With the theme “Pagsuong sa Hamon ng Panibagong Bukas,” the Department of Labor and Employment Surigao del Norte Field Office (DOLE SDSFO) celebrated the 124th Independence Day with an array of activities held at the Philippine Gateway Hotel, Surigao City.

DOLE SDSFO facilitated the cash pay-out to 30 Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program beneficiaries from Surigao City. Each worker received P4,800.00 as salary for the 15 days of emergency work rendered. 

Two (2) associations also received livelihood assistance amounting to P1.6 million during the event. Opong Farmers Association from Brgy. Opong, Tagana-an received P750,000.00 for their Mobile Rice Mill project and a total of P914,363.00 was released to Dona Helene Empowered Fishermen Association for their Fishing Supplies and Merchandise project. Mr. Francisco Gallenero also received P27,552.00 for his hog raising feeds project.

The department also commemorated the World Day Against Child Labor thru Project Angel Tree. Twenty (20) profiled child laborers from Surigao City participated in the activity with their parents. Each child received school supplies and grocery items from the following benefactors: Platinum Group Metals Corp. (PGMC), Nickel Base Construction and General Services, Polaris Construction Inc., and DAR-CARRECO. 

Mr. James Betito, a DOLE scholar under the Workers Organization Development Program (WODP) was also recognized for having graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Saint Paul University, Surigao City.

WODP is a government program that provides union/workers’ organizations, and their active members, including their dependents educational opportunities for self-development and growth through training programs, technical, education and financial assistance.

As a contribution to the job generation program of the government, 12 job applicants joined DOLE under the Government Internship Program (GIP) during the event. The newly-hired interns will work for the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) and Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program of the department.

In her message, DOLE SDNFO Head Ms. May C. Velonta lauded the resiliency of the Surigaonons for rising above the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent Super Typhoon Odette.

“DOLE SDNFO reiterates our commitment to assist the Surigaonons through job facilitation and social protection programs of the department so that our workers attain full, decent and productive employment,” she said.