DOLE calls on contractors to open more jobs for displaced workers

Marje Pelayo   •   May 19, 2020   •   249

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)

PNP mulls reopening of Custodial Center to visitors amid COVID-19 crisis

Robie de Guzman   •   May 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said it will assess whether its Custodial Center can be reopened to visitors amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

PNP chief Police General Archie Gamboa said they need to thoroughly study the possibility of reopening the facility because of its proximity to quarantine facilities housing police personnel infected with COVID-19 and the PNP RT-PCR test laboratory.

At present, the visitation of inmates at the PNP Custodial Center is prohibited in compliance with the safety and health protocols set by the government amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gamboa said they are only following the measure implemented by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in the detention facilities in the country.

“Standard naman ‘yung sinusunod natin, together with the BuCor and BJMP. We need to reassess whether to open up sa visitors yung Custodial Center,” he said.

Gamboa’s statement comes after opposition senators questioned the PNP’s move to bar Senator Leila de Lima from accepting visitors and holding physical meetings with anyone.

The PNP chief, however, assured that De Lima is allowed to make phone calls. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Renault closes site, restructures factories in France in bid to slash costs

UNTV News   •   May 29, 2020

PART MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY RENAULT.

Renault said on Friday (May 29) it was launching talks with unions to restructure several French car plants, as it confirmed plans to cut around 15,000 jobs worldwide and the closure of one France plant.

Faced with a slump in demand that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis, Renault is aiming to find 2 billion euros ($2.22 billion) in savings over the next three years as it shrinks production and hones in on key car models.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Interim Chief Executive Clotilde Delbos said 4,600 jobs in France are in peril of being cut.

Renault Group Board of Directors Chair Jean-Dominique Senard hailed the cost-reduction plan to be both “defensive” and “offensive,” as he announced the closure of the Choisy-le-Roi factory, which manufactures motors, the sole plant to halt activity out of Renault’s 14 plant sites.

Senard said though that the Caudan site in Brittany, which was also threatened of closing will maintain operations, adding that Renault is working with the regional government to think about the future of the plant. (Reuters)

(Production: Ardee Napolitano)

DOLE reminds companies, employees of COVID-19 prevention protocols as work resumes Monday

Marje Pelayo   •   May 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila and some parts of the country will begin the implementation of general community quarantine (GCQ) on Monday (June 1).

Alongside the shift from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ)to GCQ is the reopening of companies and establishments with a number of employees returning to their workplaces.

Based on records by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) around 2.8 million workers stopped working, some were laid off, due to the impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-1) pandemic on the country’s economy. 

Thus, many of those whose income were affected during the quarantine will need to work harder to recover their finances with the reopening of industries and sectors.

“Considering na matagal silang nawalan ng trabaho [Considering the length of time that they have been idle], you can just imagine the rush of workers kasi no-work-no-pay,” Bello noted.

“Now that they can work, for sure they will do everything within their means to report back to office,” he added.

The Secretary also expressed concern about the workers’ dilemma over the limited operation of mass transportation.

Street sweeper Lolita Danieles just returned to work on Tuesday (May 26) after two months of staying at home. 

However, she struggles with transportation as she has to pay P70 for a tricycle ride from Payatas to Litex, just halfway to her workplace in Timog Avenue.

“Minsan ang bus pumapara kami hindi kami hinihintuan. Maghintay talaga kami. Tyaga lang, [There are buses passing by but they do not stop. We need to wait patiently,]” she said.

“Kanina nga lang hinintuan kami nung kotse, siningil sa amin tig P50 isa, [Earlier a car owner offered us a ride but charged us P50 each],” she said.

Meanwhile, an employee of a construction company, Crispin Acincieno said he opted for a two-way personal service from his home in Bulacan to his work in Quezon City instead of commuting. 

“Definitely hindi muna. Kasi hindi pa naman sigurado. Hindi pa naman 100% safe na mag-public transport [Not yet for now, definitely, because it’s not yet sure if public transportations are 100% safe],” he said. 

Secretary Bello reminds employers and employees to always observe health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

These include the regular wearing of masks, temperature checking, setting up disinfection stations with alcohol and foot baths as well as maintaining proper social distance. 

Ating sinisiguro na ang ating mga worker na nakapasok ay ligtas sa contamination at transmission ng COVID-19 [We want to make sure, that our returning employees and workers are safe from contamination and transmission of COVID-19],” Bello said. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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