December 4, 2022

The Department of Labor and Employment expressed concern over reports that some politicians are taking advantage of its flagship program, Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced (Tupad) workers.

In a statement, the DOLE said it does not condone activities, especially those requiring the participation of would-be beneficiaries in caravans to avail of assistance under the Tupad program.

The availment of Tupad assistance is subject to eligibility of the beneficiaries and compliance with the requirements under the Department Order 219-20.

Those who qualify for the assistance are the workers in the informal sector who were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and other calamities.

“We wish to thank Sen. Panfilo Lacson for bringing this matter to public attention. Rest assured that this incident will be addressed,” the DOLE statement read.

To curb these types of irregularities, the DOLE has institutionalized Administrative Order 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.

In a memo issued by Sec. Silvestre Bello III, dated Sept. 17, it was emphasized Tupad is a DOLE program and not a congressional district activity.

As such, additional control measures were issued to ensure that the workers will be protected from any form of abuse, including this alleged requirement.

“We enjoin everyone to be vigilant to curtail these kinds of irregularities,” the DOLE said. – Press release