The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has recalled one of its officials as part of its probe into the “anomalous” implementation of its emergency employment program in Quezon City.

In a news statement issued on Thursday, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said DOLE’s Quezon City field officer Atty. Joel P. Petaca was recalled to DOLE-National Capital Region Office to undergo an inquiry to determine if he should be held liable for the incident.

“I want to know why he allowed such problems to happen in the delivery of TUPAD [Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers] in Quezon City. He was supposed to monitor the program of our department. Was he negligent,” Bello said.

TUPAD is DOLE’s emergency employment program for informal sector workers.

Its beneficiaries are paid the minimum wage in exchange for work, which lasts between 10 to 15 days.

Bello earlier said there were allegedly unqualified beneficiaries as well as “ghost beneficiaries,” who were paid out from their TUPAD program although they did not engage in any work.

The said unqualified beneficiaries also complained that a certain coordinator deducted a considerable amount from their payout.

DOLE and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are currently conducting a probe into the incident.

Bello said they would file the necessary charges against those responsible for the incident.

To prevent a similar case from happening again, DOLE will be using quick response (QR) code in its TUPAD identification cards to ensure only qualified beneficiaries will be able to get TUPAD payout.

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