Pandemic-displaced workers thank gov’t for aid

DOLE regional office for Bicol in Legazpi City (File photo)
Beneficiaries of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers or TUPAD Program in Naga City are thankful for the assistance that they received, saying it would greatly help them cope with the impact of the pandemic and past typhoons.

DOLE-Bicol released a total of PHP3.5 million on March 2, 2021, as wage payment to 836 residents of the city in Camarines Sur province.

Some two beneficiaries said they would use the money to rebuild their typhoon-damaged homes and buy educational materials for their children.

“Malaki po ang pasasalamat ko at na-qualify po ako na maging benepisyaryo ng TUPAD. Ilalaan ko po itong sa pampaayos po ng bahay (I am grateful that I qualified for TUPAD. I will set this aside for the repair of my house),” said 30-year-old Glen Paul Bolinao of Barangay Lerma.

Marioval Ciolo, 26, of Barangay Igualidad, said she is thankful for the opportunity to help her community and at the same time, for the assistance.

TUPAD is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers, for a minimum period of 10 days, but not to exceed a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of work to be performed.

Newly-installed DOLE-5 (Bicol) Regional Director Ma. Zenaida A. Angara-Campita personally handed over the wages of 400 TUPAD beneficiaries under Bayanihan 2 during the first day of payout.

A total of 436 beneficiaries of TUPAD received aid under Bayanihan 1, DOLE-Bicol said.

The recipients are from 27 villages of the city who are either unemployed, lost their livelihoods, or displaced from their respective work during the Covid-19 crisis.

Under the TUPAD program, each beneficiary receives PHP310 as minimum daily wage or a total of PHP5,000 for the 16-day cleanup drive in their respective community.

Among the places that were cleaned/disinfected by the TUPAD recipients are government facilities such as “educare” centers, open spaces, covered courts, drainages and waterways.

Some TUPAD workers repaired and fixed public classrooms damaged by typhoons last year.

“This is in preparation for the opening of face-to-face class once allowed by the government,” Campita said in an interview.

Worker-beneficiaries are immediately paid half of their PHP5,000-salary. The other half is released upon completion of the 16-day job of four hours daily.

“They were also provided with personal protective equipment sets and enrolled under the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS),” Campita added.

She said the payout was her first activity with the beneficiaries in the region, being the new head of DOLE-Bicol effective Feb. 15, 2021.

She expressed her gratitude to the local government unit of Naga for the implementation of DOLE programs and services through its Public Employment Service Office (PESO).

“Sana sa kaunting halaga na natanggap ninyo (benepisyaryo) ay nakatulong din ito sa mga prayoridad na pangangailangan (We hope that the small amount you have received had helped you in your priority needs),” she told the beneficiaries during the awarding. (Samuel Toledo and Connie Calipay, PNA)