ZAMBOANGA CITY, October 7, 2021 – Thousands of informal workers in Zamboanga Peninsula, affected by the on-going pandemic, received cash-for-work and livelihood assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the total amount of Php 157 million.

This after Labor Secretary Silvestre ‘Bebot’ H. Bello III handed checks to various local government units and Accredited Co-Partners in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur Province and Zamboanga City on October 5-6 respectively.

“The purpose of my visit here is to bring the help of the government to our countrymen in Zamboanga Peninsula, especially those who lost their jobs and livelihoods. President Duterte told me that the funds of DOLE are money of the people, that’s why you give it back to the people ”, Sec. Bello said in his message.

Under the Tulong Panghanabuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers Program or TUPAD, Sec. Bello awarded P25M to workers in Zamboanga del Sur, P70M in Zamboanga City, P25.6M in Zamboanga del Norte, P24.4M for Isabela de Basilan and P4M to Zamboanga Sibugay.

The number of beneficiaries of TUPAD per area are the following: Zamboanga City, 20,844; Isabela City, 7,202; Zamboanga del Sur, 5,129; Zamboanga del Norte, 5,018; and, Zamboanga Sibugay, 1,119.

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.

Beneficiaries who received their wages that day worth 5,000 pesos for 15-days community work expressed thanks to DOLE for the assistance.

“Bien grande gayot este ayuda canamon especialmente ara cae pandemic. Ta rindi io gracias con Sec Bebot Bello y Tambien maga oficiales de gobyerno. Grande este cantidad para canamon. (This is such a huge help to us in the time of pandemic. I thank Sec Bebot Bello and the government officials. This is a huge amount for us.),” shared Leslie Suali, a TUPAD beneficiary from District 1.

“Bueno gayot este maam cae ya pwede ayuda canaton ayuda este TUPAD. Puede came usa el cen para na familia mientras pandemic cae nuay kita trabaho ahora. Grande ayuda este canamon. (It’s very good that TUPAD was able to help us. I can use the amount to provide for my family during the time of the pandemic since I am unemployed as of the moment.),” said Miguel Rodeo, TUPAD beneficiary.

Under DOLE’s Bikecination Program, 18 fully-vaccinated Pagadianons received bicycle units with complete accessories. The program aims to provide an alternative source of income for informal sector workers or their next of kin under the A4 category who have received their COVID-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, 194 workers from Pagadian City and Zamboanga Sibugay received livelihood assistance in the form of various tools and jigs worth P5M under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program. #