TUPAD beneficiaries (Photo courtesy of DOLE-7)

CEBU CITY – About 1,000 workers in Cebu province received their wages amounting to PHP4.5 million under the government’s community-based assistance package through emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed, and seasonal workers.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-Central Visayas regional director Undersecretary Victor del Rosario said in a statement Friday that Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III personally released the financial assistance for the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) beneficiaries at the two venues – Asian College of Technology (ACT) and Minglanilla Sports Complex.

Del Rosario said the program has remained supportive to the marginalized, vulnerable, and underprivileged workers, especially during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic and the onslaught of Typhoon Odette.

“This is a manifestation of the government’s relentless support to the Filipinos who lost their jobs and livelihood amidst the series of calamities and the pandemic,” he said.

The beneficiaries were from Barangays Kinasang-an; Tabunan and Bonbon in Cebu City and from barangay Calajoan in the town of Minglanilla.

The regional director urged the beneficiaries to take care of what the government has given them, enjoining them to put their TUPAD wage to good use.

“Ang akin lang pakiusap sa inyu na ang ayuda na PHP4,040.00 ay alagaan ninyo at wag waldasin. Ibili ninyo ng pagkain, bigas, medisina at pangbayad sa tuition fee sa inyong mga anak para magkaroon sila ng edukasyon. Huwag waldasin ang inyung pinaghirapan sa loob ng sampung araw (My only request to you is that you take care of the PHP4,040.00 aid and don't waste it. Buy food, rice, medicine and tuition fees for your children so that they can get an education. Do not waste what you have worked for ten days),” he said.

Under the TUPAD program, the beneficiaries worked from ten to 15 days doing maintenance of common service facilities and infrastructure, declogging of canals, tree planting, and reforestation activities, cleaning of public facilities, street sweeping, assisting LGUs through the delivery of essential goods and services, and packing/repacking of relief goods.

On top of PHP404 wage per day, workers were also provided with personal protective equipment (PPEs), sanitation kits, and orientation on safety and health.

The Labor agency shouldered the group personal accident insurance for all workers coverage for one year.

“I’m grateful to be part of a program that has recreated jobs and provided a respite for those affected by the pandemic, Super Typhoon Odette and Typhoon Agaton. Despite the sacrifices and the odds, the Cebuanos stayed resilient,” Del Rosario said. (PNA)