BAGUIO CITY – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Friday distributed the “Tulong Pangkabubayan Sa Ating Displaced Workers (TUPAD)” cash aid to 1,274 workers here.

Done symbolically with only a few physically present and others receiving via a financial intermediary, each beneficiary received PHP5,500 or equivalent to 15 days work based on the region’s daily minimum wage of PHP350.

TUPAD targets aid for the informal sector.

Bello said there are 1.2 million beneficiaries under the TUPAD program nationwide while another 1.5 million beneficiaries are for the formal sector whose income were either affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic or who completely lost their jobs.

Bello said the agency is also implementing the release of funds to aid the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the virus.

He said the release of all financial assistance of the agency must be completed by Dec. 15.

“Dec. 10 ang original na deadline pero inilagay natin sa Dec. 15 para makatanggap ang lahat ng qualified (we moved the deadline from Dec. 10 to 15 so that all qualified will be able to get their money),” Bello said.

DOLE-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Director Exequiel Roni Guzman, meanwhile, said the region has disbursed a total of PHP213.4 million to 38,455 TUPAD beneficiaries.

He said the amount is the region’s share from the DOLE’s Bayanihan 2 fund to help the Cordillera workers in the informal sector.

Guzman said they are working double-time to continue releasing the cash aid to the beneficiaries before the deadline.

END/Dennis Dionisio, Jr., PNA