(Metro Manila, Philippines) Amidst uncertainties and difficulties in life, Mary Jane Ebrada was still able to present a big smile during the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Orientation at Parañaque City Sports Complex, last March 30, 2023.
Mary Jane, a 33-year-old single mom from Rodriguez Compound Moonwalk in Parañaque City, was one of the 128 TUPAD beneficiaries of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through the initiative of Parañaque City Councilor Rico T. Gomez, and in partnership with Senator Grace Poe.
She has four children, one of them is a 1 year and 5-month-old daughter Mary Joy who has Talipes equinovarus or also known as clubfoot— a common foot condition that can potentially be disabling whether left treated or untreated.
Although the heat was felt by everyone in the venue, considering also their current condition, the aura of the joyfulness of this mother-and-daughter bond is still undeniably captured.
Since this was her first TUPAD experience, Mary Jane couldn’t help but get emotional when asked about the employment opportunity and what she wanted to say about the said program.
“Maraming salamat na nakasali ako sa TUPAD,” said Mary Jane while looking teary-eyed.
The TUPAD Program of DOLE aims to give help in providing emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers with a minimum period of 10 days. They are required to work 4 hours a day during that period of days, with a salary equivalent to the highest prevailing minimum wage in NCR.
For the past years, Mary Jane was only at home taking care of her children. And now that she was one of the fortunate TUPAD beneficiaries in their local area, Mary Jane has a chance to not only take care of her children but also help her community through the program’s objective.
END / Story and photo by Roma Jane Bacelonia