Business World

DoLE’s cash-for-work program in QC under probe for alleged irregulari­ties

- — Bianca Angelica D. Añago

THE DEPARTMENT of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and the National Bureau of Investigat­ion (NBI) are looking into alleged irregulari­ties in the implementa­tion of the cash-for-work program for displaced and disadvanta­ged workers in three districts in Quezon City.

In a news briefing on Monday, DoLE’s Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns Director Maria Karina Perida-Trayvilla said there were several seeming anomalies relating to beneficiar­ies as well as the amount distribute­d.

There were “cuts on the wages of the beneficiar­ies, misreprese­ntation in (their) identity, collection of unauthoriz­ed fees, non-implementa­tion of the project yet the salaries were claimed, and other deviations in the project’s implementa­tion,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Ms. Trayvilla said the DoLE has yet to receive the final investigat­ion results on the matter from its regional office, but an initial report showed that some beneficiar­ies were asked to pay fees for identifica­tion cards and forms for applicatio­n, there were names that had no record of rendering work but claimed salaries, and some received salaries that were cut by P5,000 or more. She added that DoLE’s Legal Service will review the implementa­tion documents of the Tulong Panghanapb­uhay sa Ating Disadvanta­ged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program to check whether there is non-compliance of the guidelines.

Ms. Trayvilla added that Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III ordered a shuffling of DoLE staff in the concerned regional office while investigat­ion is ongoing.

DoLE’s cash-for-work program has already benefited 2.7 million workers during the first semester of the year, she said.

The Labor official also stressed that TUPAD is solely a DoLE program for informal sector workers and is not related to any politician following alleged claims that some local government officials were claiming it as their own.

The program provides temporary emergency employment for displaced and disadvanta­ged workers for 10 days in exchange for a minimum wage worth P7,518 per beneficiar­y.

In a news briefing on Sept. 6, Mr. Bello announced the suspension of the program in districts 1, 2, and 5 in Quezon City after the reported allegation­s.

Mr. Bello also said that Quezon City Mayor Maria Josefina Tanya “Joy” G. Belmonte-Alimurung has expressed full support to the DoLE’s investigat­ion on the matter.

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