Legarda: DOLE Budget for Underemployed, Displaced Workers Increases in 2018

January 26, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda today said that more underemployed and displaced workers would benefit from the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disavantaged/Displaced (TUPAD) Workers Program with increased funding under the 2018 national budget.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that the 2018 budget for DOLE’s TUPAD Workers Program is Php1.604 Billion, which is significantly higher than 2017’s Php531 Million.

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 to be performed.

“We ensured increased funding for the TUPAD program of DOLE because it helps cushion the effects of unemployment, especially for laid-off or retrenched workers, as well as for self-employed workers whose livelihoods have been damaged by disasters and other crises,” Legarda said.

“Not only does this contribute to sustaining the level of employment rate in our country, it also encourages our employees to keep on working despite the setback and to continue enriching themselves and providing for their families,” she added.

Eligible beneficiaries of the TUPAD Program are underemployed workers; laid-off or terminated employees as a result of retrenchment or permanent closure of an establishment; and self-employed workers, including farmers and fisherfolk, who have lost their livelihoods because of natural calamities, disasters, economic crisis, armed conflicts and/or seasonality of work.

Only one member of a household is qualified to avail of the program within a year. However, a beneficiary can avail again in the event that he/she becomes a victim of a calamity or disaster.

“Under TUPAD, all beneficiaries are paid with 100% of the equivalent private sector minimum wage within their area or locality. It is a fairly adequate compensation to help our displaced or disadvantaged workers carry on with their lives,” Legarda said.

The Senator noted that after the beneficiaries have finished the program under TUPAD, they could avail of skills training to prepare them towards self or wage employment, through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) or its accredited training institutions.

The TUPAD Program is one of the two programs under the DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP), which seeks to contribute to the government’s agenda of inclusive growth through massive job generation and substantial poverty reduction and reduce the vulnerability of risks among the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized workers.

“Our workers are the backbone of our economy. As our economy grows, we expect more issues to arise that will certainly affect the life of our businesses. It is the duty of the government to extend its support in these scenarios, especially to those people who are affected by natural hazards and man-made disasters. We need to keep on encouraging the productive members of our society to continue enriching themselves and our society, towards a nation that is teeming with opportunities,” Legarda concluded.