Thu. May 26th, 2022

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday said it is ready to provide employment assistance under Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced (TUPAD) program to areas placed under strict alert levels amid the Covd-19 pandemic.

(pna.gov.ph)

“We will still look into the areas that possibly will not shift to a lower alert level then we will refocus our target there. Compared to areas where the economy is relaxed, they could (not) go about with their day-to-day economic activities. So that will be the first thing DOLE will do to refocus on those areas that need it,” lawyer Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla, director of the agency’s Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC), said in a virtual forum.

Trayvilla said they will also review the number of TUPAD beneficiaries per region.

“We will look into it if there is a need to change or alter the numbers we assigned per region. We will still look into that depending on the situation,” she added.

Meanwhile, Trayvilla expressed hope that Metro Manila will be placed under the most relaxed Alert Level 1 soon.

“We are just hoping and praying that we will have this level since we are striving for the reopening of the economy. Of course, as I mentioned before if that will be the situation, we have to refocus on the implementation of TUPAD in areas that do not yet have the alert status. We need to shift our funds there,” she added.

Except for Davao de Oro, Davao Occidental, Guimaras, Iloilo City, Iloilo province, South Cotabato, and Zamboanga City which are under Alert Level 3, Metro Manila and the rest of the country are under Alert Level 2 until the end of February.

On Wednesday, the Metro Manila Council unanimously recommended placing the region under Alert Level 1 beginning March.

The matter will be tackled by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) in its meeting set on Thursday.

Under TUPAD, qualified beneficiaries are given work specified by the local government. Workers are paid in cash to help them cope with the crisis brought by the pandemic.

The salary is based on the prevailing minimum wage in the region and is coursed through a money remittance service provider.

Meanwhile, the DOLE clarified that it has nothing to do with the TUPAD program being implemented by Pasig City.

It also advised LGUs implementing TUPAD projects using their own funds, to seek authority from the DOLE prior to its implementation, to ensure compliance with the program guidelines.

Also, the department enjoined its partners, especially the local government units, to institute appropriate control measures to ensure peace, order, and safety in the implementation of the TUPAD program.

The Pasig City government has apologized over the incident.

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