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DOLE: P32-M aid given to Abra quake victims

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DOLE: P32-M aid given to Abra quake victims
Photo shows debris of a construction site in La Trinidad, Benguet following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Abra earlier Wednesday morning. 
Office of Rep. Eric Go Yap

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment said it has so far provided P32 million worth of emergency employment and livelihood assistance to workers affected by the recent Abra earthquake.

On Monday, it also announced that it is working with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to launch a training-cum-production and emergency employment program.

DOLE Information and Public Service Director Rolly Francia in a briefing said P11 million have already been disbursed to the Ilocos Region through the department’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD program.

The majority or P21 million was allocated for the Cordillera Administrative Region, where the Abra province is located. 

The DOLE previously said it is allocating P50 million to help workers in the areas hardest hit by the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck last July 27 that affected over half a million individuals.

Meanwhile, the department said it plans to issue a joint memorandum circular with TESDA on the progam that aims “to build a pool of construction workers” who will then work with local government units to assist it rebuilding facilities damaged by the quake. 

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council estimates P1.593 billion worth of infrastructure were left damaged, majority of which are schools, government, and health facilities. 

Some 40 batches composed of 25 trainees from the municipalities in Abra, Ilocos Sur, and Benguet will be part of the initial implementation of the project. 

“It will assist severly affected areas in Northern Luzon, specifically CAR and Region I to rehabilitate the infrastructure, shelter, and cultural heritage of devastated communities, and implement emergency employment programs in affected communities to jumpstart their lives towards eventual normalcy,” DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said in a statement on Monday. — Kaycee Valmonte

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