DELIBERATION Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte deliberate on the passage of a measure meant to assist unemployed or displaced workers. The DOLE has allotted PHP20 million for this program. (PNA photo by Leilanie Adriano)

LAOAG CITY – The Ilocos Norte government is set to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Region 1 which will assist at least 1,600 displaced workers in the province.

Provincial board member Donald Nicolas, chairperson of the committee on appropriations confirmed this on Monday following the passage of Resolution No. 2022-11-081 granting Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc the authority to enter into a MOA with DOLE represented by Regional Director Exequiel Ronie A. Guzman or any authorized official for the promotion of labor and gainful employment to seasonal workers who are struggling in life due skyrocketing prices of basic commodities.

“This is short-term employment to benefit 1,592 beneficiaries in the different towns and cities of Ilocos Norte,” said Nicolas referring to the program locally known as TUPAD or Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced workers.

The provincial government is yet to set the date of the formal signing of the MOA.

Farah Lazaro, employment officer III of the DOLE Ilocos Norte said Monday the department has allotted about PHP10 million for this purpose and the Ilocos Norte government has equity of 20 percent. The equity can be in the form of tools and starter kits to be distributed to the beneficiaries.

Under the proposed agreement, Lazaro said the local government unit shall identify the TUPAD beneficiaries. DOLE, for its part, will release the payout amounting to PHP400 per day for a maximum period of 15 days. for each worker. The nature of the job can be in the form of community service rendered in the respective barangays of the beneficiaries.

Since the start of the TUPAD program in Ilocos Norte, Lazaro said the DOLE has already released a total of PHP450 million, benefiting unemployed, displaced, or seasonal workers aged 18 to 75.

“The continuing implementation of the TUPAD program in the province is under the initiative of Ilocos Norte First District Rep. Ferdinand Alexander Marcos. This can be availed once a year by any individual who has no permanent employment and not an appointee of the barangay, municipal or provincial officials. (PNA)