Surigao del Norte is one of the centers of intervention of the Philippine Development Plan for the year 2017-2022 to attain inclusive and sustainable peace through intensified social development and other peace-building initiatives in conflict-affected and vulnerable communities; consequently, for the identified communities to become sustainable, resilient and self-reliant. To achieve this, Local Government Units (LGU) and National Government Agencies (NGA) are mandated to get involved.

DOLE-SDN pioneered the employment of disadvantaged workers, specifically Former Rebels (FRs), in “hotspot” baranggays including Barangay Budlingin, Alegria and Baranggay Mat-i, Surigao City. Through the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/ Displaced Workers (TUPAD), FR beneficiaries of mentioned baranggays were gathered to participate in the Community Support Program (CSP) along with 30th Infantry Battalion of Surigao del Norte.

TUPAD is a community-based assistance program of the government, DOLE being the implementer, which provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers. The employment shall be a 10-day peior at least, but not to exceed a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of work provided.

A total of 101 FR and former member of the Underground Mass Organizations (UGMO) were employed on October 21, 2019 in Barangay Mat-I and 115 from Barangay Budlingin last November 18, 2019.

DOLE-SDN has also been actively participating in the meetings of the Poverty Reduction Livelihood Cluster (PRLEC) of Surigao del Norte. Institutionalized intervention programs to identified baranggays across Surigao del Norte are agreed and assigned to different agencies, as seen below:

Brooms Making TESDA, DAR
Agrivet Supply LBP
Farm Supply LBP
Egg Production DOLE
Banana Chips TESDA, DAR, DA, DOST, DTI
Copra Buying DTI
Water Refilling Station DTI
Rice Grain Buying DTI
Coconut by Product DTI,DAR,PCA,TESDA
Cassava & Banana Chips TESDA,DAR,DA,DOST,DTI
Tilapia Production BFAR
Farming Inputs DA but only seeds
Copra Buy and Sell DTI
Native Chicken DA
Farm Inputs and Equipment DA but only seeds

*Data source: Minutes of the Meeting from PRLEC 3rd meeting – September 24, 2019 @ Conference Hall, Livelihood Training and Productivity Center (LTPC)*

Egg production was assigned to DOLE-SDN; and several organizations in the province has been already granted with the program such as Tabuk Socorro Farmers Association Inc. and CAFACU of LGU Gigaquit.

Another significant initiative of PRLEC participated by DOLE-SDN was the launched of the Harmonizing Opportunities towards Progress and Empowered Peace and Development Zone (HOPE-PDZ) on October 22, 2019 in the Municipality of Alegria. The event announced the harmonized programs and services of PRLEC members from the Local Government Units (LGU) and National Government Agencies (NGA) to the beneficiaries particularly FR, former members of UGMO who are from Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA), conflict –affected and conflict-vulnerable areas. In the activity, DOLE-SDN oriented the TUPAD program, issued Registration of Workers Association (RWA) certificates, and provided Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) to TUPAD beneficiaries.

The above-mentioned participation and initiative of DOLE-SDN shows that it continues to support the advocacy of peace in the province and live to the agency’s commitment to help the nation in poverty reduction.