Department of Labor and Employment
August 4, 2021
TUPAD in overdrive as fresh aid in ECQ areas
The labor department is set to utilize a portion of its emergency employment fund to assist workers who will be displaced by the new imposition of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has directed that remaining funds of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program be tapped to assist displaced formal sector workers during the two-week ECQ period.
Funded under the 2021 general appropriations act, TUPAD has about P4 billion remaining in program implementation.
Bello said the TUPAD funds may be tapped even as DOLE has formally requested the Department of Budget and Management for a supplemental budget of P2 billion to extend assistance under the social amelioration program, COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program.
Formal sector workers in NCR who will be displaced or those with less income due to reduced workdays or work hours may be eligible beneficiaries of the program, Bello said.
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.
“Formal sector workers who lose their job or get reduced salary are eligible beneficiaries of TUPAD. If formal sector workers lose their job, they will fall under the disadvantaged or displaced workers category. Those with reduced income due to reduction of workdays or work hours are also considered disadvantaged or displaced because they did not get their full salary for the entire month,” said Bello.
Although the remaining TUPAD fund is programmed to be utilized until December, Bello is hopeful that additional funds will be allocated by the government for the Department’s cash-for-work program, considering the frequency of natural calamities, like typhoons towards the end of the year.
Assistant Secretary Dominique Rubia-Tutay meanwhile said the number of workers in NCR who will be affected by the ECQ is projected to reach 300,000-400,000.
Citing DOLE’s Online Establishment Reporting System, Tutay said a total of 152,987 NCR workers had been displaced this year due to permanent closures and reduction of the workforce as of July 30, 2021.
A total of 127,300 workers were also affected due to the reduction of workdays and rotation of workers during the same period.
The same number of workers are expected to be affected during the ECQ period, with an additional 30,000 to 40,000 workers projected to be displaced, the labor official added.
She however, expressed optimism that the government’s employment targets will still be achieved if there will be balance between slowly opening the economy and strengthening the country’s healthcare system amid the pandemic. ####