DOLE calls on contractors to open more jobs for displaced workers
Marje Pelayo • May 19, 2020 • 384
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported that around 2.6 million Filipinos have lost their jobs after several industries closed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Metro Manila is now under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and several industries have been allowed to reopen including the construction industry, both private and public.
Due to the crisis, DOLE is calling on all contractors to open more jobs to help those who were displaced by the COVID-19 crisis.
“Dagdagan nila from 10 to 20 percent kumbaga sa kung maari gawing manualized yung mga workers wag munang mechanized sa halip na mag back-hoe magdagdag lang ng bente na workers,” asked Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
[Increase their workforce by 10 to 20 percent and if possible, they may opt to do the work manually to accommodate more workers instead of mechanized. Instead of using a back-hoe, they may employ more workers to do the job.]
According to DOLE, the construction industry under MECQ is allowed to operate at 100 percent manpower capacity.
Also, the Labor Department is encouraging contractors to provide their workers with barracks so they will no longer have to commute to and from their residences, especially these days when public transport remains suspended.
Aside from that, DOLE has urged private companies to provide company shuttle services for their workers who are obliged to report to the sites.
If a shuttle service is not possible, companies may set a different working arrangement for their workers; otherwise, they will be forced to remain non-operational.
“Kung hindi mo madala, kung wala kang transportation ay hindi makakapasok ang worker. Kapag hindi nakapasok ang worker, walang sweldo, [If you cannot provide transportation, your worker will not be able to come to work. Without work, they will not receive pay],” Bello explained.
“Ngayon, kung hindi mo kayang i-provide ang transportation sa mga workers mo mapipilitan kang mag stop operations na, temporary closure na [Now, if you cannot provide transportation for your workers, then you will be forced to stop operations or temporary closure],” he added.
Employers are required to submit to DOLE as to which work adjustment scheme they prefer to implement for their workers.
Meanwhile, DOLE clarified that workers or employees are not obliged to take COVID-19 testing before returning to work except those who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or those who had exposure to COVID-19 confirmed cases. –MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvester Bello III on Wednesday said that the remains of overseas Filipino workers who died in Saudi Arabia will be brought home in batches starting Friday.
Bello said the first batch will be comprised of 44 bodies of deceased OFWs – 19 of whom succumbed to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while the others died of various causes.
The remains will arrive at the Villamor Airbase via a chartered flight on July 10.
Bello said those who died from COVID-19 will be immediately brought to a crematorium for cremation. Their ashes will then be turned over to their families.
For OFWs who died of natural causes, the labor chief said that their remains may be claimed by their relatives or sent to their respective provinces.
The second batch of OFW remains will arrive on Sunday. A total of 274 remains of OFWs will be flown home from Saudi Arabia.
Bello said the bodies will be repatriated in batches because they cannot bring them home all at once due to stringent protocols and requirements.
“Unahin muna natin yung nakumpleto ang papeles kasi ang hirap ng mga papeles dito. Meron from the Ministry of Labor, meron Ministry of Foreign Affairs nila, ospital kung saan galing yung labi. Ang pinakamahirap yung consent ng employer ang ating mga kababayan,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) assured it will extend aid to the families of deceased workers.
OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said the families of both active and inactive members of the agency will receive financial assistance.
“Bereavement financial assistance at a minimum for inactive OWWA members and then there is an additional death and burial benefit for the active OWWA member in addition to other related benefits like livelihood. But there will be a minimun financial basic assistance for all,” Cacdac said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Mon Jocson/Jaycel Valera)
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday (July 1) denounced the claims made by lawyers and officials of ABS-CBN Corporation that it found the network compliant with labor laws and standards.
In a statement, the labor department said it “denounces attempts by lawyers and officials of ABS-CBN to misrepresent its position to deceive members of the House of Representatives in its bid to gain congressional approval for a new franchise.”
Additionally, DOLE denied ABS-CBN’s claim that the department approves of the firm’s seasonal work status for its program employees.
DOLE said its inspectors found violations of labor practices on the part of ABS-CBN but added that “the company took steps to correct those infractions.”
“It is therefore patently misleading to attribute to us the claim that ABS-CBN is a compliant company,” the agency said adding that there are actually 67 pending cases against ABS-CBN in the National Labor Relation Commission (NLRC) and in various courts.
“We also warn the broadcast firm’s counsels against wrongfully presenting policy issuances of the department to the advantage of their client,” DOLE said.
“The cited rule governing the employee-employer relationship in the broadcast industry 40 years ago, which is not aligned with the provisions of the Labor Code, does not anymore apply to date,” it added.
The labor department said it will not let the matter pass.
MANILA, Philippines – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III has rejected calls to use the trust fund being managed by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to provide for the emergency needs of Filipino migrant workers displaced by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“They are sending us more than $30 billion a year. Nakakatulong sa ekonomiya natin. Kaya naman, for once, pay back naman tayo. ‘Wag nating galawin yung pera nila,” Bello said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
The OWWA earlier asked for a P5 billion supplemental budget from Congress to prolong its fund’s sustainability as it warned of a “largely looming” bankruptcy should it continue to spend for the food, accommodation, and transportation of repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFW) beyond 2021.
At a Senate hearing last week, OWWA chief Hans Leo Cacdac said the agency’s P18.79-billion fund is expected to be reduced to P10 billion by the end of this year, and plunge below P1 billion by the end of 2021 should OFWs continue to be displaced and repatriated.
Cacdac said OWWA has so far spent more than P800 million for the repatriation, accommodation and cash assistance for returning OFWs.
Bello said OWWA funds should be spent more on its members’ needs, such as for livelihood or their children’s education.
“Dapat gobyerno ang magbigay ng pera para matiyak natin na lahat ng kailangan ng ating mga OFW ay matugunan natin… Bakit naman, for the first time na hihingi naman sila ng tulong, nangangailangan sila ng tulong, bakit naman kailangan nating galawin yung pondo nila?… ‘Wag natin gamitin ang pera na ‘yan sa panahong ito,” the labor chief said.
“Government has to take extra steps in order to assure additional budget to help our OFWs,” he added.
“Huwag nating hayaan na maramdaman ng OFW na tinitipid sila sa kabila ng napakalaki nilang naitulong sa ekonomiya natin in the good and in the best of times,” he further stated.
Bello said around 63,000 Filipino workers have already been brought home while about 90,000 others remain stranded in other countries and are awaiting repatriation.
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.