215 workers from the Fishing and Canning industry were provided with emergency employment through the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office IX’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa Ating Displaced (TUPAD) Workers Program.

With Zamboanga Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (ZAMBOECOZONE) as Accredited Co-Partner, DOLE 9 conducted the TUPAD program orientation on January 21, 2018 at ZAMBOECOZONE Conference Room.

Regional Director Ofelia B. Domingo said that the provision of emergency employment to affected workers is part of DOLE’s commitment to realize Project (Helping Others Prosper Economically (HOPE) vision of giving them an alternative source of income thru agribusiness.

She added that TUPAD is a component of DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP), which is a community-based (municipality/barangay) package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and unemployed poor for a minimum of 10 days, but not to exceed a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of work to be performed. Beneficiaries are entitled to basic daily wage, accident insurance coverage for one year and personal protective equipment (PPEs).

In his opening message, ZAMBOECOZONE Chairperson and Administrator Christopher Lawrence Arnuco expressed that they provided a total of 15 hectares’ farmland through a Usufruct Agreement with DOLE.

He explained that the first 5-hectare land will serve as a demonstration farm located at the 1st Industrial Park of the Zone while the 10-hectare land will be home for long-gestation crops located at the highlands at Km. 15, Upper Lapaz, Zamboanga City.

DOLE Zamboanga City Field Officers, Joni Sarina Mejico and Sylvia delos Santos oriented the beneficiaries on the concept of Project HOPE, TUPAD and Occupational Safety and Health respectively.

The 215 beneficiaries from ten canning companies started working on the Project HOPE Eco-Livelihood Farm on January 24, 2019 (Thursday).

Project HOPE Workers Association President and Permex Team Leader Mary Jean Gonzaga expressed her gratefulness to all the stakeholders and encouraged all the beneficiaries to work hard on Project HOPE.

The beneficiaries are 31 displaced workers from Aquatic Food Manufacturing Corp., 32 from Bigfish Foods Corp., 21 from Century Pacific Food Inc., 21 from Fortune Group Corp., 21 from Goldstar Seafood, one from Mega Ayala Seafoods Corp., 21 from Mega Talisayan., 22 from Southwest Asian Canning Corporation, 24 from Permex Producer and Exporter Corp., and 21 from Universal Canning Incorporated. END/ With reports from DOLE Project HOPE Task Force