DOLE says it does not condone use of TUPAD for political activities
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Tuesday it does not condone political activities that require displaced workers to participate in campaign caravans before they can benefit from the agency’s assistance program.
The DOLE issued a statement after Senator Panfilo Lacson said that a number of politicians are requiring TUPAD beneficiaries to join the caravans of candidates before they can avail of the assistance package.
The TUPAD program or Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers is an assistance program that gives emergency employment to 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 carried out.
The DOLE said it is concerned with claims that the program is being used for politics.
“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,” the labor department said.
“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,” it added.
The DOLE earlier institutionalized Administrative Order 118-21, or the Guidelines on the Disposition of Complaints relative to the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program, to examine the merits of complaints, institute appropriate actions, and facilitate the filing of charges to perpetrators of related offenses.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III also issued a memorandum on September 17 which emphasizes that TUPAD is a program of DOLE 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,” the DOLE said.
“Rest assured that this incident will be addressed… We enjoin everyone to be vigilant to curtail these kinds of irregularities,” it added.
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