Some 230 displaced workers from Muntinlupa City were employed under the labor department’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged / Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program for an urban farming initiative from April 16 to 29, 2021.

The City Government of Muntinlupa through its Public Employment Service Office (PESO) reinforced its “New Normal” Urban Gardening advocacy for its constituents through TUPAD to help address the economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis in partnership with the MUNTAPARLAS Field Office of the Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) and through special funding of Senator Francis N. Pangilinan.

Apart from having an immediate source of income through TUPAD, Muntinlupa City PESO Manager Glenda Z. Aniñon said the urban gardening program would help provide beneficiaries a steady source of healthy food supply and an opportunity to create a viable livelihood for their families.

“Along with the payment for their efforts in urban farming and planting, they will also harvest the fruits of their labor. The yielded vegetable crops such as cabbage, eggplant, lettuce, tomato, okra, bottle gourd, and silk squash shall be given to the TUPAD Muntifarmers and their families,” said Aniñon, adding that the harvested produce can be sold in the market to help generate a sustainable income stream for the beneficiaries.

The TUPAD Muntifarmers worked for 14 days in various farming sites in Muntinlupa at a daily minimum wage of P537 with enrollment to group micro insurance; provision of PPEs; and preparatory seminars on TUPAD Bayanihan 2 and basic orientation on safety and health.

The TUPAD Muntifarmers represented by Agnes T. Alcantara in Barangay Tunasan thanked the City Government of Muntinlupa and the labor department for the urban farming program and hoped that the government shall continue implementing similar project to other individuals affected by the global health crisis.

“Napakalaking tulong po nito sa aming grupo ng magtatanim lalo na sa ganitong panahon ng pandemya. Marami po ang natulungan sa amin lalo na po ang mga asawa na walang hanapbuhay. Dahil sa TUPAD nagkaroon po ng inaasahang sweldo na talagang malaki ang tulong sa bawat pamilya. Bukod pa dito, meron pang aasahang aanihin,” said Alcantara.

The total budget for the TUPAD Muntifarmers amounted to P2,371,070.00 which covered the above-said benefits, including administrative cost.

TUPAD or Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers, for a minimum period of 10 days, but not to exceed a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of work to be performed.

END / Christinne Jeremiah Torrecampo with report from Zaza Garcia Platil