April 17, 2024

The Department of Labor and Employment flagship emergency employment program for displaced and disadvantaged workers in the informal sector popularly known as Tupad or Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Disadvantaged/Displaced workers program will continue after Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III secured an exemption from the Commission on Elections.
With this exemption, the Labor department will continue to implement other flagship programs even this election period as enumerated in the Comelec resolution, which are the Government Internship Program (GIP); Jobstart Philippines Program (JSP); Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES); and the DOLE Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP).
To refresh our memories, Tupad 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 qualified beneficiaries of the Tupad program are those who are unemployed or underemployed; those who were laid off or terminated as a result of permanent closure of an establishment; and those who were self-employed and have losttheir livelihoods (including farmers and fishermen) because of natural or man-made disasters.
The availment of Tupad assistance is subject to the eligibility of the beneficiaries and compliance with the requirements under the Department Order 219-20. Specifically, the qualified beneficiaries are the workers in the informal sector who were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and other forms of calamities.
With claims that a number of politicians are requiring Tupad beneficiaries to join the caravans of candidates before they can avail of the assistance package, the DOLE in preparation of the election period institutionalized Administrative Order 118-21.
In the Cordillera, DOLE Director Nathaniel V.Lacambra stated the agency is concerned with claims the Tupad program is being used for politics but we do not condone such activities, especially those requiring the participation of would-be beneficiaries in caravans to be able to avail of assistance under the Tupad program.
To curb this type of irregularities, the DOLE has institutionalized AO 118-21 (Guidelines on the Disposition of Complaints relative to the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program) to examine the merits of complaints and institute appropriate actions to dispose the complaints and facilitate the filing of appropriate charges to perpetrators based on existing laws and pertinent rules and regulations.
Moreover, in a memo issued by Bellodated Sept. 17, 2021, it has been emphasized Tupad is a DOLE program and not a congressional district activity. Thus, additional control measures were issued to ensure that the workers will be protected from any form of abuse, including this alleged requirement.
Also,exempted from Comelec ban is the GIP, a three to six months internship opportunity for youth aged 18 to 30, who are in high school or technical-vocational institutes, college graduates and out-of-school youth to pursue work in the public service sector, both local and national government units. GIP serves as a training ground for future government employees.
The DOLE JobStart program enhances employability of youth by reducing their job-search period and increasing their employability through training (life skills and technical skills required by industries), paid internship and full-cycle employment facilitation services, while the SPES is DOLE’s youth employment-bridging program which aims to provide temporary employment to poor but deserving students, out-of-school youth, and dependents of displaced or would-be displaced workers during summer and/or Christmas vacation or any time of the year to augment the family’s income to help ensure that beneficiaries are able to pursue their education.
The CLPEP aims to remove children from child labor, particularly in its worst forms. The program contributes to the Philippine Program against Child Labor of the national government interventions for eliminating or preventing child labor by promotingchild-focused actions.
The existing programthat helps prevent child labor is the DOLE livelihood assistance to parents of child laborers who are among the priority beneficiaries under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program.