By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos, August 31, 2023; Philippine News Agency

MANILA – The Marcos administration is seeking an allocation of PHP12.92 billion for the implementation of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) emergency employment program, Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/ Displaced Workers (TUPAD), in 2024.

In a statement on Thursday, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the allotment of PHP12.92 billion for the TUPAD program under the 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP) is vital to bolster job creation for Filipinos.

The DBM said TUPAD, a community-based package of assistance providing emergency employment, is expected to benefit over 1.36 million displaced, underemployed, and seasonal workers.

The program provides occupation to Filipinos for a minimum period of 10 days to a maximum of 90 days, depending on the nature of the work to be performed.

“All disadvantaged workers aged 18 and older are qualified as program beneficiaries. Senior citizens are also eligible for the program, provided that they are fit to work and would not engage in hazardous work,” the DBM said.

“Meanwhile, only one member per family shall be eligible for the assistance. In no instance shall the beneficiaries be availed of more than once in a calendar year, except in cases of natural or human-induced disaster or calamity,” it added.

DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said the proposed budget for the TUPAD program will be taken from the PHP16.4 billion allotted for DOLE’s Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program.

Pangandaman said the government aims to strengthen social protection measures to ensure that no one will be left behind, especially the marginalized and vulnerable sectors.

Internship, livelihood programs

Meantime, the DBM said the DOLE’s Government Internship Program (GIP) would receive PHP807.72 million under the 2024 NEP.

Around 13,554 youth beneficiaries will benefit from the implementation of GIP in 2024, the DBM noted.

The GIP provides internship opportunity for high school, technical-vocational, or college graduates who wants to pursue a career in public service in either local or national government.

The DBM said around PHP2.3 billion would be allotted to the DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) which would benefit some 63,959 marginalized workers in 2024.

DILP is a flagship program of the DOLE which aims to help marginalized groups such as self-employed workers who are unable to earn sufficient income, unpaid family workers, low-waged and seasonal workers, workers displaced or to be displaced, marginalized and landless farmers, marginalized fisher-folks, women and youth, persons with disability, senior citizens, indigenous peoples, victims of armed conflicts, rebel returnees, and parents of child laborers.

Under DILP, around PHP250,000 will be granted to associations with 15 to 25 members; PHP500,000 for associations with 26 to 50 members; and PHP1 million to associations with 51 members and above.

The DBM said DOLE’s Adjustment Measures Program (AMP) would get PHP407 million next year.

The DOLE-AMP is a nationwide safety net program that provides a package of assistance and other forms of interventions as a means of helping workers and companies, particularly the distressed, in coping with economic and social disruptions.