Bello wants board exam for nurses scrapped

Marje Pelayo   •   July 7, 2021   •   1004

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.

DOLE reiterates rights, protection of delivery riders under Labor law

Marje Pelayo   •   July 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reiterates the rights of riders in food delivery and courier activities under the Labor Code of the Philippines or their contract with the digital platform company, depending on the existence of an employer-employee relationship.

In an advisory, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said all delivery riders who are considered employees of a digital platform company are entitled to the minimum benefits under the Labor Code.

Meanwhile, those who work as independent contractors or freelancers shall be governed by their respective contracts or agreements with the digital platform company.

DOLE issued the advisory in order to set the standards in determining work relationships between food delivery companies and their respective riders.

This employer-employee relationship between the delivery rider and the digital platform company, Bello said, may be determined in consideration of the flexibility of work which includes working time, control through technology, and use of the equipment and other inputs.

The advisory stated that all delivery riders who are deemed employees of the digital platform company shall enjoy the minimum standards and benefits which include: minimum wage, holiday pay, premium pay, overtime pay, night shift differential, service incentive leave, thirteenth-month pay, separation pay, and retirement pay.

They are also entitled to get occupational safety and health (OSH) standards, including SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG, and other benefits under existing laws.

Riders shall also enjoy the right to security of tenure, self-organization, and collective bargaining.

Meanwhile, riders who are considered independent contractors or freelancers shall be governed by their respective contracts or agreements with the digital platform company.

The contract or agreement shall stipulate the following provisions, including but not limited to:

  • the payment of fair and equitable compensation, which shall not be lower than the prevailing minimum wage rates and facilitation of registration;
  • coverage under SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG;
  • compliance with applicable OSH standards;
  • attendance to regular training and seminars on road and traffic rules and road safety. This shall be arranged by the digital platform company in coordination with relevant government agencies;
  • arrangement with concerned local government units and/or merchants in setting up designated waiting areas for delivery riders

The Labor Advisory further states that any complaint or grievance of delivery riders or digital platform company shall be settled and resolved through conciliation, mediation, inspection, or arbitration, whichever is applicable, under existing rules and regulations.

Hontiveros urges DOLE to address labor abuses reported by food delivery drivers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Risa Hontiveros is urging the Department of Labor and Employment to address the issue of labor abuses reported by food delivery drivers.

The senator made the call after food delivery app Food Panda suspended at least 500 accredited riders in Davao City after participating in a unity ride in support of other riders who were suspended and denied access to the mobile app for 10 years.

The group is also complaining about the recent fare adjustment which significantly decreased their earnings to as low as P20.00 per ride.

Nananawagan ako sa DOLE na aksyunan agad ang hinaing ng ating delivery riders na nakararanas ng panggigipit sa mobile app operators,” she said.

(I am urging DOLE to address the complaints of our delivery riders who are experiencing problems with mobile app operators.)

Hontiveros called on DOLE to look into the plight of food delivery riders in Davao. She said there should also be guidelines and labor standards to protect the welfare of the riders.

“Failure to act on such grievances is negligence on the part of the government,” she said.

The senator also filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the working conditions of the so-called ‘gig economy’, which includes delivery riders, to address labor issues surrounding the emerging sector. AAC

 

 

DOLE lifts suspension of OFW deployment to Israel

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday (July 14) lifted the suspension of deployment of Filipino workers to Israel.

DOLE issued a memorandum, stating that Filipino workers can be deployed to Israel effective immediately after an almost two-month ban.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the decision was based on the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) due to the low-level incidents between the Israel Defense Force and Palestinian militant groups. This was after Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire in May.

On May 20, 2021, DOLE suspended the deployment of Filipino workers due to the tension between the Israel Defense Force and Palestine. AAC

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