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DOLE readies emergency jobs for quake-affected workers

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DOLE readies emergency jobs for quake-affected workers
A police line is placed on a ruined old house in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur province north of Manila on July 27, 2022, after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the northern Philippines, killing one person, shattering windows of buildings at the epicentre and shaking high-rise towers more than 300 kilometres (185 miles) away in the capital Manila.
Ricardo Raguini / CJ Ericson Garcia / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it is ready to assist workers affected by the earthquake last week that shook Abra and nearby provinces.

DOLE Regional Director for the Cordillera Administrative Region Nathaniel Lacambra reports that some 426 formal sector workers from 21 establishments and an unaccounted number of informal workers were affected by the magnitude 7.0 quake.

Lacambra said 4,625 individuals are being assisted by the agency through its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD program. 

The program provides emergency employment for at least 10 days but not over 30 days, depending on the kind of employment.

He said the region will be given a P50-million budget to help workers. The first half of the funding will be allocated to Abra-based individuals, while the second tranche of the funding will be budgeted for other areas.

“As far as Abra is concerned, we have already disbursed P8 million of the [P25 million] as of [Wednesday] afternoon,” Lacambra told state television in Filipino on Thursday. 

Meanwhile, the agency also has 571 participants under its Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES), who are helping out with the packing and the distribution of relief goods. They are apparently who are also on the lookout for prospective beneficiaries for DOLE’s TUPAD program.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council logged 443,152 individuals affected by last week’s earthquake. It also damaged over 30,000 houses across the Ilocos, Cagayan, Cordillera regions. 

Lacambra on Thursday said that the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority is also ready to train individuals whose homes were left damaged by the quake with carpentry skills, which they could use to restore their homes. 

He added that the DOLE is also willing to provide them with tools needed.

“Aside from that, we have budgeted P5 million for the livelihood opportunities of those based in Abra, the most affected province,” Lacambra said in Filipino.

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