The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has partnered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to create new job opportunities in the country, particularly in the environment sector.

The partnership was formalized with the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga and Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma during the DENR Multistakeholder Forum held in Manila last October 5.

Under the MOA, both agencies agreed to promote employment opportunities aligned with the protection and conservation of the country’s natural resources and ecosystems.

Loyzaga said the DENR is now working closely with the DOLE in calculating how many jobs to cover by identifying all the regions, both land and coastal areas, which are in need of support in terms of forestation and implementation of the government’s greening programs.

According to Loyzaga, the DENR’s Forest Management Bureau (FMB) is looking at the country’s geography and is in charge of mapping out possible areas where the so-called “green jobs” would be available.

“There is a full range of opportunities available, and we hope that this may begin to serve as a strategic way of looking at how our environment and our economics might actually intersect, especially in the case of the most socially vulnerable, and most environmentally vulnerable geographies,” Loyzaga told a press conference after the MOA signing.

The environment chief explained that understanding the country’s geography would help national government agencies in identifying unemployment rate, poverty incidence, and high value areas that would benefit the most from environmental employment opportunities.

Unemployment rate worsened in August this year where a survey of 10,810 families nationwide showed that 2.68 million families were either unemployed or out of business, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report.

On the other hand, PSA reported that the 2021 poverty incidence, which is the proportion of Filipinos whose per capita incomes are not sufficient to meet their basic needs, was at 18.1 percent or 19.99 million Filipinos which is higher than the 17.67 percent in 2018.

Loyzaga said the green jobs – ranging from planting, forestation, monitoring, and upkeep of areas of concern – would alleviate unemployment in the country.

The partnership is in line with DOLE’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD project that provides emergency employment for displaced, underemployed, and seasonal workers. ###