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Lumad workers get Tupad funds

The Department of Labor and Employment XI (DOLE) has conducted its first “Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers Program” (TUPAD) payout last Monday at the recently discovered Ata-Manobo village in Davao del Norte as part of the continuous pouring of services and socioeconomic development to disadvantaged community.

1st Lt. Amadeuz VJ Celestial, the Civil-Military Operations (CMO) officer of the 60th Infantry Battalion, said 100 residents of Sitio Tapayanon in Kapalong each received P3,960 for a 10-day work.

“This is such a great help. At least we’ll have money to buy our needs,” Datu Bansing Balanban, Tapayanon tribal chieftain, told reporters in vernacular. “We have to wait for several months when our abaca is ready to be sold before we can earn a tenth of this money.”

DOLE XI Regional Director Raymundo Agravante facilitated the payout with team from DOLE Davao del Norte Office.

They were transported by a Philippine Air Force’s Huey chopper in a 45-minute flight from the 10th Infantry Division headquarters in Mawab, Compostela Valley.

“I admit it is our first time here,” Agravante told villagers during a short welcome program there. “Just the same, DOLE comes (here) ready to give to you the services that you need.

“We will determine later on what else we can do to alleviate your situation and make your lives better,” he added.

The activity also highlighted the conduct of the ocular visit by the Service Convergence Camp (SCC) heads of agencies led by National Anti-Poverty Commission Sec. Noel Felongco.

Other agency heads who joined the visit included Kapalong Mayor Maria Theresa Timbol, Kapalong Indigenous Peoples’ Mandatory Representative Datu Arturo Davao, Department of Trade and Industry Davao del Norte Provincial Director Romeo Castañaga, 1001st Infantry Brigade Commander Col. John Oberio and 60th Infantry Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Gilbert Ombos.

The agencies—together with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and select local government units and civil society organizations—are expected to deliver their counterpart services to Tapayanon on the slated SCC later this month.

A second batch of TUPAD worker beneficiaries from Tapayanon will also be receiving their payout later this month.

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