Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III has ordered the implementation of the short-term emergency employment program Tulong Panghanapbuhay Sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD). This initiative will assist about 962,000 informal sector workers who are recuperating from economic displacement and loss of income. 

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Philippines is among only 11 countries in the world that have carried out informal sector-targeted social protection measures during this global pandemic. DOLE’s modified TUPAD named Barangay Ko, Bahay Ko (TUPAD BKBK) will provide beneficiaries with minimum wage pay for 10 days of disinfection and sanitation work in their areas. This “cushion to pandemic,” as FAO describes it, has aided more than 337,000 workers already.

According to Bello, 540,000 workers of the forecasted one million recipients of the regular TUPAD program filed for assistance under the BKBK. Workers will be designated to deliver essential goods and services such as medicine, hygiene materials and personal protective equipment to frontliners and the public. Other tasks include packing relief goods, manning transport services, setting up mobile markets and implementing sanitizing and disinfecting protocols in communities.

The P4 billion-worth post-COVID intervention program will run from May to June in areas under the general community quarantine. DOLE is currently finalizing a three-month employment scheme for employment workers who will avail the Balik Probinsya program.

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