With a wide grin, Armando Anteneo recalled how rainwater used to drip through their house’s roof. That was roughly three months ago, before he was engaged under the Department of Labor and Employment’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD.
Since then, things have changed for the better for Armando.
“Malaki ang naitulong ng TUPAD sa aking pamilya. Dahil dito, naipagawa namin ang bubong ng aming bahay na tumutulo tuwing umuulan,” Armando said.
The 39-year-old Pangasinense was among the 105 TUPAD beneficiaries from the Western Pangasinan in 2014. From 16 December last year to 4 February 2015, he worked as a carpenter at the Lingayen District Hospital, an experience he said he will treasure for the rest of his life. For his work, he received P7,590 as salary from the DOLE Regional Office No. 1.
“Taos puso akong nagpapasalamat sa DOLE at sa lokal na pamahalaan ng Pangasinan sa pamamagitan ng PESO. Hinding hindi ko makakalimutan ang naging karanasan ko sa ilalim ng TUPAD. Sa edad kong ito, hindi ko akalain na magagamit ko pa ang aking kakayahan sa pagkakarpintero,” Armando shared.
Marginalized and vulnerable workers, like Armando, comprise the bulk of DOLE’s beneficiaries under the TUPAD, essentially an anti-poverty program.
The TUPAD is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed, and unemployed poor, for a minimum period of 10 days, but not to exceed a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of work to be performed.
According to Regional Director Grace Ursua, the regional office has assisted 4,880 persons under TUPAD since 2012, disbursing a total of P22-M (P22,161,044) in total financial assistance to cover the salaries of the beneficiaries. The assistance also included micro insurance coverage and provisions for personal protective equipment (PPE).
Of the total number of beneficiaries, 2,435 were displaced workers or those whose livelihood have been affected by calamities or extreme weather disturbances, while 2,445 were regular TUPAD beneficiaries.
By province, the TUPAD beneficiaries were distributed as follows: Pangasinan, 2,023; La Union, 1,659; Ilocos Sur, 450; and Ilocos Norte, 320.
Ursua, in a report to Labor and Employment Secretary Baldoz, said the 4,880 TUPAD beneficiaries were employed in clearing of barangay roads, de-clogging of canals and waterways, cleaning and grubbing of earth dikes, waste management, rehabilitation of barangay roads, minor repair of school buildings, hospitals and other public facilities, among others.
“The DOLE regional office is privileged to have been instrumental in assisting communities and individuals towards recovery and towards building their capacities through TUPAD. The interventions might be short-term, but we are happy to receive information from the field that these have long-term impact on our beneficiaries,” Ursua said.
END/Arly Sta. Ana-Valdez