Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Saturday led the distribution of cash aid his department has prepared for various sectors in North Cotabato.
Bello, accompanied by North Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco, first handed over a symbolic check amounting to PHP5.5 million intended for 280 beneficiaries of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP).
He also turned over a farm tractor and check worth PHP993,000 for members of the Malmar Agricultural Farmers Association (MAFA) in Pikit, North Cotabato.
“About 150 beneficiaries of ‘Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers’ (TUPAD) from M’lang, North Cotabato also received PHP5,000 each from the labor secretary,” Catamco said.
Bello also handed over checks for 10 students who worked under the DOLE’s Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) in Makilala town.
Two associations of former overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in M’lang and Kidapawan City also received funds from DOLE through the Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong PUSO) and “Balik Pinas, Balik Pinay” programs of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac joined Bello in extending aid to former OFWs.
“I thought I would no longer receive monetary aid from the government,” said Gloria Santos, one of the beneficiaries under the TUPAD program in M’lang town.
Susan Fernan, a former OFW from Kidapawan City who got PHP30,000 cash aid, said “At least I have something to start with, I can now fulfill my dream of having a decent source of income through small business.”
Bello lauded Catamco for her unwavering support to the DOLE-12 program that benefited her constituents.
“This clearly shows that when leaders cooperate, their constituents get aid and have reasons to celebrate,” Bello told the beneficiaries as they roared in applause during the program held at the provincial gymnasium in this city. (PNA)