Unions demand more Tupad funds

VARIOUS labor groups and labor unions on Thursday called for more resources for Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (Tupad) after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) proposed to cut the Department of Labor’s budget and Employment (DoLE) grants program.

In a statement, the Nagkaisa Labor Coalition and the Federation of FreeWorkers (FFW) and its local unions also urged DoLE to implement Tupad in areas devastated by Super Typhoon “Karding”.

Sonny Matula, chairman of the Nagkaisa Labor Coalition and president of the Free Workers’ Federation, said the DBM had cut Tupad’s proposed budget to 25.8 billion pesos for 2023. That’s significantly lower than the 36.9 billion pesos allocated in 2022. .

He also stressed the need for democratic implementation of the program.

Tupad is a community assistance program that provides emergency employment to displaced, underemployed and seasonal workers, for a minimum period of 10 days, but not exceeding a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of the work. Salary payment for Tupad beneficiaries is done through a money transfer service provider to ensure standard application in all regions.

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With the conclusion of the employment project, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), or its accredited training institutions, will be called upon to provide vocational training to Tupad beneficiaries under its program Training for Work Scholarships (TWSP).

Last year, the DoLE suspended the implementation of Tupad in certain areas due to alleged irregularities.

The agency has requested assistance from the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate the reported anomaly.

“Tupad should be implemented in a non-partisan way and with the involvement of unions or workers’ associations in localities,” Matula said.

This emergency employment for displaced, underemployed and seasonal workers must be strengthened with the participation of workers and their unions, he said.

The FFW and its local unions in Luzon have also called for immediate relief distribution and emergency employment of workers in areas devastated by the super typhoon.

“The FFW hopes that the social welfare and labor departments will do double duty to support the families affected by the typhoon, especially the workers,” Matula said.

“Many people have been displaced and so far they are still waiting for food, clothing and relief goods,” he added. “We are also urging our union affiliates and their union members to donate to the Angat Pinas foundation to help victims and help displaced workers.”

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