The Department of Labor and Employment Surigao del Norte Field Office (DOLE SDNFO) rolled out a Serbisyo Caravan in celebration of the 120th Labor Day last May 1, 2021. The event was conducted in Surigao City and Siargao Islands, with the participation of the workers and families affected by Super Typhoon Odette, together with several DOLE SDN partner agencies, PESO Managers, private establishments, and selected beneficiaries of DOLE frontline services in the province. 

The caravan highlights the awarding of Certificates of Guarantee for livelihood assistance to parents of profiled child laborers, ceremonial releases of livelihood assistance, Project Angel Tree, and cash pay-out of salaries for the beneficiaries of Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program in Surigao del Norte (SDN).

The event was held in Luneta Park, Surigao City. DOLE SDNFO posted 17 job vacancies from 7 establishments in the province to facilitate the employment of jobseekers. General Masons, HE Electricians, Dump Truck Drivers, and Heavy Equipment Operators were among the vacancies offered. In support of the event, several National Line Agencies: Social Security System (SSS), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF-Pagibig), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) offered their services and provided orientations on the programs, and advocacies of their respective organizations. 

Simultaneously, DOLE SDNFO facilitated the awarding of livelihood assistance worth P3,358,089.00 to four associations in the province. The New Tubod Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (NTTODA) received a P405,415.00 grant for its Motor Spare Parts Trading project, Island Farmers Paradise Association, Inc. was granted P994,330.00 assistance for its Hog Fattening Project, Unified Farmers and Fisherfolks Association received P956,062.00 grant for its Tilapia Culture Project, and Del Pilar Makugihon Fishing Association was awarded a P998,282.00 grant for its General Merchandise Project. The associations were represented by their President, the PESO Manager of their respective LGUs, and the municipal treasurer.

In the same program, a total of P3.6M has been released as salaries of workers under TUPAD to 765 beneficiaries: 100 individuals in Philippine Gateway Hotel, 20 in Surigao City Luneta Park, 552 in DOLE SDNFO, and 93 in Dapa Women’s Center.

“Mapasalamaton ko kay naapil ko sa TUPAD, marajaw and TUPAD kay nakatabang sa mga kabos ug pobre nga mga tawo, tungod ani jaun nakoy pangdugang sa akong pangunabuhian ug makapalit naoud ko ug amo makaon sa ako pamilya,” Fredirico Sinday, a 64-year-old fisherman said. 

At the same time, the Project Angel Tree was held in the municipality of Dapa, Surigao del Norte. Beneficiaries included ten profiled and validated child laborers from the Municipalities of Dapa and Del Carmen. Each child received a sack of rice, school supplies, and grocery items given by their kind benefactors or angels, namely: Taganito Mining Corporation, Hinatuan Mining Corporation, Inc., and Prince Hypermart, Inc.

“Salamat karajaw sa DOLE ug uban pa nga naghatag niini nga grasya nakatabang karajaw ni sa akong pageskwela ug sa akong pamilya. Unta hatagan pa pud kamo ug grasya sa ginoo aron daghan pa kamo matabangan,” one of the children said. 

The parents of the child laborers also received a one-year Certificate of Guarantee. Through this certificate, they can avail of livelihood assistance under DILP provided that they comply with the requirements. The livelihood grant is one of DOLE’s ways of supporting the families of child laborers to mitigate child labor in the country.

DOLE SDNFO Head Ms. May C. Velonta expressed her heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the celebration’s attendees, especially Provincial PESO Manager Mr. Emilio S. Pantejo. She stated that the event was a success as the department was able to show recognition for the hard work and resiliency of Filipino workers, particularly of the Surigaonons.