Labor chief says yet to suspend cash-for-work program in Palawan, eyes collusion

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 21 2021 12:41 PM

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MANILA - The Department of Labor and Employment has yet to suspend its cash-for-work program in a Palawan district following allegations of corruption, its chief said Thursday.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he has only ordered for an investigation into the implementation of TUPAD program in Palawan's second district.

"There is no order yet to suspend the implementation of the program," he told ANC's Headstart.

"What I instructed our regional director in Region 4-B (Mimaropa) is to investigate the allegation and to submit immediately a report on the allegation. In the meantime we’re considering the suspension."

TUPAD (Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged / Displaced Workers) is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers, for 10 to 30 days, depending on the nature of work to be performed.

DOLE spokesperson Rolly Francia said beneficiaries in Palawan were not given the full payment for 10 days of work.

Bello said the program's beneficiaries gave P2,000 of their salary to coordinators.

"Ang pagbabayad ng benepisyaryo ay di dumadaan sa kamay ng kahit kanino... We send it through remittance center," he said.

"Nagtataka ako bakit yung mga benepsiayro binibigyan nila allegedly ang P2,000 sa mga coordinators."

Bello said he suspects collusion, citing a case in Quezon City's 2nd district where local authorities listed down beneficiaries who did not do any work and shared their pay with the former.

"Pinuntahan ko mismo ang mga benesiyaryo...sabi niya di po ako nagtrabaho, obviously may collusion between the beneficiary and the coordinator. Sinabi ililista tapos magsusuweldo kami tapos bibigay sa kanila ang ganitong amount," he said.

(I went to the beneficiaries...One of them told me he did not work, obviously there's collusion between the beneficiary and the coordinator. Coordinators said they will list the beneficiaries and they will receive salary and give them this amount.)

"Di namin maintindihan bakit nila ibinigay sa mga coordinators. I have an inkling na baka may collusion na naman (sa Palawan)."

(I don't understand why they would give it to coordinators. I have an inkling there's collusion again.)

The labor chief, meantime, said these two were "isolated cases" out of 2.7 million informal workers who have benefitted from the cash-for-work program.

"The best solution there is we have valid beneficiaries and the beneficiaries are well informed of their responsibilities and benefits they're entitled to," he said.