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Over 4,300 workers in Bicol given P50M livelihood aid by DOLE

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The Department of Labor and Employment has provided more than 4,300 workers in Bicol Region with livelihood assistance amounting to more than P50 million under various key programs.

In Masbate, workers from the informal sector received a total of PHP45.13 million worth of livelihood and employment assistance from the department over the past two weeks.

Some 4,010 displaced or disadvantaged workers in the province, including returning OFWs and youth interns, received under the department’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program financial assistance amounting to around PHP36.73 million. An additional PHP3.3 million livelihood assistance was also provided under DOLE’s pangkabuhayan programs.

Led by Labor Secretary Silvestre ‘Bebot’ Bello III, the DOLE team in the region also awarded 4.7 million-pesos stipend for the beneficiaries of the Government Internship Program (GIP) and nearly P240,000 DOLE–AKAP assistance and social benefits for OFW families.

“Ang utos ng ating Pangulo, ang kuwarta sa tao. Inyo ‘yung pera. Hindi niyo utang sa akin yan, hindi niyo ‘iyan utang sa DOLE. Iyan ay pera ninyo, dapat lang na mapunta sa inyo,” Bello told the beneficiaries as he also reminded them to take care of their livelihood programs.

Some of the worker-beneficiaries rendered 16-days work on disinfection and sanitation of public facilities, de-clogging of canals, beautification of their respective barangays, and many more.

In Camarines Sur, around 303 marginalized workers from two towns received livelihood starter kits under the DOLE Kabuhayan Starter Kits (DKSK) Program last August 21 and August 28. Regional Director Ma. Zenaida Campita facilitated the distribution of livelihood assistance.

Specifically, a total of P5.089 million worth of livelihood packages, that include pedicab, negosyo cart, seed capital and starter kits, were distributed to 264 recipients of Sagñay town.

About 39 buhi weavers from Barangay Sta. Justina in Buhi town also received weaving materials, tailoring and dress-making equipment amounting to a total of P500,000.

Campita said that the livelihood kits are among the DOLE Bicol’s programs in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which resulted in job displacement and loss of livelihood.

In Catanduanes, two workers received PHP65,000 as settlement claims on their separation pay and 13th month benefits from Oppo Mobile Tech and Emerald wireless Tech Inc. after raising concerns with the department through the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) Program in the said province.

The SEnA is a DOLE banner program ensuring that all complaints first go through a 30-day mandatory conciliation and mediation period to exhaust possible means towards a fair settlement, before they are referred for arbitration.