15th November 2021

The Department of Labor and Employment notes with concern claims that its flagship program TUPAD or Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced workers “is being taken advantage of by some politicians.”

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 availment of TUPAD assistance is subject to 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 form of calamities.

We wish to thank Senator Panfilo Lacson for bringing this matter to public attention. Rest assured that this incident will be addressed.

In order to curb this type 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.

Moreover, in a very recent Memo issued by Secretary Silvestre Bello III, dated 17 September 2021, it has been emphasized that TUPAD is a DOLE program 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.

We enjoin everyone to be vigilant to curtail these kinds of irregularities. ###