JOB CREATION. The Department of Labor and Employment, through its Sorsogon Provincial Office, conducts Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers orientation for 250 beneficiaries on Nov. 5, 2021. The work program will focus on creating community gardens and village beautification. (Photo courtesy of DOLE-5)

MANILA – Over 25,000 Bicolanos received PHP86 million in assistance as part of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) inclusive programs across regions.

Among the beneficiaries were informal sector workers, child laborers and their parents, youth, and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families during ceremonies graced by DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III in Camarines Sur and Legazpi City, Albay last week, according to a news release on Sunday.

“Our DOLE assistance is encompassing. We have programs and services for the youth, the informal and formal sector workers, the OFWs, and even members of the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual or Ally) community and persons with disability. As President Duterte always reminds us, we have to give the people what is due them,” Bello said in his speech.

Under the flagship program Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD), 25,325 informal sector workers in the region were given emergency employment for 10 days and received their salaries amounting to PHP85,389,400.

Bello gave the workers an additional five days of work to raise their salary from PHP3,100 to PHP4,650.

As part of the National Children's Month celebration, 100 child laborers from the municipalities of Sagñay and Tigaon in Camarines Sur were given grocery packs, hygiene kits, and educational materials.

Acknowledging that child labor is rooted in poverty, Bello assured aid in the form of livelihood assistance to the parents of the child laborers to uplift their conditions and eventually prevent children from working.

Twenty interns under the Government Internship Program likewise received their stipends totalling PHP55,916.

The program provides three to six months of internship for high school, technical-vocational, or college graduates who want to pursue a career in public service in either local or national government.

Meanwhile, as part of the Labor department’s contribution in the fight against Covid-19, informal sector workers who have completed their vaccination were given incentives and companies which comply with the minimum public health standards were awarded with safety seals.

Twenty-five vaccinated informal sector workers took home bicycles with Android phones and PHP5,000 load through DOLE's Bikecination Project, while 16 companies were awarded with the safety seal certification.

Bello also led the distribution of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration assistance amounting to PHP348,053 to 27 OFWs and their dependents and cash prize of PHP110,000 to Mayon Farmer's Association Inc. for winning in the regional and national levels of the DOLE Kabuhayan Awards.

Composed of farmers from 38 barangays in Camalig and Guinobatan, Albay, the association was recognized as among the best DOLE-assisted livelihood projects for their cacao processing venture. (PR)