DOLE assures cash, livelihood aid for Filipinos repatriated from Middle East
Robie de Guzman • January 21, 2020 • 287
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has assured that overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who were recently repatriated from the Middle East will be provided with livelihood and cash assistance from the government.
In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said returning Filipinos from Iraq amid tensions between the United States and Iran will get cash aid amounting to P20,000, for active members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and P10,000 for non-active members.
Last January 15, around 13 Filipinos evacuated from Iraq arrived in Manila along with some labor officials.
The DOLE said that a total of 1,640 Filipinos, documented and undocumented, are currently in Iraq. From these figures, 847 are staying in Baghdad, 655 in Erbil, and 148 in Sulaymaniyah.
The Philippine government ordered for a mandatory repatriation of Filipino workers in Iraq last January 8. It was triggered by the hoisting of alert level 4 due to the security threats in Middle East.
The alert level for Filipinos in Iraq was raised after Iran launched a series of ballistic missile attack at Iraq’s bases, where US forces were housed.
Iran’s firing of rockets was in retaliation for the death of top military general Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad last January 3.
On the same day, more than 170 passengers were killed after Iran shot down a Ukrainian plane while on alert following its missile attack against US forces.
Filipinos in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East who wish to avail of the government’s repatriation program are advised to contact the Embassy for assistance in securing exit visas and other necessary documents to ensure smooth repatriation process.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has warned the public against bogus job offers abroad following reports received by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office about a fraudulent scheme that lures Filipinos to work in Yukon Territory in Canada.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that based on information they received, the scammer uses the name of a website of a legitimate Yukon Human Resources practitioner to dupe their unsuspecting victims.
The victims are then asked to pay US$440 in exchange for non-existent jobs.
The Labor chief said the scammers took advantage of DOLE’s announcement in September 2019 on the employment opportunities in various industries in Yukon.
It was in August last year when Bello and Minister Ranj Pillai signed a joint Communique to establish cooperation on the recruitment of Filipino workers to Yukon.
After the signing, a proposed memorandum of understanding was forwarded to Yukon, which aims to establish a system for the recruitment process in the deployment of Filipinos through a Nominee program under a government-to-government arrangement.
“This government to government agreement shall validate the existence of guaranteed employment offers. Hence, we are warning the public to be very cautious of this scam that seemingly capitalizes on the still-to-be finalized labor agreement between the Philippines and Yukon,” Bello said.
He, however, clarified that a bilateral labor pact has yet to be signed between the two parties.
“Based on the report by our POLO Vancouver, the Yukon government is still studying the memorandum of understanding, and DOLE will provide an update on this undertaking,” Bello said.
DOLE reiterated its advise to the public to visit the website of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (poea.gov.ph) to validate the authenticity of any job offers they receive.
He also urged jobseekers to report to the POEA via firstname.lastname@example.org any suspicious job-related activities they encountered.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday reminded employers in the private sector to properly pay their workers who will be on duty during the anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution on February 25.
In an advisory, DOLE said those who will report for work on February 25, which is a special non-working holiday, should receive an additional 30% of their basic wage in the first eight hours.
“Their basic wage shall be multiplied by 130 percent plus COLA,” DOLE acting secretary Ana Dione said in the advisory.
“If the employee did not work, however, the “no work, no pay” principle shall apply unless there is favorable company policy, practice, or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) granting payment on a special day,” she added.
If the special non-working holiday falls on the workers’ rest day, they shall be paid an additional 50 percent of their basic wage on the first eight hours of work.
If they work in excess of eight hours, they will be paid an additional 30 percent on their hourly rate, according to DOLE.
Under Proclamation No. 845, s. of 2019 released by Malacañang, February 25 is among the special non-working days for 2020.
MANILA, Philippines – The construction of the first hospital for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) is set to begin following the signing of a memorandum of agreement for the project between the government and private donors, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Friday.
In a statement, DOLE said the deal which signals the commencement of the project construction was signed in a ceremony held last week in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III led the signing of the agreement with representatives from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Department of Health, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), other officials from the local government and the Bloomberry Cultural Foundation.
Under the agreement, Pagcor will donate P200 million for the acquisition and installation of equipment and facilities for the hospital, while Bloomberry Cultural Foundation will shoulder the cost of construction amounting to P400 million.
The local government of Pampanga has donated a two-hectare property in Barangay Sindalan for the project.
In his remarks during the signing ceremony, Bello lauded the signatories’ commitment to building the first and only hospital in the Philippines that will provide free medical services to the country’s modern-day heroes.
“This hospital is going to be built to recognize the heroism of our OFWs who continue to power economic growth in the country,” Bello said.
“It’s a fitting tribute to Filipino workers who, through their valuable remittances, have kept the economy afloat during many challenging times,” he added.
DOLE said the hospital is expected to be completed in May 2021.
Once completed, the hospital will render free services when OFWs are securing medical certificates covering laboratory exams and other requirements for their overseas deployment.
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