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DOLE’s TUPAD shines light for Ilocos workers amid crisis

The year 2021 has indeed been a challenging year as the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic remained a threat that curtailed employment and livelihood in the region.
Yet, through its relevant programs and services, the Department of Labor and Employment-Regional Office 1 (DOLE RO1) remained steadfast in its commitment to promote and uphold employment recovery to aid workers – especially the displaced and disadvantaged – to rise up from the challenges.
In this respect, the DOLE’s flagship program on emergency employment was a shining light that illuminated the hopes and aspirations of workers and laborers amid the dark days.
The Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) proved itself as a relevant and responsive government intervention that addresses socio-economic concerns in the communities.
Through emergency employment, the TUPAD program leveraged the labor of workers in the countryside, thereby allowing them to contribute in social recovery while earning a decent amount for themselves.
Around 150K Workers Employed 
According to Labor Information Officer Justin Paul Marbella, the DOLE-RO1 has facilitated the emergency employment of a total of 145,414 TUPAD beneficiaries in the region for 2021.
They are low/minimum wage income earners, underemployed, senior citizens, and persons-with-disabilities.
Earning a daily wage of P340, these TUPAD workers rendered labor services for their communities, which spanned 10 to 15 days.
In exchange for their labor, they received wages ranging from P3,400 to P5,100.
DOLE also provided them with personal protective equipment (PPEs) to protect them in their day’s work.
Likewise, they were enrolled in micro-insurance under the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
Among the community projects conducted were on agroforestry; clean-up/ disinfection/ sanitation/ beautification; and social community projects such as repair and maintenance of public facilities.
Over Half a Billion Pesos Disbursed
The DOLE-RO1 never wavered in its commitment to ensure efficient fund management.
As such, it marked 100% TUPAD fund utilization for 2021, with the total amount of P622,358,154 disbursed for the year.
Of this amount, Ilocos Sur noted the highest utilization, with the amount of P196,261,438 benefitting 48,764 workers.
This is followed by Eastern Pangasinan, covering the province’s 5th and 6th Districts, with P136,303,743 for 33,522 TUPAD workers.
Central Pangasinan (3rd and 4th Districts) utilized the sum of P68,825,563 with 19,427 workers; and Western Pangasinan (1st and 2nd Districts) with P82,909,718 which aided 17,988 workers.
Ilocos Norte had the amount of P75,810,378 for 13,100 TUPAD workers; and for La Union, P62,247,313 utilization which helped 12,613 beneficiaries.
255% Increase in Beneficiaries
DOLE-RO1 noted a massive increase of its TUPAD implementation in 2021 compared to 2020.
With only 40,866 beneficiaries in 2020, the TUPAD beneficiaries for 2021 ballooned to 145,414 which accounted for 255% increase.
“Ang programa ni DOLE na nagtutumbok sa mga informal sectors is the TUPAD. Natutuwa tayo dahil andoon naman ang suporta sa atin ng national government through the provision of funds na ikukumpara natin sa mga previous years, ang laki ng percentage of increase of the funds downloaded to the region. Last year, more than half a billion ang naibigay sa Region 1 para sa pagbibigay ng ayuda sa ating mga kababayan dito sa rehiyon,” said Regional Director Atty. Evelyn Ramos during the Kapihan sa Ilocos of the Philippine Information Agency on Friday.
Ramos said, “It was indeed an overwhelming challenge for all of us, as the fund allocation for TUPAD grew exponentially. We had to recalibrate our strategies, rethink our ways, and strengthen our partnerships with our implementing partners.”
“But we knew all these aggressive shifts in our game plan were all worth it,” she said.
“At the end of the day, we were able to reach out to more beneficiaries, and the #SerbisyongTUPAD has become more relevant and meaningful as ever,” Ramos added, as she expressed hope that this program shall continue to become a beacon to cast glimmers of hope for every single worker in the region.  (JCR/AMB/PIA Pangasinan)

About the Author

April Bravo


Region 1

April M. Montes-Bravo is an Information Officer III of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Region 1. She is currently the Information Center Manager of PIA Pangasinan Information Center based in Dagupan City and  regional editrix of PIA-Region 1.

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