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 Dinalupihan, Bataan—As of May 20, a total of 2,936 individuals from Bataan were assisted under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers #Barangay Ko, Bahay Ko (TUPAD #BKBK) program. In Central Luzon, 24,469 informal sector workers benefitted from the said program-- totaling the distributed amount to more than P105.1 million.

Out of this number, Shaira Joy Macalalad, a mother of two, was among the qualified beneficiaries. 

Macalalad, an online seller of homemade snacks like kalamay and puto, was one of the many who were greatly affected by the pandemic. Especially having a son who is battling an Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, she has to remain strong for her family.

“Syempre, napapagod din. Pero pag naiisip ko ang anak ko at ang sakit na pilit nyang nilalabanan, kahit ano pang pagod ay nakakaya kong tiisin,” she added.

Upon learning of the TUPAD #BKBK program, she did not hesitate to contact the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of Dinalupihan to possibly apply for the assistance.

After working for 10 days, she received her salary amounting to P4,200.00 in April, in which, she immediately invested into her online business, adding kimchi and seafood to her growing list of products offered.

Macalalad expressed her gratitude in an interview with the Department of Labor and Employment-Regional Office III (DOLE-RO III). She said, “Malaki ang aking pasasalamat sa patuloy na tulong na ibinibigay ng gobyerno lalo na sa aking anak at sa aming hanapbuhay.” 

The TUPAD #BKBK program, together with the help of its regional implementers, aims to reach the most unshielded members of the labor force.

As of May 20, the DOLE-RO III has also extended assistance to 4,232 beneficiaries in Aurora, 3,290 beneficiaries in Bulacan, 2,951 beneficiaries in Nueva Ecija, 5,448 beneficiaries in Pampanga, 3,957 beneficiaries in Tarlac, and 1,655 beneficiaries in Zambales.

END/DOLE III/PMTSSD

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