ZAMBOANGA CITY — The declaration of Enhanced Community Quarantine in Zamboanga City led to limitations in movement of the population and temporary closure of non-essential shops which directly affected the tourism sector and tourism-related enterprises.

Among those affected are the weavers of Yakan Village in Barangay Upper Calarian, Zamboanga City who organized themselves into a cooperative named Yakan Weavers Albarakkattu Multipurpose Cooperative (YWAMC).

In response, the Department of Labor and Employment Region 9 (DOLE 9) provided emergency employment to 46 yakan weavers thru the Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) Program in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT).

DOLE 9 Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe said that through the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2020-001 signed by DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, workers in the informal sector whose means of livelihood are tourism-related may apply for inclusion in the cash-for-work program under TUPAD. This now forms part of the TUPAD component under the DOLE-DOT assistance.
The TUPAD Program 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.
Under the program, the 46 beneficiaries will perform social community service for 15 days where they will earn the prevailing minimum wage of P316.00 per day in Region 9.

To proceed with the implementation, OIC Assistant Regional Director Imelda F. Gatinao turned over a check amounting to PhP 234,140.00 to Barangay Calarian Chairperson Florencia Arcillas and YWAMC Chairperson Maria De Jesus Ilul at the Yakan Village on January 5, 2021.

Barangay Calarian shall serve as DOLE’s Accredited Co-Partner (ACP) whose role is to implement and monitor the said program.

ARD Gatinao encouraged the beneficiaries to work with concrete output which is the beautification of the Yakan Village as one of the tourist destinations in the city.

Coop Chairperson Ilul welcomed the guests to the Yakan Village and expressed her gratitude for the intervention provided to them whose livelihood were affected due to the pandemic.

Belinda Hamja, one of the beneficiaries, expressed her gratitude to the DOLE and DOT for the TUPAD Implementation. She was very thankful since their livelihood and the tourism industry was greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. END/ KCGrafia With reports from Joni Sarina R. Mejico, LEO-III, ZCFO

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