Government aid for pandemic-hit workers in Cagayan Province will reach more than P1 billion by the end of the year.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said in a news release on Sunday that the financial assistance will be sourced from its flagship cash-for-work aid program, Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD).
Beneficiaries are estimated to reach around 198,000 workers.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III was in Isabela, Cagayan over the weekend to implement TUPAD and lead the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict meeting of the Cabinet Officers for Regional Development and Security.
Bello reported that DOLE has assisted 88,065 workers and disbursed P480 million in cash since the start of the pandemic last year.
A total of P50 million was also set aside for the implementation of livelihood programs in 100 identified villages in the Cagayan Valley Region.
“Our people in the regional and field offices have started orientations among our partner local government units. We target to initiate the distribution of assistance by the last quarter,” Bello said.
He urged local government units (LGUs) to pool more resources from other agencies to sustain peace and development in underprivileged areas.
“I’m sure that with the LGUs’ support, we can accomplish more, help more people, and lead them to a better, brighter future,” Bello said.
Also on Saturday, 672 fisherfolk-beneficiaries from 11 coastal towns were awarded with 224 motorboats.
The recipients were from Claveria, Aparri, Sta. Praxedes, Sanchez Mira, Pamplona, Abulug, Ballesteros, Buguey, Camalaniugan, Sta. Teresita and Gonzaga.
The motorboats are made of fiberglass material with a built-in machine worth P90,000 each, with DOLE Region 2 shelling out at least P201 million for the program.
Beneficiaries were also provided with insurance coverage.