Bello recalls DOLE exec over TUPAD anomaly in QC

Published September 23, 2021, 4:42 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has recalled its field officer in Quezon City to help keep the agency’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged and Displaced Workers or TUPAD program on track.

A beneficiary of the Department of Labor and Employment’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (DOLE-TUPAD) in Candaba, Pampanga receives her payout during the ceremonial distribution of their wages in the province last September 2, 2021. (Photo from DOLE)

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he ordered the recall of lawyer Joel P. Petaca of the DOLE-National Capital Region Office to his mother unit in order for him to shed light on the controversy.

“I want to know why he allowed such problems to happen in the delivery of TUPAD in Quezon City. He was supposed to monitor the program of our department. Was he negligent?” Bello explained.

DOLE and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are currently probing the allegations of irregularities in the implementation of the government’s flagship cash-for-work program in Quezon City following complaints of supposed beneficiaries in several districts there.

Residents of Barangay Holy Spirit and Barangay Batasan Hills claiming to be beneficiaries of TUPAD earlier sought help from labor officials for not receiving in full their payouts for the program.

More anomalies also surfaced and were brought to the attention of authorities such as reports of “ghost beneficiaries,” collection of unauthorized fees, and non-implementation of the project.

Bello said the Department is almost done with its investigation on the matter and now waiting for the outcome of the probe conducted by the NBI.

“Once all the reports are in, we will definitely go after the individuals behind this problem,” Bello assured.

TUPAD is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, including those affected by the ongoing pandemic.

Under the program, beneficiaries will have to render community work for 10 to 30 days, with their salaries based on the regional minimum wage.