Philippine News Agency file photo of DOLE's TUPAD program.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has suspended the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program in the 2nd District of Palawan following an alleged anomalous scheme similar to what occurred in the 2nd District of Quezon City.

DOLE spokesperson Rolly Francia on Wednesday, October 20, said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III ordered the suspension of the emergency employment assistance program.

“Secretary Bello ordered the suspension of the implementation of the TUPAD in Palawan, 2nd District. This is due to reports received by DOLE of similar anomalous schemes applied in QC, 2nd District,” he said. “With a warning that, to all regional directors to closely monitor the implementation of TUPAD so as not to have similar incidents.”

Based on reports, the recipients of the program only received P1,200, instead of P3,200 for 10 days of work. The minimum wage in the province is P320 a day.

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“P2,000 was seized, allegedly embezzled by coordinators in the 2nd District of Palawan. Most of them are indigenous recipients of our program,” Francia said.

He said Bello also ordered an immediate investigation of the matter.

“He (Bello) engaged the services of the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) to look into these reports. Accordingly, after which, charges will be filed against those to be found responsible for these acts of theft,” he said.

The DOLE spokesperson said Bello reiterated the strict adherence to the guidelines of TUPAD.

“It must be strictly followed, especially the identification of beneficiaries, avoidance of duplication, and identification of the coordinators who oversee the implementation of the fulfillment,” he added.

Last month, Bello ordered the suspension on the distribution of the payout in the 2nd district of QC stemmed from numerous complaints from beneficiaries that they only got a meager amount of the salary for working 10 to 14 days under the emergency employment program.

The informal sector workers claimed that they only receive PHP1,000 up to PHP2,000 out of the payout which ranges from PHP5,370 to as high as PHP14,000. (PNA)

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