ZAMBOANGA CITY – Some 25 informal sector workers in Barangay Malayal, Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte whose livelihoods are affected by the imposed community quarantine against COVID-19 received emergency employment from the Department of Labor and Employment IX (DOLE 9). 

Barangay Malayal is considered a small barangay with a general population of less than 4,000 per 2015 census. It is located near the coast and is closer to Zamboanga City that Zamboanga del Norte. 

Barangay Chairman Oscar Cabatingan said that since the imposition of quarantine measures in the area, his constituents have no means of generating income. Thus, DOLE’s program, TUPAD or Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers Program is a welcome respite for the citizens of Brgy. Malayal. 

Regional Director Atty Roy L. Buenafe, in an interview, said that 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. 

Assistant Regional Director Imelda F. Gatinao handed the check amounting to PHP 79,000.00 to Chairman Cabatingan on November 13, 2020 at DOLE 9, Sta. Catalina, Zamboanga City. DOLE Chiefs Wesley D. Tan and Elsa B. Tan, Labor and Employment Officer III Michael Vincent Macrohon and Sibuco Municipality PESO Manager Philip S. Magug stood witness to the turn-over. 

ARD Gatinao explained the mechanics of the program and informed the Chairman that the beneficiaries must work for 10 days on community disinfection/sanitation activities. The amount awarded covers their wages computed at Php316/day as the region’s minimum wage, personal protective equipment and accident insurance for one year. 

“Muchisimas gracias con el DOLE por el ayuda que ya dale ustedes con el de amon mga constituente na Barangay Malayal. Maskin lejos el de amon lugar, ya puede siempre alcanza el de ustedes programa canamon. (Thank you DOLE for the assistance that you extended to our constituents in Barangay Malayal. Even though our Barangay is far flung, your program is  still able to reach us.)” said Chairman Cabatingan. /END