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Ilocos Norte revamps summer employment program to prioritize livelihood continuity amid COVID-19

by PGIN-CMO

Apr. 02, 2020 ...

To assist tourism industry workers affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte through the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO) redesigned its Summer Tourism Employment Program to aid daily wage earners, informal workers, and freelancers in the gig industry. 

Previously offered for student and senior citizen tour guides, the redesigned Summer Tourism Employment Program, now called Tourism Livelihood Continuity Program, aims to assist workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are finding ways to respond to this extraordinary situation that we're in. This will require extraordinary effort and solutions.

"What we want to do is to be able to provide livelihood continuity. We had a small budget and Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc had approved its realignment, specifically for livelihood interventions," explained Provincial Tourism Officer, Mr. Ian B. Raquel,

In coordination with city and municipal tourism offices, thousands of applications from the hospitality, travel, food, and transport sectors, including arts and cultural sector were received by INTO.

A "work later" agreement will be signed by Tourism Livelihood Continuity Program cash recipients for a return service after the enhanced community quarantine and other preventive measures are lifted. Work on return service will be designed to match the skill set and schedule of beneficiaries. They will receive a cash assistance beforehand amounting to P 7,545.

According to Mr. Raquel, some of them will participate in the Provincial Capitol's housekeeping and facilities maintenance.

Moreover, PGIN also tapped several workers in the creative industry such as dressmakers and tailors:

"We are asking them to help us now in producing our personal protective equipment for out frontliners. They started as volunteers but we want to absorb them to sustain their business.

"We are enrolling them in the program to help us for now but eventually, we will consolidate our creatives into a single stream together with our loom weavers. It's a one big network of employment," Mr. Raquel said.

1100 slots were allotted for Tourism Livelihood Continuity Program while the Heritage Livelihood Continuity Program has 200.