DOLE fast tracks IRR for Expanded Maternity Leave Act

Marje Pelayo   •   March 8, 2019   •   9355

MANILA, Philippines – Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III assured to expedite the crafting of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Expanded Maternity Leave Law that extends the maternity leave benefits of female employees.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has 90 days to craft the IRR, but Bello is confident that the agency will be able to finish the draft within 45 to 60 days.

Under the new law, maternity leave benefits of 60 days or two months have been extended to 105 days or more than three months.

It was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on February 20, 2019.

The new law takes effect 15 days after publication of the IRR in broadsheets of national circulation. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Aiko Miguel)

DOLE vows to release IRR of service charge law soon

Robie de Guzman   •   August 20, 2019

Hotel attendant

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is eyeing to release the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act 11360 or the Service Charge Law soon.

In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestro Bello III assured they will fast track the crafting of the IRR to release it within the 90-day period.

“We have 90 days to craft the IRR but we don’t intend to maximize it, instead we hope to come up with it as soon as possible so our workers in hotels and restaurants can finally receive reasonable incentives from their hard work and quality services,” Bello said.

The law, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last August 7, requires restaurants, hotels, and similar establishments to distribute service charges in full among their rank and file and supervisory employees.

The law amended Article 96 of the Labor Code, which only provides workers with 85 percent of the service charge collection while the remaining 15 percent are for the management.

“The law will keep our workers in the hotel and restaurants motivated in providing quality services, as well as a chance to give them a simple reward for their hard work,” Bello said.

Under the new law, all service charges shall be distributed completely and equally among the covered workers, except managerial employees.

It also mandates the establishment of a grievance mechanism to resolve any dispute between employees and the management on the distribution of the service charge.

DOLE said workers can fully receive their equal distribution from the full collected service charges 15 days after the publication of its IRR in a newspaper of general circulation. 

DTI aims for ‘Smarter Entrepreneurs’ for Phl

Maris Federez   •   July 16, 2019

Several business entrepreneurs on Tuesday (July 16) have joined the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Summit conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

The summit aims to help small entrepreneurs on their businesses and to be “Smarter Entrepreneurs”.

The latest record of the DTI shows that the country has produced more than 900,000 MSMEs which have provided jobs to up to five million Filipinos.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s common-law wife Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña graced the event and reminisced the time when she was still a struggling businesswoman.

“I’ve been with a donut company — franchisee of a donut company for almost 22 years. Kahit na ho pakonti-konti ‘yan [Even though it was just small], 22 years (have) provided you of, you know, a decent living. Mabili mo ‘yung gusto ng anak mo. Makapaglagay ka ng pagkain sa lamesa sa pamilya mo [You can buy what your child wants. You can put food on the table for your family],” Avanceña recalled.

 “I don’t have to call my husband: ‘OK, can I buy this?’,” she added.

Meanwhile, the DTI hopes that the implementation of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act will help boost the small entrepreneurs in the country.

The President signed the law last year with the aim of curbing red tape in the bureaucracy.

Under the law, simple business applications must be processed within three days. A complex business application must be completed in seven days, while applications which are rather technical should only take 20-days processing time.

The law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) is expected to be signed in the very near future.

DTI chief, Sec. Ramon Lopez, has also urged the public to report to the anti-red tape authority any government personnel who will violate the said law.

“Assured ‘yung mga kababayan natin na matatakbuhan sila kapag nade-delay ‘yung mga application nila. So, pwede silang mag-complain [Our countrymen are assured that they have someone to go to when there is a delay on their application. They can file a complaint],” said Lopez.

The agency is also mulling over coming up with a “One Step” Business Registration to ease the processing of applications for a license to operate.  (with reports from Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

DOH begins consultations for Universal Health Care law rules

Robie de Guzman   •   June 13, 2019

The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday began the public consultations for the drafting of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act.

The DOH said the first public consultations for regions 1, 2 and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) will be held in Baguio City from June 13 to 14.

The agency said the conduct of a series of public forums across the country aims to make the process of drafting the IRR inclusive and consultative.

“We want to hear from different stakeholders most especially the public because it is truly the Filipino people who will benefit from the UHC,” the DOH said in a statement posted on Twitter.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the UHC into law last February 20.

The law makes all Filipinos members of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), either as direct or indirect contributors, providing immediate eligibility and access to preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care for medical and emergency health services.

The measure urges the private sector to help provide improved health benefit packages for Filipinos to reduce their expenses.

The DOH has been given 180 days to outline and complete the law’s implementing guidelines.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said they are now moving to fast track the implementation of the UHC law.

“It is a big undertaking and we’re now laying the groundwork for the sustainability and effectiveness of this reform that aims to address a number of gaps in our health system,” Duque said.

The DOH said the current draft of the IRR was put together with the help of various stakeholders and representatives from the public and private sector.

The agency said the public consultation for Visayas and Mindanao areas will be announced in the coming weeks through DOH official social media accounts.

The DOH earlier expressed confidence it will be able to finish the draft before the 180 days and the law’s implementing rules will be available by July or August this year.

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