The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will be deploying workers under its emergency employment program as forest rangers.

In a statement Friday, Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said the beneficiaries of Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Disadvantaged / Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program will be tapped as protectors of the environment.

“TUPAD beneficiaries shall be mobilized in patrolling the forest, seedling production, establishing plantations, and assisting in forest protection activities,” he said.

The DOLE chief added that the project also supports the expanded national greening program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“We want to help in the mitigation of the worst impacts of climate change in the country. Those who will be hired will augment the current number of forest rangers, who will conduct patrolling, seedling production, plantation establishment, and protection activities,” he added.

Both departments’ recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the implementation of the program.

The Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) and DOLE regional/field offices are tasked to hire workers to be deployed in areas to be identified by the Forest Management Bureau of the DENR.

The DOLE will provide funds to cover the prevailing daily minimum wage in the regions as well as the administrative cost for personal protective equipment and group personal accident insurance of workers who will be hired.

On the other hand, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or its accredited training institutions will be conducting appropriate skills training for the worker-beneficiaries. (PNA)

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