DOLE’s TUPAD to resume in Quezon City

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star
DOLEâs TUPAD to resume in Quezon City
Beneficiaries of the TUPAD program are assisted by Barangay Holy Spirit chairman Chito Valmocina as they talk of the alleged anomaly in the Department of Labor and Employment’s cash-for-work program(September 6, 2021)).
Boy Santos, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to resume the implementation of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD program in Districts 1 and 5 in Quezon City after a week of suspension due to alleged irregularities in the distribution of cash aid.

The probe by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) into the alleged anomaly is ongoing, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said yesterday.

The implementation of the TUPAD program in the city’s District 2 remains suspended, Bello said.

According to Bello, those behind the supposed anomaly pocketed as much as P40 million, prompting him to suspend the cash-for-work program, which seeks to help workers displaced by the pandemic.

“Umaabot sa P30 to P40 million. Mabuti na lang nalaman namin kaagad kaya pina-suspend ko ang payout habang iniimbestigahan,” Bello said at a virtual press briefing.

Based on the initial information gathered by Bello, the supposed TUPAD beneficiaries did not actually work, as required under the program.

“Obviously, they are not legal beneficiaries of the program,” Bello said, adding that some of the complainants were recruited by coordinators, who allegedly took the bulk of the payout.

Charges of estafa and qualified theft will be filed against those responsible for the anomaly, according to Bello.

“I’m just waiting for the result of the NBI probe,” he said.

Bello said he had instructed DOLE National Capital Region director Sarah Mirasol to file the cases against those involved in the anomaly as soon as the investigation has been completed.

Mirasol had confirmed that the particular TUPAD program in Barangay Holy Spirit was implemented in partneship with the office of Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo.

The department opted to resume the implementation of the cash-for-work program since there were few and unverified complainants in Districts 1 and 5, Bello said.

The Nagkaisa Labor Coalition welcomed the DOLE’s decision in tapping the NBI to look into the alleged anomaly.

“Workers need to be actively involved to deter corruption of those in power,” the group said.

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