Tupad workers told to venture into community gardening

ZAMBOANGA. Beneficiaries of Tulong Panghanabuhay Sa Ating Displaced/Displaced (Tupad) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte receive vegetable seeds as they are encouraged to engage in community gardening to earn additional income. A handout photo shows Tupad recipients listening intently to a DOLE official before their work begins. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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

Mayor Joel Ventura of Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte, said Tupad beneficiaries can also earn extra income by selling crops outside of regular clean-up campaigns.

Attorney Roy Buenafe, regional director of DOLE, expressed his full support for Ventura’s program.

“Creating community vegetable gardens can benefit the community as it can provide fresh and healthy produce close to homes. Especially during the pandemic, we need to find creative ways to reduce expenses,” Buenafe said.

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

The DOLE official said that the Tupad program not only helps the beneficiaries through emergency jobs but also benefits the communities in terms of social, economic and agro-community projects carried out during 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 316 pesos over 15 days. In addition to wages, they are also registered for collective accident insurance under the GSIS.

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

Beneficiaries received orientation on the main features of the Tupad program and on occupational safety and health as a prerequisite for their effective engagement in employment. Their 15-day job ends on November 16.

The DOLE is in close coordination with the Municipal Office of the Public Employment Service (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 from Sibuco, the agency was still able to reach them and provide needed assistance to voters. (SunStar Zamboanga)