BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello announced yesterday that Negros Occidental and highly urbanized Bacolod City will get P110 million financial assistance through the department’s TUPAD (Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers) program next year.
Bello disclosed that the budget was already included in the 2022 General Appropriations Act, where Congress proposed a P30 billion for TUPAD, which is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers, 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.
Of the P110 million, he said that P20 million each will be given to Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer and P10 million each also for the seven Negros Occidental, including the Bacolod Lone District, solons, who will be required to screen the beneficiaries and submit their names to DOLE.
DOLE also extended more than P100 million in cash assistance to TUPAD beneficiaries in Negros Occidental, on top of P16. 6 million distributed yesterday by Bello and Overseas Workers and Welfare Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, Lacson and Ferrer, to beneficiaries of nine DOLE Kabuhayan Livelihood projects, and distribution of TUPAD checks in three congressional districts of the province.
Cacdac also released OWWA livelihood checks to its 25 beneficiaries, who used to work in abroad. In Negros Occidental.
DOLE is paying a TUPAD beneficiary of P3,950 salary for a minimum 10 days of work in Negros Occidental.
But Bello announced yesterday that he will increase it to P4,500.
The distribution of livelihood assistance at the Negros Residences in Bacolod City, was also attended by Negros Representatives Gerardo Valmayor (1st district), Jose Francisco Benitez (3rd district), former Rep. Mercedes Alvarez, who represented her father, Rep. Genaro Alvarez Jr., Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, Iloilo Rep. Jam Jam Baronda, La Castellana Mayor Rhumyla Nicor Mangilimutan, Salvador Benedicto Mayor Marxlen dela Cruz and Binalbagan Mayor Alejandro Mirasol, among others.*