Sabangan, Mt. Province – Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Saturday led officials of the labor department in distributing over P100 million in assistance to more than 5,000 vulnerable workers from various municipalities of Mountain Province under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disavantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program.

DOLE’s flagship TUPAD program provides emergency employment to informal sector workers affected by calamities or disasters.

Worker-beneficiaries from five towns in the province trooped to Sabangan where the ceremonial payout of cash assistance was held attended by provincial and town officials. Bello was joined by other DOLE officials from its national and regional offices.

Paracelis, which has 4,857 beneficiaries received P54,998,500; Natonin, which has 318 beneficiaries received P1,800,198; and Barlig, which has 258 beneficiaries received P1,460,538. Meanwhile, Bontoc was given P492,507 for its 87 beneficiaries and Tadian received P549,300 for its 97 beneficiaries.

In Sabangan, DOLE recorded TUPAD payout of P46,709,991 for 4,281 beneficiaries.

Bello said TUPAD is an amelioration program for the informal workers, who were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paracelis Mayor Dr. Marcos Ayangwa thanked Secretary Bello for assistance extended to his constituents.

He said more than 4,000 workers in his municipalities were displaced due to typhoon Rosita which slammed the northern part of Luzon in October 2018.

Paracelis’ banana and corn plantation were wiped out during the typhoon.

He said Paracelis was still reeling from the devastation when Covid-19 pandemic affected the business in the municipality. “It is a big help for us.”

According to Sabangan Mayor Marcial Lawilao, Mountain Provinces mayors submitted to Bello TUPAD proposals to assist their constituents.

One of the beneficiaries, Jose Lidaco, expressed appreciation to Bello for extending help to farmers like him.

Carmen Tabanganay, 81, also a farmer, said she will use the P10,500 benefits to buy mower for her rice field.

College student Jimbo Fabregas said he will use the money to pay for his tuition.

Mountain Province Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan Jr., said the province, through the help of the labor chief, was a recipient of P101 million for various assistance programs.

END/DOLE-Information and Publication Service