BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Cordillera office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-CAR) is currently awaiting the exemption that will be granted by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on the implementation of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program in the province after the same was approved by the agency.
In a letter dated April 30, 2019 to Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr., DOLE-CAR Regional Director Exequiel Ronnie Guzman stated that the advice of disbursement limit of the provincial government’s TUPAD proposal was already approved by the central office.
However, he explained that the DOLE-CAR is still awaiting the cash allocation for the said proposal from the central office and its implementation is still subject to the approval of the exemption by the COMELEC from the ongoing election ban which was requested by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
Earlier, Gov. Lacwasan wrote the DOLE-CAR to inquire on the status of the TUPAD program which was supposed to be implemented by the national government through the agency in coordination with the different beneficiary local government units.
He urged the labor department to update the provincial government on the status of the implementation of the TUPAD program because the non-implementation is being allegedly dragged into the ongoing electoral exercise as his rivals are reportedly accusing him of using the amount intended for the program to finance his political campaign.
The governor emphasized that a written explanation from the agency could straighten out things and dispel the growing insinuation that the provincial official is using the funds for the program for his selfish and political interests.
It can be recalled that President Rodrigo Duterte and Labor Secretary Bello committed to provide the provincial government with the needed funds for the sustainable implementation of the TUPAD program after Mountain Province was heavily devastated by the previous worth of Typhoon Rosita late last year.
Under the TUPAD program, beneficiaries from the marginalized sectors of the province who were victims of calamities among other reasons are employed for one month and are properly compensated for them to be provided with a temporary source of income while recovering from the wrath of the weather disturbance that has affected the province last year.
President Duterte and Secretary Bello committed the assistance that will be provided by the national government through the TUPAD program to Gov. Lacwasan during the visit of the Chief Executive in Cauayan City, Isabela right after the wrath of Typhoon Rosita that heavily affected Mountain Province.
Lacwasan expressed his gratitude to the DOLE-CAR officials for their immediate action on his request to the agency to clarify the issue for the understanding and appreciation of the people, especially the individuals who are awaiting the order for them to start working in exchange for their prescribed wages under the TUPAD program which was devised by the national government to help uplift the plight of the marginalized workers in the countryside.