A total of 3,400 displaced tourism workers in Iloilo will receive financial aid through the Department of Labor and Employment's (DOLE) TUPAD program.
According to Iloilo Provincial Tourism Officer Bombette Golez Marin, there are two batches of workers from 33 towns who will receive the assistance.
"Naghatag na kami list sa Public Employment Service Office (PESO) and amat-amat na kadto ang mga towns. Makabaton sila sang financial assistance. We have 3,400 displaced workers and before the end of the year, makabaton na sila," he said.
TUPAD or Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers, for a minimum period of 10 days, but not to exceed a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of work to be performed.
The payment of wages of the TUPAD beneficiaries is coursed through a money remittance service provider to ensure standard application across all regions in terms of mechanics and service fee costs. In cases where an Accredited Co-Partner is involved in the implementation, the ACP (including LGUs) shall facilitate the payment of wages of the TUPAD beneficiaries using a prescribed payroll, with representative/s from DOLE RO/PO/FO as witness/es.
Virna Ana Inocencia Tan of the Asosasyon sang Guides sa Banwang Iloilo (AGUBAY), said the pandemic has greatly affected tour guides.
"Just like everyone else, tour guides are affected; we are at a loss, we don't know what lies ahead, will the tourists and tours come back in the near future, how near is that possible future? Nevertheless, we need to be optimistic and resilient in these surreal and sordid times," she told IMT NEWS.
AGUBAY is a government recognized civil society organization composed of Department of Tourism (DOT) trained and accredited regional tourist guides based in Iloilo, Guimaras, and Aklan.
"Tour guides now have to look for other means to earn a living. Coping with the current situation calls for being proactive. After all, we all need to survive," said Tan.IMT