Hope dawned on the workers of Pag-Asa in Kalayaan, Palawan after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) rolled out its package of programs and services to the West Philippine Sea’s island barangay.
The labor department, through its MIMAROPA Regional Office, brought livelihood assistance to 234 island workers under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP); disbursed the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) wages, and provided learning session to workers and employers through the Labor and Employment Education Seminar (LEES).
Barangay Pag-Asa is part of the municipality of Kalayaan and is situated in the West Philippine Sea, approximately 280 nautical miles from Puerto Princesa City, the capital of Palawan province.
The DOLE Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) reported that the 34 DILP beneficiaries received P1.020M with each availing of P30K worth of livelihood assistance for their piggery, enhancement of fishing boats, food processing, pastries, and ‘barbeque-han’ business ventures.
Some of the 25 emergency employment workers who were affected by Typhoon Odette received their wages, amounting to P190,635, after performing community work on the island.
Meanwhile, 150 workers of Mamsar Construction and Industrial Corporation underwent LEES with topics covering labor relations and labor standards, occupational safety, and health standards, including a discussion of their several issues and concerns.
In addition, other activities conducted include a livelihood orientation, an open forum, gift-giving, and distribution of personal protective equipment for emergency employment beneficiaries.
“We will ensure to be ‘reachable’ for the unreached community within the region like Kalayaan Island. And with concerted efforts with other government agencies, DOLE could set foot on the island to realize the DOLE programs and services gradually,” said DOLE-MIMAROPA Regional Director Naomi Lyn Abellana.
The worker-beneficiaries thanked the DOLE for augmenting their financial needs considering the challenge they needed to endure due to the lack of economic activity on the island.
“Maraming salamat po, ipadadala ko ito sa aking dalawang anak, isang kolehiyo at isang Senior High, pang gastos nila sa kanilang pag-aaral.” said Ronel Cuanco, one of the program beneficiaries.
DOLE was assisted by the Department of National Defense, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the local government unit of Kalayaan. IPS/DOLE – MIMAROPA