DOLE PROGRAM. Diosdado Rañeses, (left) Legazpi City Public Employment Services Office (PESO) chief, on Monday (Jan. 24, 2022) says some P12 million has been downloaded by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to the city government used as salaries of TUPAD program beneficiaries. He also said all the workers under TUPAD are entitled to work for four hours a day for 10 days in their respective villages. (Photo courtesy of Jun Arganda)

LEGAZPI CITY – At least 3,258 displaced workers and underemployed residents of this city have become beneficiaries of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) since the program was started in 2019 by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

In an interview on Monday, Diosdado Rañeses, Legazpi City Public Employment Services Office (PESO) chief, said some PHP12 million has been downloaded by the DOLE to the city government of Legazpi used as salaries of the TUPAD beneficiaries.

He said that in 2021, his office recorded 1,013 recipients of the program, most of whom were tricycle drivers and other workers displaced by the pandemic.

“The DOLE has given again the PESO Legazpi another additional 144 TUPAD beneficiaries who started already their clean-up drive at their respective villages and after 10 days they can receive their salaries," Rañeses said.

He added the new beneficiaries were highly recommended by the head of the respective villages including those belonging to the Legazpi City Women’s Federation (LCWF) who needed seasonal employment due to the prevailing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) health crisis.

“We are just waiting again for the additional PHP5 million recently approved by DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III for another 1,400 TUPAD beneficiaries in Legazpi City," Rañeses added.

He noted that all the workers under the TUPAD program are entitled to work for four hours a day for 10 days in their respective villages.

“Here in Legazpi, we are very systematic in the implementation of the TUPAD program to always follow the minimum health protocol wherein in every hour, we only assigned 10 persons to work in the community clean up drive and another 10 persons again for the next hour to follow the social distancing while they are working,” Rañeses added.

He clarified that those persons who have availed of the program in the past years can again benefit from it this year but the priority of the DOLE is those who have not yet been included in the list of program recipients.

TUPAD is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment to displaced workers, underemployed, and seasonal workers, for a minimum of 10 days, but not to exceed a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of work to be performed. (PNA)