THE Department of Labor and Employment reported that the government’s flagship cash-for-work program has provided emergency employment to close to one million workers and paid more than P4.5 billion in wages in only about two months.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said that as of December 28, 939,209 informal sector workers hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and those affected by the successive typhoons last month were served under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) program.
Bello said the record implementation of TUPAD is pursuant to the directive of President Duterte to speed up assistance to the most vulnerable members of society.
“And this was precisely the instruction we issued to our regional offices: expedite the release of assistance to our workers,” he said.
In a report to the labor chief, the Bureau of Workers with Special Concern said of the number of beneficiaries, some 797,222 had been paid while 141,989 have on-going work. BWSC manages the TUPAD program.
BWSC Director Karen Trayvilla said with the expeditious program implementation, TUPAD beneficiaries may reach more than one million with more funds still available from the P6-billion appropriation under the Bayanihan Act 2.
“We expect more informal sector workers to benefit from TUPAD under Bayanihan 2. That may exceed one million,” she said, noting that her office had originally targeted less than a million beneficiaries.
Trayvilla said DOLE had relaxed the program depending on the needs of the region. She said beneficiaries are paid for work done for a minimum of 10 days to a maximum of 16 days based on the threshold requirements in the area.
The National Capital Region had the biggest TUPAD allocation under Bayanihan 2 which stood at P923.9 million followed by Region 4A at P593.2 million and Region 3 with P587.1 million.
TUPAD is a regular program of the DOLE aimed at providing emergency employment for displaced or disadvantaged workers in the informal sector affected by calamities and disasters.