The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Regional and District Engineering Offices has launched the nationwide Assistance to Youth and Unemployed for Development and Advancement, or AYUDA, Program on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at the Rizal Park in Manila in a bid to provide local employment opportunities particularly to displaced employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“AYUDA was launched so that we can maximize our Build, Build, Build Program by hiring unemployed youth and those who lost their jobs, allowing our kababayans to recover from COVID-19. And at the same time contribute to our public infrastructure development nationwide,” said DPWH Secretary Roger G. Mercado.
“The goal is to at least hire one member per household to guarantee food on the table of Filipino households that are struggling to make ends meet,” he added.
Hired applicants will be part of the DPWH maintenance work force responsible in ensuring cleanliness and obstruction-free roads through street sweeping, cleaning of street signs, hauling waste materials, and painting of concrete barriers.
A certification of employment will be issued to beneficiaries, which they may use for future employment.
The department’s AYUDA program was conceptualized from previous DPWH employment programs, including the popular Out-of-School Youth toward Economic Recovery or OYSTER program and the Kalsada Natin Alagaan Natin, also known as KNAN program.
Present during the AYUDA Program launching was Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benjamin “Benhur” C. Abalos Jr., DPWH Senior Undersecretary Rafael C. Yabut, and Undersecretaries Maximo L. Carvajal, Roberto R. Bernardo, Eugenio R. Pipo Jr., Emil K. Sadain, and Maria Catalina E. Cabral.
Other attendees were DPWH Assistant Secretaries Wilfredo Mallari, Ador G. Canlas, Eric A. Ayapana, and Mel John I. Versoza, and NCR Director Nomer Abel P. Canlas, as well as other public works officials.