agency programs or projects for the Boracay rehabilitation spill over into Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, agencies may also propose these in their Tier-2 budget proposals for the 2019 Budget,” Secretary Diokno elaborated.
The DBM has already released P448 million to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to cover the financial assistance for the affected 17,735 registered formal sector workers in the area. The provision of financial assistance shall be linked to active labor market programs such as employment facilitation, training, and livelihoodfor the six-month shutdown and rehabilitation of Boracay island.
As of May 8, 2018, DOLE has assisted 2,500 beneficiaries under its Boracay Emergency Employment Program (BEEP).
Some of the proposed social safety nets and employment assistance for the Boracay Island closure include the provision of Microenterprise Assistance Grants (MAG) and Employment Support Grants (ESG); Balik Probinsya Transportation Assistance; Trabaho, Negosyo, at Kabuhayan (TNK) job fairs; and the Boracay Emergency Employment.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) leads theteam of agencies, which includes the DOLE, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Department of Tourism (DOT), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), in providing safety nets to displaced workers in Boracay Island.
As of May 4, 2018, the DSWD has disbursed P9.7 million in financial assistance to 4,129 displaced workers. To validate beneficiaries, the DSWD is also administering the Disaster Assistance and Family Access Card (DAFAC), in coordination with the Local Government Unit (LGU) and community volunteers in Boracay.
The DSWD targets to provideadditional assistance to 16,666 families under its Sustainable Livelihood program.
Consultations and surveys have also been administered to business owners and employees as early as April 10, 2018 for the Boracay Emergency Employment Program. Trainings have already been conducted as of May 3, 2018 for online marketing awareness, screen printing, entrepreneurship, among other things. A TNK job fair has also been conducted on April 26, 2018.
The DTI, in coordination with the DOT and TESDA will also launch a series of trainings this monthon crafts-making, financial literacy, tour-guiding, driving, welding, pipe-fitting, masonry, among other livelihood skills, to develop the capacities of Boracay workers.
The TESDA has also started its Special Training for Employment Program (STEP), with the first batch of trainings scheduled from April 26 to . It is intended to serve5,500 beneficiaries.
Infrastructure projects are also already being undertaken in the area. TIEZA will spend around P8-10 million from its own budget to rehabilitate the island’s waste water management system by constructing temporary outfalls, opening drainage systems, and declogging critical areas.
P490 million is also set to be released to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), pending approval of the Office of the President (OP), as augmentation for the Boracay Circumferential Road project in Aklan. (No available information to vet. Per presentation, P50 million has been allocated by the DPWH in 2018 to complete the gap in the Circumferential Road).
“Rest assured that the government has a work plan in the temporary closure of Boracay Island. This plan does not only involve the physical rehabilitation of the once pristine island, but also extends to the social welfare of the residents and workers to be affected,” said the DBM Secretary. “I’m confident that once Boracay reopens in a few months, that it will be more beautiful, resilient and sustainable,” Secretary Diokno concluded.