193 companies declare permanent closure due to COVID-19 crisis – DOLE
Marje Pelayo • June 10, 2020 • 2451
MANILA, Philippines – Exactly 69,022 employees from more than 2,000 establishments across the country have gone jobless amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
This, according to the record of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as of Tuesday (June 9).
Specifically, 193 of these establishments have declared permanent closure while 1,875 others have reduced their workforce.
DOLE is waiting for the filing of formal notice of closure from the said establishments for the final process.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III noted that it is the obligation of employers to give the separation or retrenchment pay for every affected employee.
“Statutory right iyan ng employee kapag tinanggal mo siya. Kung walang legal basis, magsasara ka lang then they have to pay for separation pay [This is a statutory right of the employee when he is dismissed from work. If there is no legal basis for the closure then they have to pay for separation pay],” Bello said.
The Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), however, expressed concern about how these establishments can give their employees’ separation pay when they, too, are severely affected by the implementation of community quarantine measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Noong araw mahirap magsara ng kumpanya dahil ang daming babayaran. Pero ngayon ready-made reason sa kanila yung lockdown na nalugi sila. Hindi mo mapipilit na magbayad ng separation pay dahil Walang ibabayad [In the past, it’s not easy to close a company because of a number of obligations to settle. But now, the lockdowns had become a ready-made reason for them because of income loss. You cannot force them to give separation pay because they have nothing to give],” explained ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.
Meanwhile, DOLE has recorded around 1.9 million workers affected by the temporary closure of companies, while more than 960,000 are back in their jobs under flexible work arrangements.
The Labor Department is now planning to subsidize 25% to 50% of the payroll cost of employers with the condition that they would not resort to retrenchment. –MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Finance (DOF) assured that the Philippine government has enough funds to purchase millions of doses of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine once it becomes available.
In a briefing in Malacañang aired on Friday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said they have prepared a financing plan to procure COVID-19 vaccines with the help of the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC).
The PITC, an agency under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) engaged in trading and bulk importation of essential goods for the government, has been tasked to manage the financing efforts for the vaccines.
Researchers and scientists across the world are racing to develop vaccines against the viral respiratory disease as cases continue to spike.
Dominguez said a COVID-19 vaccine could be approved by December this year.
He said the vaccines will be purchased through the PITC and turned over to the DOH.
“Once that happens, the Department of Health now will put in their budget to pay these 400 million dollars or roughly P20 billion,” the finance chief said.
“We can pay them over 2 or 3 years, so babayaran lang nila with the financing companies which is LandBank and DPB, so kayang-kaya ng DPB at ng LandBank na i-finance itong purchase ng COVID vaccine,” he added.
This way, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said, the government won’t have to sell properties to finance the purchase of vaccines.
“Kaya po ipinapadaan sa PITC, Philippine International Trade Corporation, dahil para po sila po ang in effect directly na manghihiram mula sa DPB and LandBank,” he said.
“’Yung sinasabi ni Sec. Domiguez, ang may pondo na magpapahiram dito po sa isang government corporation who will execute the importation or the buying ng mga vaccines na ito, para po ang PITC ang magsu-supply sa DOH,” he added.
The vaccines will be administered to the poorest 20 million Filipinos for free.
If each of the 20 million poor Filipinos will need two shots, Dominguez said an estimated P20 billion fund would be needed.
The DTI, however, clarified that this figure is only initial and will be increased based on DOH’s recommendation.
Private companies wanting to secure financing to procure COVID-19 vaccines may do so through the PITC, Secretary Lopez said.
“Maaaring intial po yun dun sa poorest of the poor na communities. Of course, beyond that ang private sector naman po pwede ring makabili padaanin din dito sa PITC para makakuha ng tayo ng volume purchasing o volume discount,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Thursday (July 30) announced that workers will get double pay on Friday (July 31) after it was declared a regular holiday in commemoration of Eid’l Adha.
Based on Labor Advisory No. 25, Series of 2020 issued by DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III, employees who worked during the declared regular holiday shall be paid 200 percent of their regular salary for the first eight hours. Employees will receive an additional 30% of their hourly rate if they work overtime.
Meanwhile, employees who did not work on the said holiday shall be paid 100 percent of their salary.
For employees who worked on a regular holiday that also fell on their rest day shall be paid an additional 30 percent of their basic wage of 200 percent.
However, the Labor advisory also states that some companies may defer the payment of holiday pay until normal operations resumes, while establishments that have totally closed or ceased operations during the community quarantine period are exempted from the payment of the holiday pay. AAC
MANILA, Philippines – Some 354 distressed overseas Filipino workers repatriated from Saudi Arabia are set to arrive in the country on Wednesday, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.
In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the group of repatriated Filipinos is expected to land in Manila on Wednesday afternoon onboard a chartered flight.
In a report to Bello, Labor Attache Nasser Mustafa said majority of the passengers are distressed OFWs from Philippine Overseas Labor Office’s Bahay Kalinga in Riyadh, and from temporary shelters maintained by the POLOs in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia.
Also included in the flight are 12 workers from Jussur Emdad, 45 workers from Arkad Co., as well as 14 OFWs previously employed by Abdullah Aldossary, Azmeel Contracting Co., Rakan Trading, which are all based in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia.
These OFWs joined a number of OFWs who have worked for Freyssinet, Jussur Emdad, Samana Company and Rent Human Resources as well as walk-in OFWs whose exit visas were facilitated by the labor office in Riyadh, Bello added.
The labor chief said he has instructed the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to provide all necessary assistance to the returning Filipino workers.
The repatriation of the OFWs is in line with the department’s efforts to provide assistance to OFWs adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unfortunately, some of our OFWs have been greatly impacted by the pandemic and we hope that our repatriation efforts would bring them comfort as they will soon join their families and loved ones,” Bello said.
DOLE also reported that so far, more than 111,400 returning OFWs have been transported to their respective provinces.
The last batch of OFWs to be sent home are 3,035 workers who took their rides in OWWA-arranged buses and other means of transportation on Monday.
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