For evacuees, DOLE rolls out P30M ‘cash for work’ program

By Connie Calipay LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional office in Bicol has allocated P30M for the implementation of its “Cash for Work” emergency employment program slated to be rolled out first week of this month, benefitting those affected by the ongoing Mayon volcano eruption. Some 2,000 evacuees have been identified as initial beneficiaries of the initiative, DOLE Assistant Regional Director Rovelinda Dela Rosa said in a report to presidential adviser Francis Tolentino. This is in response to the directive earlier this week of President Rodrigo Duterte to the different agencies to attend to the needs of the thousands of people affected by the ongoing eruption of Mt. Mayon. In a media briefing media Wednesday afternoon, Tolentino commended DOLE-Bicol for the quick response. “Within 48 hours, may nagawa na sila (they already have an accomplishment)”, he said. Dela Rosa said that P30M had been allotted for the Cash for Work, although P10M was initially available for now. Regional Director Exequiel R. Sarcauga, for his part, said DOLE-Bicol was just waiting for the release or downloading of the remaining P20M that would enable them to expand the program to benefit more evacuees. Dela Rosa explained that under the Cash for Work component of the Tulong Pangkabuhayan Sa Ating Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program, beneficiaries would render a minimum of 10 days of work for which they would receive a minimum daily wage of PHP290.00 or P2,900 for 10 days. “The P2,900 for a 10-day work may sound minimal amount but the intention of the program is to provide emergency work or temporary income for displaced workers and we would want to cover as many affected families as the available funds will allow,” she said. Profiling of the beneficiaries was done with the help of school principals, evacuation camp managers, teachers, evacuee leaders and Public Employment Service Office personnel, according to Dela Rosa.