ZAMBOANGA CITY, November 8, 2021 — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 9 strongly supports Sibuco Mayor Joel Ventura’s suggestion of encouraging TUPAD beneficiaries to start community gardens aside from the usual clean-up drives.

This was after Mayor Ventura addressed the participants during DOLE 9’s TUPAD orientation of 316 informal sector workers in Sibuco Municipality, Zamboanga del Norte on October 26-27, 2021.

Mayor Ventura added that the beneficiaries might also earn additional income from selling harvested crops.

DOLE 9 Regional Director Atty. Buenafe said, “Putting up community vegetable gardens may be beneficial to the community as it can provide fresh and healthy produce close to people’s homes. Especially in the pandemic, we must find creative ways to lessen expenses. It can also bring about community level social change where groups of neighbors come together to organize, build and manage the community garden.”

He added that the TUPAD or Tulong Panghanabuhay Sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers Program not only helps the beneficiaries by way of emergency employment but also benefits the communities in terms of social,economic and agro community projects completed within the work period.

To give beneficiaries a head-start, the Local Government Unit of Sibuco led by Mayor Ventura distributed vegetable seeds while DOLE 9 provided personal protective equipment composed of a long-sleeved sweatshirt, a pair of hand gloves and face masks.

Under the TUPAD program, beneficiaries from Barangays Lunday, Lipuno, Tagarak, Pasilnahut, Basak Calaguan, Panganuran, Sto. Niño and Camarangan will earn a daily minimum wage of Php 316.00 over a 15-day period. Aside from wages, they are also enrolled in Group Accident Insurance under the GSIS.

DOLE Zamboanga del Norte Field Office through its Liloy Satellite Office conducted the series of orientations on the salient features of the TUPAD Program and on occupational safety and health as a requirement prior to one’s actual engagement in employment.

The DOLE is in close coordination with the Municipal Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in the implementation and monitoring of the TUPAD work program in Sibuco.

Mayor Ventura thanked DOLE under the leadership of Silvestre H. Bello III that despite the distance of their municipality, DOLE was still able to reach them and provide the necessary assistance to the constituents. ###