The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) XI was made aware of a circulating issue posted on Imbestigador Southern Mindanao Facebook Page on August 11, 2022. The issue involved the implementation of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program in Brgy. Bunawan, Davao City. Accordingly, 149 minors aged six (6) to seven (7) years old in said barangay were allegedly listed as beneficiaries of the TUPAD program. In addition, the beneficiaries purportedly received Php 3,000.00 only instead of Php 6,000.00 TUPAD wage.

On August 12, 2022, DOLE XI, through its Davao City Field Office (DCFO), immediately investigated the issue and met with the Barangay Officials of Brgy. Bunawan, Davao City. Results of the investigation reveal the following:

That the minors allegedly listed as TUPAD beneficiaries are in fact child laborers identified during the child labor profiling activity conducted by DOLE XI in 2021 as part of the Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP) of the Department.  To give assistance to the profiled children, DOLE-DCFO referred these children to partner agencies for intervention. At the same time, some 128 parents or guardians of the profiled child laborers were given assistance through the TUPAD program in 2021 wherein parents or guardians were required to complete community projects for a period of 15 days with a daily wage of Php 396.00.

Meanwhile, on the issue of non-payment of full amount of TUPAD wage, DOLE XI ensures that 100% of the wages due for the beneficiaries were paid directly to them through partner remittance center. Likewise, the Office has not yet received a formal complaint from the direct beneficiaries of the program. Due to lack of circumstantial information, DOLE XI could not verify the allegations. Hence, this allegation remains unsubstantiated as of date. DOLE XI Regional Director Atty. Randolf C. Pensoy assures the public that program implementors of the Department as well as partner agencies and offices shall continually be consistent with the guidelines on the implementation of DOLE programs and services.