ZAMBOANGA CITY—The first congressional district office, in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment, has provided temporary employment to 1,277 canning factory workers affected by the fishing ban here.
The temporary employment, initiated by first district Rep. Celso Lobregat, was made possible through the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers or TUPAD program of DoLE.
The TUPAD program beneficiaries are workers from the 11 canning factories that temporarily ceased production since the closed season for sardine fishing took effect on Dec. 1.
The closed fishing season, which ends on March 1, covers east Sulu Sea, Basilan Strait and Sibuguey Bay.
The beneficiaries were employed for a period of 15 days effective Dec. 22 and each will receive salary based on the minimum wage of P296 daily with no deductions such as withholding tax.
They are to undertake clean and green program in their respective barangays.
“Since the start of the fishing ban last Dec. 1, these factory workers are unemployed, but they have to sustain their families. So, in my own little way, we are giving them assistance by means of livelihood in the spirit of Christmas,” Lobregat said. PNA
Imelda Alfaro, 42, a mother of two and one of the program beneficiaries, said she was glad that Lobregat in partnership with DOLE provided them alternative livelihood assistance.
Alfaro said they are having difficulty in looking for alternative jobs while waiting for the lifting of the fishing ban.
The workers who are recipient of the program are from the following canning firms: MEGA Fishing Company; Universal Canning; Goldstar Canning; Century Pacific; PERMEX Corporation; YL Fishing Company; NY Fishing Company; Fortune Company; Aquatic Corporation; SACC Corporation; and, BIGFISH Corporation.
“This livelihood (TUPAD) program is very relevant and beneficial to its recipients, that’s why I am trying to procure more funds from DOLE to augment the number of recipients which can benefit the unemployed constituents of the city,” Lobregat said. PNA