For a fisherman like the 32-year-old Mr. Airell Calaluan, the recent oil spill crisis along the coast of Mindoro took a toll on the fishing industry on their island.
“Malaki po ang epekto dahil mahirap po ang kabuhayan, hindi po makapangisda ang iba pa naming ka-barangay. Wala pong pagkakitaang iba…Ngayon po ako’y nasa resort po kami [pero] apektado rin po ang resort dahil nga nagkaganoon,” Calaluan said.
Mr. Airell Calaluan shared the effects of the oil spill crisis on their livelihood as fishermen in Isla Verde, Batangas. (Photo by April Rose Magpantay/ DOLE-BPO)
Ms. Ginalyn Manongsong, a fish vendor from the same barangay of San Agapito also shared similar challenges when the crisis broke out.
“Mahirap dahil matumal ang isda, walang bumibili. Natatakot silang kumain,” Manongsong shared.
To grant relief to oil spill-affected workers like Mr. Calaluan and Ms. Manongsong, the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office 4A through its Batangas Provincial Office (DOLE BPO), implemented its emergency employment program, the Tulong Panghanapbuhay Para sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD in Isla Verde, Batangas City.
Last June 8, each of the 1,034 oil spill-affected workers from the barangays of San Andres, San Agapito, San Antonio, San Agustin Kanluran, San Agustin Silangan, and Liponpon, situated on the mentioned island.
DOLE Assistant Secretary for Regional Operations Dominique Rubia-Tutay, CESO II with Regional Director Atty. Roy Buenafe and Provincial Director Predelma Tan led the payout of Php 4,700.00 salaries for each beneficiary.
DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Rubia-Tutay led the payout at Isla Verde, Batangas City, June 8. (Photo by April Rose Magpantay/ DOLE-BPO)
In her message, Assistant Secretary Dominique Rubia-Tutay emphasized the continuous action of the department in reinforcing its programs for the welfare of the workers and empowering them to be more productive members of the labor force.
“Ide-develop po natin ang inyong isla, ide-develop po natin ang inyong mga sarili sa pamamagitan ng skills build up at syempre service quality po kung ito ay gagawin nating isang tourist destination…para sustainable po tayo. Kasi ang TUPAD, ten days lang po ‘yun, after that, wala na. Mas mainam kung self-reliant po ang magiging vision po natin sa ating mga sarili. Mas mainam kasi tinutulungan po natin ang sarili natin ng marangal at tuloy tuloy para maging maayos din ang buhay ng bawat isa sa atin dito sa isla,” she shared.
DOLE BPO Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program Focal Person, Ms. Salvacion Kalalo, and the ten TUPAD coordinators facilitated the payout on a cash basis so beneficiaries will no longer need to sail going to the mainland in order to receive their salaries.
1,034 beneficiaries from six barangays in Isla Verde, Batangas City received their salaries during the TUPAD Payout, June 8. (Photo by April Rose Magpantay/ DOLE-BPO)
With utmost joy, the beneficiaries expressed their gratitude for the department’s intervention in providing emergency employment to them amidst the crisis.
“Maraming maraming salamat po sa naibigay na tulong na ito sa amin at malaking tulong po ito sa amin…Panggastos po sa bahay ‘yan, pangbili ng mga pagkain at pangbaon ng mga anak,” Calaluan remarked.
Each beneficiary rendered community work for ten days as emergency employment.
DOLE also coordinated the mentioned activity with Congressman Marvey A. Mariño of the Office of the 5th Congressional District of Batangas.