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APRIL ROSE N. MAGPANTAY LEO III DOLE Batangas Provincial Office / March 17, 2023

For 19 years, the sugarcane field became the source of bread and butter for the family of Maribel Lincuran, a field worker from Sampaga, Balayan, Batangas.

But after the recent closure of the Central Azucarera Don Pedro Inc. (CADPI) Sugar Mill, the second biggest raw sugar producer in Luzon Maribel’s day-to-day income drastically changed. “Ang anak ko hindi na nakakapasok sa school dahil sa wala na po talaga. Wala kaming kinikita. Noon, hindi kami nagugutom. Ngayon po, nagtatabas pa rin po kahit gutom na. Wala po kaming ibang trabaho,” she narrated.

To grant relief to affected sugarcane field workers like Maribel, the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office IV-A, through its Batangas Provincial Office (DOLE-BPO), implemented its emergency employment program, the Tulong Panghanapbuhay Para sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD.

Last March 17, 456 sugarcane fieldworkers from Balayan, Nasugbu, Tuy, and Calaca received their Php 4,700.00 salaries after the 10-day emergency employment program of the Department.

Maribel Bocaya, a sugarcane fieldworker from Balayan, Batangas is one of the beneficiaries of the Tulong Pangkabuhayan Para sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program.

(Photo by April Rose Magpantay/ DOLE-BPO)

“Malaking tulong po. Nagpapasalamat po kami sa TUPAD, makakabili po kami ng bigas,” Maribel remarked.

Thirty-eight-year-old Eduardo Bocaya also shared his outpouring of gratitude for the department’s aid for him and his family.

Bocaya said that for nearly ten years, working in the sugarcane field has always been the primary source of income for their family.

But since the closure of the milling plant, their family experienced debt over debt to survive their everyday needs.

Eduardo Bocaya from Calaca, Batangas received the transaction code containing their Php 4,700.00 salary for a ten-day community work under the TUPAD program. (Photo by April Rose Magpantay/ DOLE-BPO)

“Malaking tulong po ito...Makakatulong po sa mga anak ko, sa pagpasok [nila]...Maraming marami pong salamat sa DOLE TUPAD,” Bocaya shared.

DOLE-BPO Senior Labor and Employment Officer, Mr. Darius Allan Lubis, and Labor and Employment Officer III, Ms. Salvacion Kalalo led the recently conducted payout.

According to DOLE BPO Director Predelma Tan, aside from TUPAD, DOLE is also set to release more livelihood packages to affected workers and planters.

"We at the Department of Labor and Employment are continuously maximizing our programs to grant relief to every affected displaced and sugarcane field worker. As of date, we already conducted TUPAD orientations and payout and released livelihood packages to beneficiaries from various municipalities in the first district of Batangas,” she remarked.

The department allotted an initial fund of Php 19.6 million for TUPAD and Php 60 million for a livelihood assistance program.

Aside from these programs, DOLE BPO also tapped the Public Employment Service Offices in Batangas to refer displaced workers to various companies in the region for wage employment.

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