Department of Labor and Employment
April 18, 2021
Bello shifts TUPAD for contact tracing
Aside from Metro Manila, the cash-for-work program called TUPAD of the labor department may now be utilized by other local government units to help curb the spread of Covid 19 in the communities through contact tracing.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Saturday said LGUs needing additional contract tracers may start recruiting them under DOLE’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced (TUPAD) workers program.
In an interview over teleradio program Oh My Job, Bello said he has informed the Department of Interior and Local Government of his readiness to support the requirements of various LGUs for additional contact tracers, especially in areas where there are high Covid 19 cases.
“In our meeting with the DILG, I already told Acting Secretary (Bernardo) Florece that he can allocate to any LGU the number of contact tracers to be employed under our TUPAD program,” Bello said.
Bello has earlier given DOLE regional directors the discretion to approve requests of local chief executives to tap TUPAD beneficiaries as contact tracers in their respective areas.
“Since the DILG has problems funding the contact tracing of LGUs, I thought it wise to offer our TUPAD program for that purpose. In this manner, we are not only providing emergency employment to our displaced workers but also helping the urgent need of the community to stop the spread of the disease through contact tracing,” he said.
TUPAD is an emergency employment program for displaced or disadvantaged informal sector workers. Beneficiaries are provided with temporary employment that runs between 10 days to 30 days, and paid the prevailing daily minimum wage in their respective areas. Beneficiaries are normally those displaced by natural calamities like typhoon, earthquake, volcanic eruption or disasters and accidents like fire, etc.
At the height of the lockdowns last year, TUPAD beneficiaries were engaged to undertake disinfection and sanitation of their homes and immediate neighborhood to contain the spread of the virus.
Bello had initially offered 14,000 TUPAD beneficiaries as contact tracers for the requirements of LGUs in the National Capital Region and the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna for a duration of one month.
But NCR mayors, through Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos, requested that contract tracers be employed for three months instead for an allocation of P230 million equivalent to close to 5,000 contact tracers.
The application and processing for NCR contact tracers under TUPAD started on Saturday and ends on April 22. ###