ZAMBOANGA CITY — Seeing how the pandemic has greatly impacted the lives of the informal sector workers in the Zamboanga Peninsula Region, the Department of Labor and Employment Region 9 (DOLE 9) sought to assist those affected thru various programs such as the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) Program.

Some 122 self-employed and indigenous people in the Municipality of Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte were given the opportunity to avail the TUPAD Program.

DOLE 9 Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe said that these beneficiaries are mostly small transport drivers and underemployed construction workers whose livelihoods were severely affected by the imposition of community quarantine.

“Through the TUPAD Program, we will be able to augment their income temporarily. For a period of 15 days, DOLE 9 will shoulder their salary for work done in the community,” Director Buenafe said.

The beneficiaries will be tasked to perform community disinfection and sanitation activities in line with the fight against the local transmission of COVID-19.

On January 6, 2021, OIC Assistant Regional Director Imelda F. Gatinao handed checks amounting to PhP 808,590.00 to Sibuco Municipality PESO Manager Philip S. Magug at the DOLE 9 Office Grounds in Zamboanga City.

The amount will be used to pay for the salaries of the workers at Php 316.00/day, accident insurance and personal protective equipment.

TUPAD or Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers 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. END