By Analou De Vera
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said that more than 259,000 workers from the informal sector have benefitted from its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD)-Barangay ko, Bahay Ko (BKBK) program.
The DOLE disclosed that a total of 259,449 workers have availed the TUPAD-BKBK program as of April 24.
“Of this, 65 percent have completed their work and were paid a total of P723 million in wages,” said the labor department in a statement.
The Bicol region has served the highest number of informal workers under the said program with a total of 53,169 workers amounting to P68.8 million in wages paid, the DOLE said.
This was followed by Calabarzon region with a total of 23,808 affected informal workers and were paid with P60.4 million in wages.
“We hope that the TUPAD-BKBK can help alleviate the thousands of informal sector workers displaced by this crisis,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
Meanwhile, over 500,000 informal workers still have pending requests to be covered under the program.
“However, these pending requests will not be covered due to dwindling funds,” the DOLE said.
To note, the TUPAD-BKBK is a program aimed at providing emergency employment for displaced, underemployed and seasonal workers in the informal sector amid the COVID-19.
The qualified workers were paid the prevailing minimum wage set in their respective regions for a 10-day disinfection of houses and its immediate areas.