700 Paeng-hit Antiqueños avail of Php3.1M TUPAD assistance

More than 700 informal workers in the Province of Antique availed of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) emergency employment program after Tropical Storm Paeng destroyed most of their livelihood.

The typhoon brought serious damage to public infrastructures like bridges and roads in some municipalities.

And it also caused the destruction of the livelihood of workers from the informal sector who are mostly farmers, drivers, laborers, small vendors, displaced workers, and women with insufficient income who could hardly provide even the basic needs of their families.

“The emergency employment assistance is needed by the Antiqueños, whose livelihoods were badly hit by Typhoon Paeng last year. DOLE understands the necessity to reach out to more vulnerable workers who were victims of calamities.  Through the TUPAD program, we help more disadvantaged workers to alleviate their economic condition,” DOLE-6 Regional Director Atty. Sixto T. Rodriguez Jr. said.

TUPAD provided a Php4,500 wage for each worker from the municipalities of Culasi, San Jose de Buenavista, and Sibalom for a 10-day community service rendered in their respective barangays starting in the 3rd week of January this year.

Also, 70 TUPAD beneficiaries from the coastal areas of Barangay San Angel, San Jose de Buenavista engaged in coastal clean-up, de-clogging of canals, and road cleaning, while 302 beneficiaries from Brgys. Nagdayao, Millamena, and Pis-anan of Sibalom are into community gardening, nursery, pruning of trees, de-clogging of canals, and road cleaning.

TUPAD workers from 12 proponent-barangays in the municipality of Culasi focused on environmental works like coastal clean-up, tree planting, maintenance of barangay roads, community gardening, road clearing, and de-clogging of canals in their respective barangays.

The total wages disbursed amounted to Php3,150,000.

Gapasalamat gid ako sa DOLE sa pagpaobra kanakon sa TUPAD. Hanggud gid ang bulig ka diyang akon nga sweldo para makabakal ako ka bubod kag bahog kang akon mga kasapatan nga baboy, pato kag manok nga duro ang napatay sang pag bagyo Paeng, (I am grateful to DOLE for the employment with TUPAD. Through my wages, I could buy feeds for my animals that survived the storm),” said Emilda Villaflor from Barangay Pis-anan, Sibalom, Antique.

Some of her farm animals died and almost one-half of her rice crops were severely devastated by the typhoon.

Jasmin Brando, who is residing in a landslide prone barangay of Millamena, Sibalom evacuated with her family to a safer place during the typhoon, expressed her gratitude for the TUPAD, “salamat gid DOLE sa TUPAD program nga nagtugro kahigayunan nga makaobra ako (thank you DOLE for the opportunity to work through TUPAD).” She said her wages will be used to buy milk and other needs for her month-old baby.

Arnel Alojado is one of the 387 TUPAD beneficiaries from the Municipality of Culasi who benefitted from the program. He is a security guard who left his job in Metro Manila to attend his brother’s burial. He said that the wages he earned will be used to find other jobs in the province.

“We want to help Antique progress by involving the Antiqueños through our TUPAD and other employment programs. We want them to take part in this journey of transforming their lives, restoring their livelihoods and developing their province potentials,” said DOLE-6 Antique Field Office OIC-Head Ma. Cecilia S. Acebuque.