Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.
VARIOUS labor groups and workers’ unions on Thursday called for more resources for Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (Tupad) after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) proposed to cut the budget of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) ‘s subsidy program.
In a statement, the Nagkaisa Labor Coalition and the Federation of FreeWorkers (FFW) and its local unions also urged the DoLE to implement Tupad in areas devastated by Super Typhoon “Karding.”
Sonny Matula, chairman of the Nagkaisa Labor Coalition and president of the Federation of Free Workers, said that the DBM has reduced the proposed budget of Tupad to P25.8 billion for 2023. This is significantly lower than the P36.9 billion allotted in 2022 .
He also emphasized the need for a democratic implementation of the program.
Tupad is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for 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. The payment of wages of the Tupad beneficiaries is coursed through a money remittance service provider to ensure standard application across all regions.
With the conclusion of the employment project, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), or its accredited training institutions, will be tapped to conduct the skills training for the Tupad beneficiaries under its Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP).
Last year, the DoLE suspended the implementation of Tupad in certain areas due to alleged irregularities.
The agency sought the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation in probing the reported anomaly.
“Tupad should be implemented in a non-partisan way and with the participation of unions or workers’ associations in the localities,” said Matula.
This emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers must be enhanced with the participation of workers and their unions, he said.
The FFW and its local unions in Luzon also called for the immediate distribution of relief goods and the emergency employment of workers in areas devastated by the super typhoon.
“The FFW hopes that the Social Welfare and Labor Departments will work double time in providing relief to families affected by the typhoon, especially the workers,” Matula said.
“Many people were displaced and until now they are still waiting for food, clothing and relief goods,” he added. “We also urge our union affiliates and their union members to donate to the Angat Pinas foundation to help victims and assist displaced workers.”