TACLOBAN CITY – The Samar provincial government on Thursday identified four areas for the initial rollout of Strengthening Initiatives for Balanced Growth and Opportunities at the Localities (SIBOL), a program meant to generate employment and livelihood opportunities.
Listed as pilot areas are the cities of Catbalogan and Calbayog, and the towns of Basey and Paranas. These areas have been selected due to high poverty incidence and some of the villages are previously affected by armed conflicts.

Other local government units in Samar “will soon follow”, according to the provincial government.

“The provincial government have been holding training as initial step on the roll out of SIBOL. Through this, the workforce development plan of local government units is institutionalized through enhanced capacity to generate employment and livelihood opportunities,” the provincial government said in a statement.

Among the training participants are investment officers, public employment service officers, tourism officers, planning and development officers and business permit and licensing officers of local government units.

The workforce development plan is a three-year roadmap of the province, cities and towns to provide its workers with globally competitive skills and assist them to have access to quality and sustainable jobs or livelihood opportunities.

The SIBOL program came about in response to the United Nations Framework for the immediate socio-economic response to the Covid-19 Crisis where it advised that the pandemic is far more than a health crisis thus affecting societies and economies.

The program is a partnership of the Samar provincial government, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.