DOLE issues clarification to DBM, says P12-billion TUPAD fund spent


The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has already used up its P12-billion Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) fund for this year.

DOLE issued the clarification on Wednesday after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) tagged the amount last week as “unobligated” and can still be used to provide cash assistance for workers displaced with the current hard lockdown in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

In a text message, DOLE Financial and Management Service (FMS) Director Warren M. Miclat told the BusinessMirror that the said amount is already downloaded to their concerned regional offices for the implementation of TUPAD program.

Under DOLE’s TUPAD program, displaced informal sector workers are provided emergency employment.

“That being referred to as of June 30, 2021, was already downloaded to 16 DOLE Regional Offices for TUPAD program implementation and/or being implemented,” Miclat said.

He said they already sent a clarification to DBM on the said matter.

DOLE is currently requesting for an additional P2 billion from DBM to provide financial aid through its Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program to displaced formal sector workers in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

DBM said the request is unlikely to be approved since DOLE still has P12 billion worth of  “unobligated” fund.

Labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) accused DOLE of withholding the fund.

BMP Chairman Ka Leody de Guzman said TUPAD funds are allegedly being “illicitly accessed by congressmen/women, in coordination with DOLE provincial directors, to deliver TUPAD slots to mayors and barangay captains who, in turn, distribute it also to their constituents as political patronage.”

“They should cease prioritizing political ambitions and stop the austerity that has guided their entire pandemic response,” De Guzman said.

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