Press Release
June 25, 2020

Provide Accurate data - Tolentino asks DOLE

While he supports the institutionalization of assistance to disadvantaged and displaced workers, administration Senator Francis "Tol" Tolentino insisted that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) should have a clear data for it to be implemented properly.

Tolentino stressed this point during the hearing of the Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development on Senate Bill No. 1456 submitted by committee chairman Senator Joel Villanueva.

The measure, dubbed as Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantage/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Act, seeks to institutionalize DOLE's assistance program for displaced workers.

During the hearing, Tolentino asked DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III with questions regarding accuracy of the department's data on the country's informal workers.

"Senator Villanueva's bill apparently would necessitate an accurate database on the number of informal workers, but your very own Bureau of Workers and Special Concerns (BWSC) said in a news report that the Philippines may only be the ASEAN country left without any formal statistical indicator for informal sector workers," Tolentino told Bello.

Tolentino said without an accurate figure regarding the country's workforce, there would be a problem in implementing TUPAD Act if it is enacted into law.

"Lumalabas na nagagamit niyo ang self-employed workers na bahagi ng informal sector sa international standard that it should not be included with the informal sector if their business is registered with the government," said Tolentino.

"Baka naman iyong figures natin ay mali-mali o baka malayo sa realidad kaya baka mali rin ang ating evaluation po dito," he warned.

Bello allayed fear of any duplication, saying there is a data-sharing agreement between the Departments of Social Welfare, Agriculture and Labor.

But Tolentino insisted that the DOLE should come up with an updated data relative to the number of informal sector workers, not just for database purposes, but for proper implementation of the program.

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