DESPITE the bigger proposed budget for its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) next year, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it may be able to accommodate fewer beneficiaries for its flagship emergency employment program.

This, after Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III issued Administrative Order (AO) 117-2021 in May, extending the maximum duration of the program from 10 days to as long as 90 days.

Bello opted to extend the duration of TUPAD to address the needs of the growing number of informal workers, who were displaced because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In an online press briefing on Wednesday, Bureau of Workers with Special Concern (BWSC) Director Ma. Karen Trayvilla explained that since having a longer duration will require a bigger budget, they will be forced to also reduce the number of informal sector workers who may be accommodated under their TUPAD program next year.

Per their estimatesm they will be able to accommodate at least 4 million beneficiaries with their proposed P20-billion TUPAD budget next year provided all of their emergency work will last only 10 days, according to her.

The 4-million beneficiaries figure will be reduced by almost half if their employment duration lasts for 30 days.

“And then of course it will be further reduced if we extend the [duration of employment] further,” Travilla said.

New classification

UNDER AO 117-2021, the duration of TUPAD will now differ depending in the method of work of the beneficiary.

The shortest durations are for Emergency Response Method, which only last for 15 days and labor-intensive method, which will take 45 days.

The classifications with the longest period of work are for labor-based appropriate technology method, which last 60 days; and labor-based equipment-supported method, which will take 90 days.

Trayvilla said DOLE will assess each TUPAD applicant to determine which method suits them.

“We have to take into account the profile of our beneficiaries to determine if they really need 90 days [of emergency work] because they may also qualify for bridging employment or alternative employment in the form of livelihood,” Trayvilla explained.

Currently, only the 5,700 contact tracers employed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) through DOLE, have qualified for the longest TUPAD duration, for over 90 days, she said.





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