DOLE reports budget cuts in P25.9B proposal

The Department of Labor and Employment on Friday said that some of their agencies and allotment classes will experience budget cuts, as reflected in their P25.9 billion budget proposal.

During the deliberation on DOLE’s budget with Senate Committee on Finance, Undersecretary for Workers Welfare and Protection Cluster Benjo Benavidez reported that their proposed budget is P11 billion or 29.9% lower than their approved budget for 2022.

In terms of budget shares for their attached agencies, the Office of the Secretary and the Institute for Labor Studies have the largest budget cuts, with 33.1% and 10.6% cuts in their proposed funding respectively.

Meanwhile, DOLE reported that the P15 million combined budget of the National Maritime Polytechnic, Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will be transferred to the Department of Migrant Workers.

This was following the transfer of administrative control to the newly-created department.

Bienvenidez also reported a P14.9 million allocation to the Department’s cash assistance program Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers that could serve 1.773 million Filipinos next year.

Last month, DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said in an interview that TUPAD will experience budget cuts to reflect the move towards the “new normal.

Reporting on relevant labor and employment figures, DOLE lifted figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority and noted an increase in labor force participation or the percentage of the population that is currently working or seeking employment, with a 2.8% increase from last year.

DOLE noted that the current employment rate is at the same level as of 2018 which was at 94.7%, but their report shows a steady increase from the 89.7% rate in 2020.

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