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TUPAD worker finds true reason for the Christmas season


Malaybalay City, Bukidnon --- Christmas has always been a special time. It is the time when the spirit of gift giving and rekindled affection towards families and others have become a norm to all people of all ages. It is the time when folks celebrate together whether in huge reunions, loud parties, or even, simple but intimate gatherings at home. No doubt, the Christmas season is the most festive time of the year.

However, for Claudine Lee, a TUPAD (Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers) worker in Manolo Fortich, more than all the joyful noise, merrymaking, and festive celebrations, Christmas remains to be a season of hope.

Lee, 24, is a single mother from Barangay Tankulan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. She admitted that life is hard, most especially that she is raising a child and remains to be unemployed.

Lisod kaayo walay kwarta pandugang sa budget. Labi na karon na duol na ang pasko. Maayo nalang unta naa nay handa bisan gamay lang.” (It is tough when you do not have income, especially now that Christmas is near. It would be better if we can share even a simple meal together.)

Just when she thought all hope was lost, Claudine heard from the Public Employment Service Office of Manolo Fortich that there is a TUPAD)program of the Department of Labor & Employment (DOLE) that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed, and seasonal workers for a period of time depending on the nature of work. Claudine immediately grabbed the opportunity and was included as part of the 25 beneficiaries who will work for 30 days.

Claudine said, “Nakatabang ang TUPAD nako kay ang kwarta nga akong nadawat gikan sa akong pagtrabaho kay gamiton nako puhon para sa akong pag tiwas ug eskwela. Ug naka tabang pud ni sa ako para sa akong anak nga mapalit nako iyang mga kinahanglan.” (The salary that I received as a TUPAD beneficiary will really help me because I will use that money for school expenses to finish my studies in the near future, and this will also help finance the needs of my child.)

Lee said that the TUPAD program was a glimmer of hope in these dark trying times. It came perfectly when she thought that there was no longer a second chance for her and her baby, and that the Christmas season will remain to be just one of those ordinary days.

Ang TUPAD na program gipa-realize sa ako na dili gyud ko mawalaan dapat ug pag-asa kay ang Ginoo permi mutabang nako ug sa atong tanan basta kay permi lang ta mag-ampo ug modoul sa iyaha. Ug tungod sa grasya na akong nadawat gipa-remind ko kung unsa gyud and tinood na rason ngano gacelebrate ta ug Christmas – si Jesus Christ.” (The TUPAD program made me realize that I should not lose hope because God will always help me, as long as, we continually pray and draw close to Him. Because of the blessings I received, it reminded me of the true meaning of Christmas who is Jesus Christ.”

DOLE-X Bukidnon Provincial Field Office Chief Raul L. could not agree more with Claudine. He said TUPAD program will continue to help our disadvantaged/displaced workers to acquire a full-time wage employment or self-employment opportunities and  inspire more people to be productive workers in the community.

Indeed, Christmas, with all its festivities and traditions, has never failed to spark joy and laughter on the face and in the hearts of people. However, Claudine reminded us that amidst the jubilation: there is only one true reason for the season.   

End/Mark Anthony J. Combong/LEO II/DOLE-X/Bukidnon Provincial Field Office


Claudine Lee (left) shares her experiences while working under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) during an interview at the PESO Office, Brgy. Tankulan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon on 12 December 2019. Ms. Lee is one of the 25 beneficiaries given emergency employment for 30 days. The TUPAD program of DOLE provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed, and seasonal workers for a period of time depending on the nature of work. (Photo source: DOLE-X Bukidnon Provincial Field Office)


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