LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Labor and Employment in Bicol (DOLE-5), thru its Catanduanes provincial office, has awarded PHP19.7 million worth of assistance for 3,604 abaca farmer-beneficiaries of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program.

In a report, DOLE-5 spokesperson Johana Vi Gasga said Friday that newly installed DOLE Catanduanes provincial head and concurrent assistant regional director Imelda Romanillos, together with Senior labor Employment officer Jomell Pasano and TUPAD program focal person Kim Zuñiga personally handed the check to Catanduanes Governor Joseph Cua last Wednesday.

"The beneficiaries will work for 15 days and receive a minimum salary of PHP365 per day. They will be engaged in clearing forest debris and underbrush and planting abaca trees in their farms, backyards, and plantations.

Before starting their work, they will attend the orientation on the TUPAD program, including safety and health and basic first aid management,” Gasga said.

“Also, they will be provided with complete personal protective equipment and enrolled under the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)," she added.

The farmer-beneficiaries will work under the project tagged as "Abaca Rehab" which aims to rehabilitate and recover abaca plantations throughout the province from the devastation caused by recent typhoons.

TUPAD is a short-term emergency employment program of DOLE to mitigate the impact of calamities, disasters, and epidemics on workers in the informal sector. (PNA)