The Regional Build Back Better (BBB) Task Force has assured livelihood assistance to residents that will be affected by the Cagayan River rehabilitation following the tall order of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.
In the regional task force meeting held today at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office, Regional Executive Director and Regional BBB Task Force chair Gwendolyn Bambalan announced the directive of Secretary Cimatu to tap local residents as laborers or beneficiaries in livelihood activities.
“The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will also be engaged through its cash for work program or the TUPAD program, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to provide training assistance for livelihood,” Director Bambalan said.
DOLE's TUPAD program is Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers. Under the program, 100 individuals were earlier provided with financial assistance for the planting and maintenance of bamboos along riverbanks.
According to the regional environment chief, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has also committed job opportunities for local residents in the dredging operations. The DPWH is the lead agency tasked to implement the immediate dredging or desilting of sandbars in identified priority sites: Barangay Bangag in Lallo, and Casicalan Norte and Dummun in Gattaran town.
During the meeting, the lead agencies of the six key result areas (KRAs) under Executive Order 120 presented their interventions and implementation plans for the priority activities in the rehabilitation of the Cagayan River.
The KRAs are Better and Resilient Infrastructures, Stronger Shelter and Resilient Settlement, Improved Systems and Essential Services, Restored Sustainable Livelihood, Strengthened Governance thru Broad-based Citizen Input, and Intensified Watershed Management. These KRAs are led by the DPWH, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Department of Trade and Industry, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the DENR.
As agreed upon by the member agencies, the regional task force will meet with the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency to discuss security measures in priority sites for sandbar dredging.
The task force has recommended the Philippine Information Agency to take the lead in advocacy and social mobilization.
The DENR, OCD and DHSUD will work closely for the resettlement of residents who will be affected by the easement recovery.
The regional BBB task force is co-chaired by Regional Director Loreta Malaluan of the DPWH.#