Bello wants board exam for nurses scrapped

Marje Pelayo   •   July 7, 2021   •   1688

MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III wants the board exam for newly graduated nurses to be scrapped.

Bello questioned why nurses need a board exam when they have gone through several examinations throughout the four years of their collegiate study, especially if their school is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

“Sabi ko napakamahal kumuha ng kursong nursing. Kukuha sila ng 4 years. After graduating kukuha sila ng board exam. Bakit pa kailangan ng board exam [kung] ilang exam ang dinaanan nila sa nursing.” Bello said.

“Sabi ko pagaralan nyo yan and then we can recommend to congress to tanggalin na yung exam exam na yan. Gastos sa ating mga nurses,” he added.

The Labor Chief asked the Philippine Nurses Association and the Board of Nursing to look into his argument though it may seem impossible.

“Syempre we respect his opinion but it needs to be studied. As of now, it cannot be done because we have an existing law that governs it. Personally, board exams serve as the check and balance for the quality of education we are producing in schools,” explained Philippine Nurses Association President Melbert Reyes.

“For nursing parang hindi possible iyan and also in other medical courses kasi buhay yung hinahawakan natin and we need to ensure that health professionals are competent enough to do their duties and responsibilities,” he added.

In July and September, about 9,000 nurses are scheduled to take the annual board exam.

Bello hopes all of them pass the examination as the country needs their services especially at this time of the pandemic.

Labor group seeks probe on ‘no vaccine-no salary’ policy

Maris Federez   •   October 18, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALO-TUCP) is seeking an investigation into the alleged “no vaccine-no salary” scheme imposed by some employers on their workers.

The group said they already forwarded the matter to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the agency to launch its investigation as the number of employees complaining of not receiving their salaries is increasing.

“Nagsusumbong sa amin yung mga manggagawa at sinasabi nila hindi raw sila pinapasahod at hindi ibinibigay ang kanilang sahod hanggang hindi sila nagpapakita ng complete vaccination card dun sa kanilang employer,” said Alan Tanjusay, ALO-TUCP spokesperson.

Tanjusay said that aside from being a violation of labor laws, the alleged scheme is a violation of human rights just because an employee is not yet vaccinated.

“Ito ay ipinagbabawal, ito ay isang diskriminasyon,” Tanjusay insisted.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III, meanwhile, said they are just awaiting the details of the complaint, such as the name and other specifics of the concerned company, for them to make the necessary action.

“Alam naman natin na yang policy na yan ay labag sa batas. Under the law hindi mo pwedeng ano i-hold ang sweldo ng employee mo unless there is a legal basis or legal clause. Eh yung hindi po pagba-vaccine o pagbabakuna hindi yan legal basis to withhold the salary of the employees,” Bello said.

Tanjusay, on the other hand, urged the DOLE to issue an order that will stop the no vaccine-no salary scheme.

“DOLE must issue an advisory or guidelines to avoid the spread of ‘no vaccine, no salary’ scheme,” he said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

DOTr, DOLE sign MOA to provide livelihood assistance to transport workers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday, October 12, signed a memorandum of agreement to provide livelihood assistance to  transport workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.

The eTSUPERneur program is a long-term solution that provides transport workers with entrepreneurial-related training, business management orientation, business capital, and micro-insurance.

Participants who wish to join the program will be trained in various skillsets as they enter businesses related to food, mechanical and others. Each participant will receive an amount of P30,000 as one of the benefits.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the program can help workers in the transport sector earn an extra income, while providing service to the commuting public.

Nakapakalaking bagay para sa mga naghahanap-buhay sa pampublikong sasakyan na magkaroon ng karagdagang kaalaman upang mapabuti ang kanilang serbisyo, o hindi kaya ay magkaroon sila ng kakayahan sa pagnenegosyo at para sa iba pang pagkakakitaan para makabangon sa gitna ng pandemya (It is a big deal for transport workers to have additional knowledge to improve their service or have the capability to start a business as an alternative livelihood amid the pandemic),” he said. AAC


Labor group calls on gov’t to make vaccination accessible to workers

Marje Pelayo   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A labor group is asking the government to make vaccination accessible to workers.

Associated Labor Union-trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) said about 200,000 to 300,000 workers still remain unvaccinated in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus Bubble.

“Nauuso ngayon iyong walk-in vaccine hopping. Ito yung mga manggagawang desperado na nagtatrabaho pero dahil kulang yung vaccines doon sa mga probinsya nila o sa kanilang siyudad kung saan sila nakatira, eh desperado silang naghahanap ng mga walk-in sa NCR o sa karatig na probinsya,” ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said.

The group said that those in the provinces suffer the long wait for vaccines unlike residents in Metro Manila.

They added that even if the local government units (LGUs) in the said region have opened their vaccinations to non-residents, non-NCR residents are still not among their priority.

Thus, the group is calling on the government to bring the vaccinators to their workplaces especially now that most industries require workers to be fully vaccinated.

“Dapat siguro bakit hindi pumunta yung mga vaccinator sa mga workplaces? Imbes na mga manggagawa ang maghanap-hanap kung saan, dapat lahat ng businesses o business establishment sa Metro Manila ay puntahan ng mga vaccinators,” Tanjusay said.

Meanwhile, the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) is requesting for additional supply of COVID -19 vaccines and the construction of additional storage facilities.

Marinduque governor and LPP president, Presbitero Velasco said, “Tingin ko yung government kung may pondo pa, they should provide ultra low freezers para pati naman yung malalayong LGUs at yung mga lower rank LGUs ay mabigyan naman ng magagandan bakuna.”

For its part, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has begun vaccination programs for construction and factory workers after the national government provided them with 452,000 doses of vaccines.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III stressed that workers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to avoid further crippling the economy.

“Kasi kung hindi mo bakunahan yung mga workers natin, mapipilay yung ating mga negosyo. Ngayon pag napilay yung negosyo, pilay yung ating ekonomiya,” Bello said.

In the coming week, DOLE has scheduled a roll out of vaccination in certain provinces with a specific number of COVID vaccines doses:

Malolos, Bulacan – 1,000 (Sept. 23, 2021)
Bataan – 1,000 (Sept. 24, 2021)
Dumaguete – 1,000 (Sept. 24, 2021)
Cebu – 5,000 (Sept 24, 2021)

MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)


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