THE Cagayan de Oro city government on Friday acknowledged the contribution of laborers working either locally or overseas in the growth of not only the local economy in Northern Mindanao but also in the country.
City Mayor Oscar Moreno, in a speech during the event organized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), said the labor sector is very important to national growth and prosperity.
"We cannot imagine as a country growing without the strong labor sector," he said.
DOLE Sec. Silvestre Bello III led the turnover of P6,540,000 worth of programs and assistance to 1,358 beneficiaries in this city. This was part of the two-day aid distribution conducted by the agency throughout the Northern Mindanao Region.
Moreno extended his gratitude to DOLE, through Bello, saying he was thankful for the latter's leadership in the agency as well as for his love not just for Northern Mindanao but the whole island of Mindanao.
In the said program, 15 individuals received bicycles for the BikeCINATION Project in this city, which is a special project under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) to incentivize workers who have completed the doses of Covid-19 vaccines and cushion the impact of the pandemic to the workers in the informal economy.
Another 12 individuals from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) sector received a home-based salon starter kit amounting to P250,000.
For the Kabuhayan Program, eight groups in the city received aid from DOLE Region 10 of about P250,000 per group. The groups handle food processing business, massage clinic, convenience store, dressmaking business, and fishing.
A total of 226 fire victims in the city also received cash assistance that amounted to P824,900.
For the assistance of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) helped two OFW associations through the Tulong Puso Program and two OFWs via Balik Pinay Balik Hanapbuhay where each OFW received P20,000 cash assistance.
Scholarships were also provided to two college-level dependents of active member OFWs whose employment were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Each received P10,000 cash assistance. Another three students earned P10,000 each for the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program.
Meanwhile, in one of the events on Thursday in Iligan City, Bello said the government has exerted efforts to provide livelihood and aid to informal workers affected by the pandemic, especially those beneficiaries under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged or Displaced Workers (Tupad) Program.
"We give jobs to all informal workers who have lost their businesses, lost their jobs due to the pandemic. That includes balut vendors, sidewalk vendors, tricycle drivers, laundress, and masseurs. We give them jobs and we will give them a salary," he said in his speech.
Under the Tupad program, beneficiaries are provided with temporary employment that runs between 10 and 30 days, and paid at the prevailing daily minimum wage in their respective areas.
One of the beneficiaries was Bilma Pagsidan, who hails from Barangay Mandulog, said the financial assistance will help her family buy medicines and food.
"I am thankful to DOLE as this will help me a lot especially now that we are in a pandemic. What we will receive, we can spend for our family so we can buy rice, medicines, and viands. I am very happy for this Tupad," she said. (PNA)