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25K Bicolanos receive P86-M assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment.

Over 25,000 Bicolanos benefited from the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) regional inclusive initiatives, which totaled PHP86 million.

Informal sector workers, child laborers and their parents, youth, and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families were among those who benefited from ceremonies attended by DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III last week in Camarines Sur and Legazpi City, Albay, according to a news release issued on Sunday.

“The assistance we receive from the Department of Labor is extensive. Youth, casual and formal sector workers, OFWs, LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual or Ally) community members, and those with disabilities can all benefit from our activities and services. “We must give the people what is due them,” Bello stated in his speech, quoting President Duterte.

25,325 informal sector employees in the region were offered emergency employment for 10 days and got pay totaling PHP85,389,400 under the flagship program Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD).

Bello increased the workers’ pay from PHP3,100 to PHP4,650 by giving them an extra five days of labor.

100 child laborers from the towns of Sagay and Tigaon in Camarines Sur were given grocery packs, hygiene kits, and educational materials as part of the National Children’s Month celebration.

Recognizing that child labor is rooted in poverty, Bello promised support in the form of livelihood assistance to child laborers’ parents in order to improve their living situations and eventually prevent children from working.

Twenty interns from the Government Internship Program were also paid a total of PHP55,916 in stipends.

For high school, technical-vocational, or college graduates interested in pursuing a career in public service in either local or national government, the program offers a three- to the six-month internship.

Meanwhile, as part of the Labor Department’s commitment to the fight against Covid-19, workers in the informal sector who finished their vaccination were given incentives, and enterprises that met the minimal public health criteria were given safety seals.

Through DOLE’s Bikecination Project, 25 vaccinated informal sector workers received bicycles with Android phones and a PHP5,000 load, while 16 enterprises received the safety seal certification.

Bello also oversaw the distribution of PHP348,053 in Overseas Workers Welfare Administration aid to 27 OFWs and their families, as well as a cash reward of PHP110,000 to Mayon Farmer’s Association Inc. for winning the DOLE Kabuhayan Awards at the regional and national levels.

The group, which is made up of farmers from 38 barangays in Camalig and Guinobatan, Albay, was named one of the top DOLE-assisted livelihood initiatives for its cocoa processing endeavor.

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