Bello tells micro, small biz:  Apply for a 13th-month pay loan

Maris Federez   •   November 15, 2021   •   334

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has announced that micro and small enterprises that are having difficulty in financing the 13th-month pay of their employees can apply for a government loan.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III made the call on Friday during the ceremonial launch of the loan program with the Department of Trade and Industry and its financing arm, the Small Business Corporation (SBCorp), reminding employers that the grant of 13th-month pay is mandatory.

The labor chief, however, assured establishments that are still struggling amid the re-opening of the economy of the government’s support through SBCorp.

“Let me remind the employers that the grant of 13th-month pay is mandatory. We issued a Labor Advisory where we maintained that no exemption and no deferment will be allowed on the payment of the 13th-month pay,” Bello said.

“So, with this loan facility from SB Corporation, there is no more reason to not give the 13th-month pay,” he added.

As of November 12, a total of 25 loan applications amounting to P5.052 million were already approved by SBCorp.

DOLE said qualified borrowers are the micro and small enterprises that have implemented flexible work arrangements and registered under the agency’s Establishment Reporting System as of October 15, 2021.

The zero-interest rate, no collateral loan program can cover up to 40 employees per establishment.

The loanable amount is at P12,000 per current employee which is payable in 12 months, inclusive of the three-month grace period.

“I encourage our employers, especially yung mga nahihirapan pa, to avail of this facility so that they can comply with the mandate to pay our workers with what is due them, especially this Christmas season,” said Bello.

The labor chief invites interested micro and small enterprises to apply at www.bayanihancares.ph. —/mbmf

Labor dept asks employers to provide workers with paid isolation, quarantine leave benefits

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday urged employers in the private sector to provide paid leave benefits to workers who have to undergo isolation or quarantine period due to COVID-19.

In a labor advisory, DOLE said this is to “ensure safe and humane working conditions” amid the rising cases of coronavirus in the country.

The labor department said employers in the private sector are encouraged to adopt and implement appropriate paid isolation and quarantine leave program, on top of the existing leave benefits under the company policy. Leave benefits under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Labor Code of the Philippines, and special laws should be separately applied.

“The paid isolation and quarantine leaves shall be without prejudice to other benefits provided by the Social Security System and the Employees Compensation Commission,” it added.

DOLE said its advisory applies to all establishments, employers, and their employees in the private sector.

Under the updated guidelines from the Department of Health, fully vaccinated COVID-19 patients who are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms need to isolate for seven days while those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated need to complete the isolation period for 10 days.

The isolation period for moderate cases is 10 days while those with severe and critical symptoms, and immunocompromised would have to isolate for 21 days.

The quarantine period for fully vaccinated asymptomatic close contacts has been shortened to five days.

Isolation is for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 while quarantine is for those who have been exposed and can possibly develop an infection.

DOLE, may ayuda sa mga empleyadong naapektuhan ng ipinaiiral na COVID-19 Alert Level 3

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Tiniyak ng Department of Labor and Employment na may matatanggap na ayuda ang mga manggagawa na naapektuhan ng ipinaiiral na COVID-19 Alert Level 3 sa ilang bahagi ng bansa.

Ayon kay DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Rubia-Tutay, P1 bilyon ang ilalalan nilang pondo para sa one-time financial assistance sa formal sector workers na apektado ang trabaho dahil sa umiiral na alert level 3.

Sa pagtaya ng kagawaran, mahigit sa 30,000 empleyado ang naapektuhan ng paghihigpit ng COVID-19 restrictions mula Enero 1 hanggang 15.

Nasa 11,500 sa mga ito ay mula sa 759 establisimyento ang permanenteng nawalan ng trabaho habang 20,190 naman mula sa 508 establisimyento ang nasa flexible work arrangement o pansamantalang nawalan ng trabaho.

Sa ilalim ng COVID-19 adjustment measures program (CAMP), bibigyan ng P5,000 na ayuda ang bawat formal sector workers na apektado ng kasalukuyang restrictions.

Nauna nang sinabi ng DOLE na maaaring umabot sa 200,000 empleyado sa Metro Manila ang maapektuhan dahil sa pagtaas ng alert level.

Madadagdagan pa ito dahil mas dumami pa ang mga lugar na isinailalim sa Alert Level 3, kabilang na dito ang Rizal, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, at Baguio City.

Sa ngayon, ayon kay Tutay, ay pinag-aaralan pa ng DOLE ang guidelines para sa ipamimigay na ayuda.

“Iyon pong guidelines ay atin ipe-present po natin sa ating kalihim at senior officials anytime soon at kapag ito po ay naaprubahan na po niya ay ready na po to implement CAMP 2022,” ang wika ng opisyal.

Sa Martes ay magpupulong aniya ang mga opisyal ng DOLE para isapinal ang guidelines. Inaasahang masisimulan ang distribusyon ng cash aid sa susunod na linggo.

Para sa mga nais mag-apply para sa camp, maaring mag-register sa reports.dole.gov.ph at isumite ang kinakailangang data para ma-proseso ang application.

Maliban sa CAMP ay tuloy rin ang iba pang programa ng DOLE para matulungan ang mga manggagawang labis na naapektuhan ng pandemya.

“Nandiyan pa rin po ang ating emergency employment under TUPAD para naman po doon sa ating mga informal sector workers natin kung saan pwede po silang makapag-trabaho ng minimum of 10 days para po magkakita sila ng minimum wage in their region and then maryoon din po tayong mga livelihood assistance para po sa mga may gustong magumpisa ng sarili nilang negosyo,” ang wika ni Tutay. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

 

DOLE partners with PGH to manage OFW hospital

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2022

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it has tapped the Philippine General Hospital to help manage the clinical services of the country’s first hospital for overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between DOLE and the PGH last Friday at the nearly completed OFW Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga,

Bello expressed optimism over the partnership, saying “the expertise of the government’s top medical institution will add quality to the service and prestige to the name of the facility meant to provide the health requirements of OFWs.”

“In serving the health needs of our modern-day heroes, we need the champion in saving lives. Thank you PGH for helping us,” Bello added.

Under the MOU, PGH will be helping the OFW Hospital in the training of clinical and administrative personnel, planning and acquisition of hospital equipment, and formulation of clinical and fiscal process flow.

It will also guide the hospital in the creation of electronic medical records and hospital information systems, and planning of infrastructure layout in relation to clinical services.

Aside from PGH, DOLE said the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Bloomberry Cultural Foundation Incorporated (BCFI), and the Pampanga Provincial Government also helped in constructing the 100-bed hospital building.

The construction of the OFW hospital is scheduled to be finished in March this year, it added.

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