DOLE earmarks P10-M aid for workers displaced by 'Usman' in Bicol

PILI, Camarines Sur - An initial amount of P10 million has been earmarked by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the emergency employment of workers displaced by Tropical Depression (TD) Usman in Bicol Region.

“As mentioned by our Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III during the situation briefing, the said amount is intended to provide around 3,000 affected and displaced workers and their families with immediate short-term income support under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD),” said Alvin M. Villamor, Regional Director of DOLE RO V.

Under the TUPAD program, beneficiaries will be provided with emergency employment in the form of community work with a minimum salary of P305 a day for 15 days.

According to Atty. Villamor, there is an on-going rapid profiling of displaced workers in the affected provinces, however, the agency prioritizes the areas of Sagñay in Camarines Sur and Tiwi in Albay, which were adversely affected by landslides and floods brought by TD Usman.

“These affected workers are mostly farmers and farm workers who reside near the slopes of mountainous areas of Sagñay, Camarines Sur and Tiwi, Albay, which really need immediate assistance by giving them temporary employment while still coping with the devastation brought by TD Usman,” he said.

Villamor added that the agency is looking into the possibility of providing regular livelihood to the affected families of displaced workers through DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) to help them recover from the damages of the TD.

“We are ready to augment assistance through emergency employment from the regular TUPAD fund to those families affected by the calamity who may fall short from the list of priority worker-victims,” he said.

In addition, the families of active OFWs affected by calamity will be provided with P3,000 worth of assistance from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) while P1,500 will be given to the families of inactive OFWs.

“DOLE is here to aid the affected families, but we can not do it alone. We have to do this through convergence with the local government units, government agencies, private sectors, and cooperation of the people,” he encouraged.

Villamor joined President Duterte, Secretary Bello and Atty. Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla of the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) on Friday during the situation briefing led by the President together with other Cabinet Secretaries in Pili, Camarines Sur last January 4. (JVEG)