Metro Manila, Philippines—Some 966 residents in Quezon City (QC) benefitted from the livelihood and emergency employment program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on June 23, 2022 during a ceremony at the Kalayaan Avenue, Quezon City.

Then Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III led the TUPAD Payout and awarding of the DOLE BikeCINATION Project and Bigasan Livelihood Assistance in coordination with the labor department’s regional office in the National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) and its field office in Quezon City (QCFO).

Specifically, a total of 500 beneficiaries from District V and 400 beneficiaries from District III received their TUPAD pay, following NCR’s new minimum wage of P570 for the 10-day rendered community work in their respective district areas from May 7 to 19 and from June 11 to 21, respectively.

Further, some 50 recipients received DOLE BikeCINATION Project composed of bicycle unit, thermal bag, reflective vest, rain coat, tumbler, and an android cellphone with P5000 worth of electronic load wallet and other necessary equipment to kick start their food delivery business. To establish their first rice retailing business, some 16 QC residents each received sixteen sacks of twenty-five kilograms of rice in addition to providing brand new wheelchairs for two beneficiaries with disability.

The former labor chief, who also celebrated his birthday with the beneficiaries together with all DOLE-NCR officials, hoped that the TUPAD salaries received and the earnings that will be generated from the livelihood project would benefit them and their families amid increasing prices of commodities and on-going pandemic threat.

The QC beneficiaries including Mhay Mercado, mother of Allen Dave who is a recipient of the Bigasan Livelihood Package, thanked DOLE for the assistance. Challenged by her disability, Mercado said the livelihood grant is a welcome opportunity to boost their household income as she find it difficult to look for work.

Ms. Mhay Mercado, through her son Allen Dave, receive 16 sacks of 25kg of rice from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) during the TUPAD Payout and Livelihood Awarding Ceremony led by then Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III on June 23, 2022 in a covered court at Kalayaan Avenue, District 4, Quezon City, Metro Manila. The activity was held in coordination with DOLE-NCR led by Director Sarah Buena S. Mirasol and its field office in Quezon City headed by Engr. Martin T. Jequinto.

“Nung nalaman ko na isa kami sa bibigyan ng ayuda ng gobyerno nagpapasalamat po ako ng sobra kasi sa mga bigas na ito makakapag-umpisa na po kaming muli ng aking mga anak,” she said.

“Papalaguin namin ng mabuti ng aking blessed son…malaking tulong po talaga ito na binigyan kami ng gobyerno ng pagkakataon dahil isa na rin po akong PWD since nahihirapan akong maghanap ng trabaho na regular kaya itong binigay niyo po sa amin sobrang laking tulong po.”

Before the awarding of the DOLE assistance, senior labor officer Ms. Aurora Halcon reminded the TUPAD beneficiaries on the process for receiving their salaries, which they received that day through DOLE-NCR’s money remittance partner. She also held a seminar for the beneficiaries of the Bigasan Package and BikeCINATION Project as part of DOLE’s social preparation training to equip recipients in managing the government grant.

END / Hershey Aquino with report from Dale Angeline Villafuerte and Angelique Joseph; photos by Gladys Lopez and Iris Iera Espeña