SOME 316 beneficiaries of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Tulong Panghanabuhay Sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged (Tupad) in Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte received vegetable seeds, as they are encouraged to engage in community gardening to earn additional income.

Mayor Joel Ventura of Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte said the beneficiaries of Tupad can also earn additional income from selling harvested crops aside from the usual clean-up drives.

Lawyer Roy Buenafe, DOLE regional director, expressed full support to the program of Ventura.

“Putting up community vegetable gardens may be beneficial to the community as it can provide fresh and healthy produce close to people’s homes. Especially in the pandemic, we must find creative ways to lessen expenses,” Buenafe said.

“It can also bring about community-level social change where groups of neighbors come together to organize, build and manage the community garden,” Buenafe said.

The DOLE official said the Tupad program not only helps the beneficiaries by way of emergency employment but also benefits the communities in terms of social, economic and agro-community projects completed within the work period.

The 316 Tupad beneficiaries are from the villages of Lunday, Lipuno, Tagarak, Pasilnahut, Basak Calaguan, Panganuran, Sto. Niño and Camarangan, Sibuco.

They are currently employed and receive a daily minimum wage of P316 over 15 days. Aside from wages, they are also enrolled in Group Accident Insurance under the GSIS.

While Ventura gave them vegetables sees, DOLE provided personal protective equipment composed of a long-sleeved sweatshirt, a pair of hand gloves and face masks.

The beneficiaries have undergone orientations in the salient features of the Tupad program and on occupational safety and health as a requirement before their actual engagement in employment. Their 15-day employment ends November 16.

DOLE is in close coordination with the Municipal Public Employment Service Office (Peso) in the implementation and monitoring of the Tupad work program in Sibuco.

Ventura thanked DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III and said that despite the distance of Sibuco, the agency was still able to reach them and provide the necessary assistance to the constituents. (SunStar Zamboanga)

Source: SunStar (