Solon urges DOLE to probe its own deficiencies flagged by COA
MANILA, Philippines — Bayan Muna Representative Ferdinand Gaite called on Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Sunday to conduct an investigation on the department’s deficiencies flagged by the Commission on Audit.
“While the utilization rate of DOLE is high unlike LTFRB which seemingly withheld aid distribution, it was unfortunately marred by glaring deficiencies such as claims by beneficiaries that they did not get the aid that they reportedly received, this along other issues must be investigated by the labor department. Kailangan itong busisiin ni Sec. Bello. May pananagutan siya sa ating mga manggagawa na pinahirapan ng palyadong lockdown ni Duterte (Secretary Bello needs to look into this. He needs to answer to the workers burdened by Duterte’s failed lockdown),”Gaite said in a statement.
Some individuals even claimed that the aid was slashed in their salary, Gaite added.
The lawmaker also lamented that DOLE has a small target, but still has issues with the management of funds.
Gaite explained that DOLE targeted to provide aid to only 557,924 individuals in 2020 when around 15.9 million workers were affected by the lockdown.
The representative was likewise alarmed with the millions of pesos that could possibly be pocketed due to fraudulent activities.
“Nakakabahala na kapos na nga ang ayuda, meron pang milyon-milyong halaga na posibleng napunta lamang sa bulsa ng iilan, na posibleng may fraudulent activities na naganap. Kawawa ang mga manggagawang naghintay at umasa sa tulong pero walang natanggap,” Gaite said.
(It is alarming that aid is already not enough, and millions could have possibly gone to the pockets of some as there were possibly some fraudulent activities that occurred. Workers who are waiting and hoping for help are in misery.)
DOLE used P7.267 billion of its P7.310 billion fund for its programs, namely the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (Camp), Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers Barangay ko, Bahay ko (Tupad BKBK), and Abot-Kamay ang Pagtulong (Akap).
Moreover, Gaite said that they will “bring this issue to the table” during the 2022 budget hearings.
“Ultimately this is another indictment of the Duterte administration’s numerous flawed programs to mitigate the impact of its equally flawed militarized lockdown. These COA reports really completes the picture of what the public has been labeling as ‘palpak’ (failure),” Gaite concluded.
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