DOLE strengthens program for senior citizens, PWDs – Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has directed all Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) offices to further strengthen programs for senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
“We have come a long way in our journey toward realizing our responsibility as duty bearers for the society’s marginalized and vulnerable sectors,” Bello said.
“By implementing our programs for our elderlies and differently abled persons, we are one in recognizing their competence, empowering them, and enhancing their capabilities as we strive toward creating a more inclusive labor force,” he added.
The DOLE was recently commended by the Commission on Audit (COA) for providing employment and other assistance to 3,176 PWD job seekers and 74,361 senior citizens in 2021.
“We commend the (DOLE) management’s regular activities, plans, programs and projects that address the concerns of the senior citizens and persons with disabilities,” the COA said in its audit observation memorandum released recently.
The agency also commended the DOLE’s support for the elderly and differently abled persons’ participation in union activities which recorded an almost 30 percent sectoral representation in the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council.
The DOLE reported that 15,779 union officers and members, including senior citizens and PWDs, were provided with training under its Workers Organization and Development Program.
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The DOLE was also able to assist over one million workers, employers and graduating students, including senior citizens and PWDs, through its Labor and Employment Education Services.
A total of 558 PWDs and 1,475 senior citizens were given livelihood assistance amounting to P9.5 million and P23 million, respectively, under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program.
The COA likewise recognized the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disdvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program, which assisted 2,791 PWDs and 53,837 senior citizens with P16 million and P258 million cash aid.
Meanwhile, the DOLE disbursed P44 million in wages in Ilocos region under TUPAD.
A total of 12,386 displaced and disadvantaged workers in the informal sector benefitted from the TUPAD program in the January-March period.
The workers rendered various community work that included cleaning and disinfection, greening and tree-planting activities. These projects were undertaken in the beneficiaries’ respective barangays for a period of 10 to 15 days. They received salaries that ranged between P3,400 to P5,100 per person.
DOLE Ilocos regional director Evelyn Ramos said the agency continues to implement the TUPAD as it has been exempted from the election ban by the Commission on Elections.