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SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – Some 121,791 displaced and disadvantaged workers in the Ilocos Region have been given employment in the first half of 2022 through the emergency employment, Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD).
Of the total number, 44,154 workers were from Ilocos Sur, 19,642 from Ilocos Norte, 18,046 from La Union, and 39,949 from Pangasinan.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Ilocos regional director lawyer Evelyn Ramos said the agency has disbursed over PHP523 million for the program.
“This includes wages for the workers and procurement for their personal protective equipment and insurance coverage. Also part of the disbursements is the administrative costs and salaries for TUPAD coordinators,” she said.
DOLE Ilocos regional office information officer Justin Paul Marbella said the TUPAD beneficiaries rendered 10 to 15 days of community work in their barangays, such as cleaning and disinfection and greening and tree planting activities.  
“Each of the workers received a daily wage rate of PHP340 for projects approved before June 6, 2022. Meanwhile, TUPAD projects approved on June 6, 2022 onwards granted a daily wage rate of PHP370 for each emergency worker in consonance to the Wage Order RB1-21, which provided for the increase in daily minimum wage rate in Ilocos Region,” he said in an interview.
The Commission on Elections granted an exemption to TUPAD and four other DOLE programs on February 10 this year following Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III’s request.
These DOLE programs are “demand-driven” and have served the marginalized, vulnerable, and under-privileged beneficiaries for decades hence, their exemption from the ban.
TUPAD program provides temporary employment to displaced workers, underemployed, and seasonal workers. 
The beneficiaries are tasked to disinfect or clean their communities depending on the work needed in their respective villages. (PNA)