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Senator Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva took part in DOLE Rizal Provincial Office’s (DOLE Rizal) first-ever roving payout to over 700 informal sector workers from three key municipalities/city in the province last October 19.

Through the constant collaboration with the different local government units in the province, DOLE Rizal managed to employ 112 pandemic-stricken workers in Rodriguez, 170 in Cainta, and 489 in Antipolo under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) program.

In TUPAD, workers were tasked to complete a 10-day community service that can be in the form of cleaning/disinfecting public places/establishments like government facilities, health centers, roads, streets etc.; declogging esteros, drainage canals, and sewage storage. They could also be assigned in clearing/segregation of debris and materials recovery in areas affected by natural calamities. Their employment could extend up to 30 days, depending on the nature of work he/she were assigned especially in road/infrastructure rehabilitation and/or building.

Upon completing their 10-day community service, each beneficiary will receive their salary amounting to P4,000.00 or P400.00 per day. The said amount is based on the highest prevailing minimum wage in Region IV-A. The said benficiaries will receive a transaction code that they will present to partnered-money remittance centers to claim their salary.

On the 3rd and last stop of the payout held in Teacher’s Village, Sen. Villanueva commends the TUPAD beneficiaries for choosing to work under the program instead of seeking financial aid from the government agencies alone.

“Sa inyong pagpunta sa lugar na ito, ipinikita niyo sa aming lahat na gusto niyong matupad ang pangarap niyo, na gusto niyong magtagumpay. Hindi lang ayuda ang hinihintay niyo kundi pinagtrabahuhan niyo ang TUPAD na ito kaya kayo ngayon susuweldo. Congratulations po sa inyo!,” the lawmaker said.

DOLE Rizal Provincial Director Marivic B. Martinez expressed her gratitude to Sen. Villanueva for allocating funds in support to the implementation of TUPAD in the province.

“Lahat po ito ay hindi magiging successful without the initiatives and the funding na ibinaba po ng ating mahal na senador [Joel Villanueva]. On behalf of DOLE, marami pong salamat!”, Martinez said.

Currently, the Office of Sen. Villanueva allocated a total of PhP 11 million for TUPAD program in the province of Rizal.

Sen. Villanueva’s never-ending support to DOLE-TUPAD is not a new story to tell. Last March 2020, the lawmaker wrote to Labor Secretary Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III to have an access in implementing TUPAD which is a safety net program for the workers affected by the pandemic.

On the same year, Villanueva proposed and defended in the debates of 2021 general appropriations bill the increase of fund allocation for the program.

In one of his interviews, Villanueva mentioned that the increase of fund allocation for TUPAD program can also fast-track the contact-tracing in the country.

"Siniguro po natin na maitaas ito mula sa PhP 6 bilyon noong 2020 sa halos tatlong beses ang taas sa PhP 19 bilyon. I believe this fund can be tapped to hire more contact tracers. Pasok na pasok po yan sa paggamit ng pondong iyan," Villanueva said.

On being committed

Jennifer Javier, a TUPAD beneficiary from the municipality of Rodriguez reiterated the importance on staying true to their commitment which is to serve the community for 10 days.

“Kahit hindi tayo nakikita sa paglilinis, gawin pa rin, tuparin pa rin [natin]. Binabayaran ka, bibigyan ka [ng sweldo], tumupad ka para hindi masayang ang ibibigay sa’yo [ng gobyerno],” Javier said.

Javier is an on-call house cleaner and a mother of six children. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Javier admitted that she struggles to put food on their table as she and her husband’s income are both unstable.

That’s why, Javier was very grateful to DOLE Rizal for choosing her as a beneficiary of its TUPAD program. She also shared her plans as soon as she received her PhP 4,000.

“Masaya po kasi malaking tulong po sa amin ito. Gusto ko pong magtinda-tinda, mag-fifishball-fishball po, ‘yun po ang balak ko. Dati naman na po kasi akong nagfifishball eh. Para ‘yung mga anak ko, lalo na ‘yung mga anak kong natigil din [sa pag-aaral], makatulong din sa bahay,” Javier exclaimed.


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