BAGUIO CITY – Some two hundred thousand displaced and disadvantaged workers from the different parts of the Cordillera will benefit from the ongoing implementation of the government’s Tulong PanghanapbuhaySa Ating Disadvantaged or Displaced Workers Program (TUPAD) as part of the measures that were crafted to mitigate the heavy impact inflicted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to the economic activities and sources of livelihood of the people.
Nathaniel Lacambra, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-CAR), stated that the assistance that will be given to the beneficiaries of the program that will be identified will be amounting to over P1.2 billion for this year alone which will be a big help in allowing the displaced and disadvantaged workers to recover from their present predicament.
For the first quarter of this year, he claimed that the agency was able to extend financial assistance to some 17,464 beneficiaries with salaries amounting to more thanP94.7 million.
Last year, the DOLE-CAR official stipulated that there were some 141,709 beneficiaries of the said program where their accumulated salaries amounted to more than P840.2 million
Lacambra clarified that barangay officials, barangay health workers and barangay tanods are disqualified from being identified as beneficiaries of the said program.
Further, he explained that even recipients of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program are also not qualified to be included in the list of beneficiaries of the TUPAD because they are already receiving regular financial assistance from the government.
Lacambra urged the public to visit the agency’s field offices in the different provinces in the region to inquire on how to avail of the TUPAD for them to be able to avail of the assistance while awaiting the available job opportunities that will fit their qualifications.
According to him, people should understand that there are guidelines covering the implementation of the TUPAD that is why the agency is doing its best to screen those that deserve to avail of the assistance so that they will be able to use the funds to cope up with the serious negative impact of the ongoing pandemic.
Under the TUPAD guidelines, beneficiaries are required to render work in their barangays and in their homes for some 10 to a maximum of 15 days where they will be paid based on the prevailing daily rate in the area where they intend to work. The activities of the TUPAD beneficiaries include the cleanup of roads and other public facilities aside from cleaning their surroundings for them to be compensated.
The TUPAD is one of the centerpiece programs of the agency that gained popularity at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic where many people were displaced from their jobs following the implementation of series of lockdowns in the different parts of the country.
Lacambra said that the TUPAD will be a continuing program of the agency so that displaced and disadvantaged workers will be able to have a temporary source of income while awaiting the available job opportunities that will be offered, especially with the easing of the community quarantine restrictions that will pave the way for the movement of people.