AWARE that COVID-19 vaccines are on their way to mass distribution, the Filipino people are “optimistic” that the economy will bounce back next year as business operations start to normalize.
And it is heartening to note that the national government, through the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), will still help “displaced workers” while awaiting the availability of jobs.
Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, chairman of the powerful Senate finance committee, said that members of Congress agreed that many COVID-19-affected workers are still jobless.
Angara said this prompted Congress to increase next year’s budget of the DOLE, headed by Secretary Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III.
“Kaya dinagdagan namin ang pondo ng DOLE para sa Tulong Panghanabuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged or Displaced Workers Program (TUPAD) pati na rin sa Government Internship Program (GIP),” he said.
TUPAD is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers, for a minimum period of 10 days but not to exceed 30 days.
GIP, on the other hand, aims to provide opportunities and engage young workers to serve the general public in government agencies/entities’ projects and programs, according to Senator Angara.
The government has also put in place other programs and initiated activities aimed at meeting the employment and other needs of the burgeoning population, notably the poorest of the poor.
With many people still in the grip of poverty that has been aggravated by the pandemic that continues to sweep through the country, helping our beleaguered workers is a move in the right direction.
Certainly, the government is on track addressing the numerous problems brought about by COVID-19, which has claimed the lives of so many people not only in the Philippines but throughout the world.