Around Php15,335,594.92 livelihood and TUPAD (Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers) in emergency employment assistance was spread across the province of Negros Occidental, which, for the beneficiaries, is as sweet as the sugar the province produces.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office 6 through its Negros Occidental Field Office partnered with various local government units and accredited co-partners to aid the dire needs of every beneficiary in reducing the effects of poverty and the unprecedented adversity brought about by the pandemic.
Regional Director Atty. Sixto T. Rodriguez Jr., spearheaded the releasing of livelihood and emergency employment assistance that touched the lives of 1,329 beneficiaries of various livelihood and employment programs.
The Regional Office started the unloading of major livelihood packages at Brgys. Balintawak and Pinapugasan, Escalante City.
The 64 member-beneficiaries of the Sulong Kauswagan Inc. (SKI) at Brgy. Balintawak. welcomed the Php1M consumer store project with hopes of its positive impact to their economic condition.
At Brgy. Pinapugasan, the residents are more than grateful to the Php1M DOLE-assisted consumer store which aims to provide the Malasaging, Brgy. Pinapugasan Agrarian Farmers Association (MABAPI-AGFA) and its 55 members access to affordable rice and made other commodities readily available to the community. With the store, the residents will no longer spend extra time and additional expenses in purchasing their needs in the city.
“The Regional Office expands the opportunities not only by providing livelihood but also by honing the skills of the beneficiaries and make them more productive,” said Atty. Rodriguez referring to the Php800,000 Sizzling Hot Bagoong and Dried Fish Processing Projects at Brgy Su-ay, Himamaylan City.
A total of Php3,200,000 was also released for the consumer stores, agricultural supplements and fishing gears of 567 farmers, fisherfolks and vendors from Brgy. Aguisan, Himamaylan City; Brgy. Vito, Sagay City, Brgy. Punta Mesa, Manapla, and from the Solid Planters/Producers Multi-Purpose Cooperative.
As part of DOLE’s active involvement in child labor prevention and elimination program, a Php5,159,758.92 assistance was turned-over to parents of child laborers for the retailing goods or sari-sari stores through the Christian Advocates for Justice and Development in Negros (CAJDEN), a faith-based organization and a constant partner of DOLE in promoting the welfare of child laborers.
RD Rodriguez emphasized that opportunities for poverty alleviation should be provided to curb child labor incidence especially that the country is struggling against the effect of the pandemic.
DOLE’s helping hand also reached the members of Hacienda Malaga Cuenca Agrarian Reform Cooperative (MACARBEN) in the Municipality of La Castellana through a Php1M Rice, Feeds and Fertilizer Supply store. The association’s 60 members and the residents are happy with the affordable rice, feeds and fertilizers the store offers.
Apart from livelihood, a Php3,175,836 emergency employment assistance package under TUPAD was released for 571 beneficiaries from Brgy. 16 and Brgy. 31, Bacolod City; Brgy. Abo-Abo, Brgy. Talotog, Brgy. Zone 1 and Brgy. Iglau-an, Murcia; Brgy. Canlusong, E.B. Magalona; Brgy. Pinggot, Ilog, and the Municipality of Binalbagan.
Each beneficiary received a P3,950 wages for the 10-day community services in their respective communities. TUPAD workers were also enrolled under GSIS Group Personal Accident Insurance (GPAI) and were provided with protective personal equipment.
RD Rodriguez is positive that the projects’ goal of uplifting the economic situation of the beneficiaries will be achieved.
“DOLE and its partners envision that the assistance will help each beneficiaries and organizations achieve their goals to prosper and grow despite the current difficulties we are facing,” he said.