LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Bicol has fully disbursed the cash aid for Tabang OFW beneficiaries to date while those for other subsidy programs have exceeded 60%.
“Tabang” means help in Bicol. As of December 28, all the 26 workers qualified for the Tabang OFW program have received the P30,000 subsidy each, for a P780,000 total, DOLE-Bicol spokesperson Johana Vi Gasga told media.
Tabang OFW program is part of the P1-billion package for the tertiary education assistance for dependents of Covid-affected Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). A total of 62,468 displaced workers have received around P317.295-million worth of subsidies, at P5,000 each under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating mga Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD). The number accounts for about 75.41 percent of the targeted 80,996 workers.
DOLE records also show that subsidies disbursed for the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) have reached P200.184 million, which benefitted some 39,872 workers or about 91.53% of the target.
Likewise. the funds disbursed under the Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program also amounted to P13.21 million. Each of the 1,321 beneficiaries received P10,000. DOLE-Bicol targets to extend the cash aid to 2,000 workers.
Gasga said TUPAD fund disbursements were carried out until December 24 while disbursements for CAMP continued because some payout partners were open during the holiday last week.
“In fact, our finance department personnel continued to report to their offices to send out reference numbers to CAMP beneficiaries so they could claim their cash aid from the payout partners despite the Christmas break,” she said.
DOLE-Bicol director Joel Gonzales, in a statement, thanked all stakeholders for ensuring the successful implementation of the government cash aid programs.
“As we are thankful to our constituents for giving us the chance to work and serve them well, it is by faith in God that we render our services for Him, to our Lord, by serving our Godly people. It is a little amount paid for their labor, or assistance to cushion the hardships in this time of crisis, but with God’s grace, we believe, it may be an answered prayer to many,” he said.
Gonzales said disbursement of the subsidies “means that wages are now being given to many in time of the holiday season. Big thanks to our government partners and private co-partners. We were all instruments to this work-sharing with gift-giving to our fellowmen,” he added.
Bicol posted the highest number of displaced workers, at over 300,000, due to the pandemic and the three strong typhoons that hit the region in October and November as compared to other typhoon-affected areas of the country. (PNA)