Public work programs(PWP) can be a promising government instrument in addressing unemployment and poverty in developing countries such as the Philippines. Toward this end, the study seeks to examine the effectiveness of the two PWPs-the Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) and Cash-for Work-using the Social Protection Public Work Programs Assessment Tool or “PWP Tool”. Due to the mobility restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the study’s methodology has been limited to desk research, particularly analysis of pertinent issuances. Scrutiny of both the programs’ design and components through their guidelines revealed that while both satisfy to some extent the prescribed key areas under the PWP Tool, they fall short on inclusivity, complaint mechanism, graft prevention measures, and transparency. In this light, the study recommends that both PWP guidelines be reviewed and amended accordingly to include specific provisions on the promotion of inclusiveness among vulnerable workers particularly women; on handling complaints and addressing corrupt practices; and screening meaningful projects and activities under both PWPs. Additionally, the study proposes the conduct of periodic impact evaluations to determine whether desired outcomes are achieved, commissioning of an external community oversight or conduct of social audits, and enactment of a legislation that will institutionalize an employment guarantee scheme in the Philippines. Finally, when formulating PWPs, it is vital to always treat PWPs not as separate and fragmented government interventions, but as parts and parcels of social protection system.
Title: A Study on Public Work Programs for Better Labor Market Outcomes: The Cases of TUPAD and Cash-for-Work
Researchers: Cesar A. Mansal