Some 16,000 beneficiaries are appreciative of the impact of the labor department’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced (TUPAD) in Antique.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III was in Antique on April 9 to oversee the implementation of the TUPAD program in the province, which has the biggest number of beneficiaries in the country.
During the visit, he assured beneficiaries that they will be paid because the budget has already been downloaded to the regional office.
TUPAD, an emergency employment program of DOLE has benefitted 16,000 displaced workers in the province. They started working last March 25.
“The workers could receive their first 15 days wages because TUPAD is an emergency employment so workers could have temporary means of living while there is a dry spell,” Bello said.
TUPAD workers Jelly Mirasol and Melanie Raymaro said on Friday the program is a big help for them, financially.
Mirasol said that her three children are still in Grades 7, 6, and 2. “My TUPAD wages could help me augment our family income,” she said in a follow up interview.
She said that aside from using her wages for their daily needs, some of the money are being used to buy her children’s school needs.
“My husband only sells street ice cream in order to earn money that is why we are really hard up,” she said.
Raymaro, another TUPAD worker, said that although she is a Barangay Health Worker (BHW) she does not receive a fixed salary from their barangay.
Once a year, they have an honorarium of PHP3,000 from the provincial government.
“My husband is our main bread winner as a job order employee of the National Irrigation Administration Antique provincial office,” she said.
She said that as a job order there are times when he gets his meager salary delayed and so she really needed to take on any job that comes her way to have money for their daily needs.
“I am grateful that there is this TUPAD program where I could earn some money,” she said.
She said that she has still four children who are minors and under her care.
TUPAD workers would receive PHP365.00 per day of work for 30 days, excluding the Holy Week until Easter Sunday.
Bello first met with 51 TUPAD workers doing coastal cleanup in Lamawan Pony Marine Protected Area in Barangay Funda-Dalipe in San Jose de Buenavista.
Thereafter, he met with 89 TUPAD workers doing the declogging of canals, clean up drive, and beautification in Barangay Bagtason in Bugasong town.
The secretary said that he will also provide them with Nego-Kart (Negosyo sa Kariton) upon the request of Senator Loren Legarda who accompanied him during the meetings.
Legarda made the request so TUPAD workers interested to become ambulant vendors will have a continuing livelihood after their 30-day work on April 30.
“Upon the request of Senator Loren Legarda the DOLE will give Nego-Kart so that those who have no work after the TUPAD will still have a means of living,” Bello said.
Bello reiterated this commitment during a luncheon meeting with the municipal government officers, non-government organizations and other TUPAD workers.
“The Nego-Kart will have a motorcycle instead of a bicycle so that the women beneficiaries would not find it hard to bring their Nego Kart to school,” he said.
The Nego-Kart, excluding the motorcycle, will cost around PHP25,000. It comes with initial supplies or ingredients for the beneficiaries for them to cook kikiam, squid ball and other food items.
The motorcycle will be given by another agency he talked with.
During the visit, Secretary Bello was accompanied by DOLE Undersecretary Renato L. Ebarle, Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns Director Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla, Financial and Management Services Director Warren M. Miclat, and Western Visayas Regional Director Cyril Ticao. (PNA)
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