Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Palawan conducts orientation to Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) in Palawan.(Photo courtesy of DOLE Palawan)

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the province has denied allegations of irregularities in the implementation of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD).

Philip Ruga, the provincial director of DOLE in Palawan, claimed that this is not the first time their office has been made aware of the problem only to confirm that it is unfounded.

“Ang problema minsan ay hindi natutukoy kung sino ang complaint kapag magkaroon na ng validation sa ground. May ginawa na nakaraan na validation pero ang sabi walang deduction, kung natatakot man sila ay hindi na namin kasalanan ‘yon,” Ruga said in an interview. 

He said the beneficiaries should also refuse to receive any amount lesser than the prescribed amount set by the labor department. 

“Possession na nila ‘yan, salary nila ‘yan. Kaya kung kumukuha ay pwede nilang ireklamo sa barangay. Kung ang involved naman d’yan ay public official, ay iba naman ‘yon. ‘Yong mga beneficiaries dapat ‘wag nilang ibigay ang kanilang sweldo. ‘Yan ang paulit-ulit namin na paalala,” he added. 

Ruga noted that the department has issued control measures as a reminder to avoid related incidents such as text blasts and information campaigns. 

In addition, he said that they are willing to coordinate with the provincial board to address the alleged illegal deduction on beneficiary’s salary. 

“Willing kaming mag cooperate kung ano man ang measure na gagawin nila, basta collaborative measure,” Ruga said. 

On Tuesday, Board Member Ryan Maminta cited reports of illegal deduction in the P3,200 total amount as a wage of the worker for 10 days.

Board Member Maminta said the reports were particularly from the town of Sofronio Española in which involved individuals are not yet identified. 

“May mga lumulutang na naman na issue ngayon tungkol sa program na TUPAD, nakaraan lang ay nakatanggap tayo ng mga mensahe o tawag kung saan sa bahaging sur partikular na sa bayan ng Sofronio Española kung saan may release ng benefits para sa TUPAD pero may alegasyon ng pananamantala ng mga hindi pa nakikilalang indibiduwal,” he said. 

“Ang bahagi ng regular na natatanggap na benepisyo na 3,200 plus sa sampung araw ay binabawasan na ng mahigit kalahati, sa sumbong [na nakarating sa atin] ay dalawang libo,” Maminta added. 

In October 2021, the labor department suspended the program in the second district of Palawan due to reported anomalies. 

This was followed by the fact-finding investigation launched by the Ombudsman in March 2022 which covers the illegal deductions, collection of processing fees in Quezon City, and suspension of the program in the district of Palawan in October 2021. 

Maminta emphasized that with the reported irregularities, DOLE may suspend again the program implementation in Palawan. 

“Nakikita natin na maling-mali at alarming din ito dahil nagkaroon na rin ng mga ganitong issue noong mga nakaraang taon. Naalarma po ako dahil tila hindi nasawata ng DOLE ‘yong mga ganitong issue ng mga pananamantala, isa sa magiging epekto nito ay mawawala ang tiwala ng programa dito sa lalawigan, nilalagakan tayo ng pondo para sa programa na ito pero baka mawala na ang tiwala sa atin,” Maminta said. 

Earlier, DOLE Palawan announced that around 16,376 individuals will benefit from the TUPAD as the DOLE MIMAROPA launched the program. 

Each of the beneficiaries will receive a salary based on the prevailing minimum rate of P355 in the region.

A community-based amelioration program, TUPAD provides emergency employment for displaced, underemployed, and seasonal workers for a minimum period of 10 days to a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of the work to be performed.

About Post Author

Previous articleDTI Palawan to destroy confiscated substandard items
Next articlePaeng to bring heavy rains over Mimaropa
is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.