Over P100 million in assistance were distributed to more than 9,000 vulnerable workers from various municipalities of Mountain Province under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disavantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Saturday.
DOLE’s flagship TUPAD program provides emergency employment to informal sector workers affected by calamities or disasters, especially the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Worker-beneficiaries from five towns in the province trooped to Sabangan where the ceremonial payout of cash assistance was held and attended by provincial and town officials.
Secretary Silvestre Bello III was joined by other DOLE officials from its national and regional offices in assisting Paracelis, which has 4,857 beneficiaries who received PHP54,998,500; Natonin, which has 318 beneficiaries and PHP1,800,198; and Barlic, which got PHP1,460,538 for 258 beneficiaries.
Bontoc was given PHP492,507 for its 87 beneficiaries and Tadian received PHP549,300 for its 97 beneficiaries.
In Sabangan, DOLE recorded TUPAD payout of PHP46,709,991 for 4,281 beneficiaries
Sabangan Mayor Marcial Lawilao Jr. expressed his appreciation for the continuous support and assistance of DOLE.
“The people of Sabangan are very lucky primarily for two reasons. First, we are a recipient of TUPAD fund and second, Secretary Bello personally visited our municipality,” he said.
Paracelis Mayor Dr. Marcos Ayangwa said more than 4,000 workers in his municipality have yet to fully recover from the devastation caused by typhoon Rosita in October 2018 when the pandemic struck.
Paracelis’ banana and corn plantations were wiped out during the typhoon.
“It is a big help for us,” the mayor said in a news release on Sunday.
Carmen Tabanganay, an 81-year-old farmer, said she will use the PHP10,500 she received to buy a mower for her rice field while college student Jimbo Fabregas will use the money to pay for his tuition.
Mountain Province Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan Jr. said Bello has given them PHP101 million worth of various assistance programs amid the pandemic.