Press Releases
DOLE employs Star City displaced workers through TUPAD

A once colorful amusement park had recently turned into a ghost town when a huge fire gutted Star City compound in Pasay City on October 2, 2019.

In the official statement released by the Star City management, the fire incident “rendered a large portion of the park inoperable” and had expressed “great sadness to announce the temporary cessation of park operations until a full assessment of the situation can be made.”

The Malacanañg Palace expressed grief following the unfortunate news that hit the Star City compound, which, as said in their statement, a “truly sad news knowing that Star City is a place where Filipino families visit to celebrate the Yuletide season.”

The Palace urged government agencies to extend any form of assistance to those affected by the fire.

With the "temporary cessation of park operation" and faced with no other source of income had provoked uncertainty to some 500 affected Star City workers who have heavily depended on their job. The advent of the Christmas season brings much more sadness and the pressure for these affected workers to financially provide for their loved ones.

The employees “were left on a ‘no work, no pay’ situation,” in an initial report submitted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through its OIC Assistant Secretary Dominique R. Tutay and the findings of the Quick Response Team of the DOLE National Capital Region on October 4, 2019.

In his statement, DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said that a total of 5.5 million worth of emergency employment assistance shall be provided to the affected workers who were displaced as a result of the fire that razed the amusement park.

The aid was provided through DOLE’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged / Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program were the affected workers are said to perform in administrative works for 30 days.

 

Profiled workers

On October 10, 2019, a total of 393 out of the 500 profiled Star City affected workers were identified as possible TUPAD beneficiaries following the directive of DOLE-NCR Director Sarah Buena S. Mirasol to Employment Promotion and Workers Welfare Division and Makati-Pasay Field Office to coordinate with the Star City management.

On the same day, DOLE-NCR conducted TUPAD orientation at Star City Parking Area for the 393 profiled displaced workers who voluntarily submitted documentary requirements to avail of the DOLE emergency employment program.

Management of Star City assembles their displaced workers at Star City Parking Area on October 10, 2019, where DOLE-NCR and PESO Pasay City organized TUPAD orientation and profiling of beneficiaries. Another orientation and profiling was held on October 16, 2019, to secure more workers.

 

Places of assignment

The qualified beneficiaries were then endorsed to various government agencies within the immediate vicinity in Pasay on October 16, 2019, in coordination with the City Government of Pasay through its Public Employment Service Office (PESO) who were also present during the TUPAD profiling and orientation. The qualified beneficiaries were able to secure the endorsement of the PESO Pasay to their prospective areas of TUPAD assignments on October 21, 2019.

As part of the documentation and monitoring system, DOLE-NCR visited the TUPAD beneficiaries beginning November 15, 2019, to check the condition of the Star City displaced workers after provision of emergency employment assistance. Among places of assignment of the displaced workers that were visited that day where at Pasay City LGU and Barangay 2 - Layug Street and Barangay 3 - Cuyegkeng Street in Pasay City. Others are yet to be visited in the following weeks.

DOLE-NCR monitoring team together with PESO Pasay City representative Miguel Biblanias, Jr. (center) interviews some Star City displaced employees turned TUPAD beneficiaries who are now assigned at Pasay City LGU’s public information office (left photo) and at Barangay 2 - Layug Street and Barangay 3 - Cuyegkeng Street in Pasay City (right photo).

 

COMMUNITY SERVICE: TUPAD beneficiaries conducts clean-up drive, painting jobs, and decorations along the streets of Barangay 2 - Layug Street and Barangay 3 - Cuyegkeng in Pasay City. (Photos courtesy of Star City displaced workers)

 

Moving on

Wendy (not her real name), a former ride attendant, applied for the TUPAD during the DOLE orientation held at Star City. Wendy was one of the referred TUPAD beneficiaries to work at the Pasay City LGU’s public information office. In an interview, she said “sobrang laki talaga ng tulong ng TUPAD dahil binigyan nila kami ng pansamantalang mapagkakakitaan bago mag-pasko.” She added: “Gusto lang po namin magpasalamat kasi sobra yung pa-welcome. Hindi kami inisnab, hindi kami pinag-pasapasahan. Binigyan agad kami ng pwedeng maging trabaho. Tapos madaming new experience.”

Alvy Evangelista (right, DOLE-NCR staff) interviews Star City displaced worker “Wendy” (left) who now works at Pasay City LGU’s public information office.

 

Jay Cristobal, also a former ride attendant at Star City for three years were also thankful for the emergency employment. He said that he was referred by PESO Pasay to do a community service near his residential area at Barangay 3. “Nakatulong ang TUPAD sa amin kasi kagaya ngayon, wala kaming trabaho, makakatulong ang TUPAD sa amin financially kasi kailangan namin ng pang-gastos sa paghahanap ng bagong trabaho.”

(L-R) Other Star City displaced workers, Jay Cristobal, Johna Carmona, and Ramiro De Leon shares their TUPAD program experience.

Ramiro De Leon, a former safety marshall at Star City said that apart from the financial support, they were able to develop camaraderie with the community and have built stronger friendships with their fellow displaced workers. “Ang ginagawa namin nagkikita-kita kami sa umaga, kanya-kanya na kaming hanap ng walis. Iniikot namin ang Barangay. Winawalisan namin kung anong pwedeng maitulong namin sa community,” he said, adding: “Magkakasama na kami noon sa Star City at yung grupo namin mas close na kami. Yung binigyan kami ng 30 days na magkasama-sama, mas nadagdagan yung mga kakiklala at kaibigan mo.”

The beneficiaries also commended the DOLE and the City Government of Pasay for being patient in attending to their concerns. Johna Carmona, also a former ride attendant said, “humihingi kami ng pasensya minsan kasi napaka-kulit namin. Gawa siguro ng masyado kaming excited kung anong tulong ang maibibigay. Pero malaking pasasalamat po talaga dahil binigyan n’yo po kami ng pag-asa.”

To date, 261 out of 393 profiled displaced workers from Star City were referred to different government agencies within Pasay City. There had been continuous profiling conducted for the qualified late comers, which eventually reached a total of 430 displaced workers. Those who have started their duty in their place of assignments shall receive a minimum wage or 537 pesos per day.

The TUPAD is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers, for a minimum of 10 days, but not to exceed a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of work to be performed.

For more information, please go to dole.gov.ph or visit your nearest DOLE regional or field office for assistance.

END / Hershey Aquino (with reporting from Aurora Halcon and Derrick Tutay)

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2019-11-20
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