DOLE issues guidelines on availing involuntary separation benefit

Marje Pelayo   •   August 7, 2019   •   3733

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced on Tuesday (August 6) that it has issued the guidelines on the issuance of certification to employees who wish to apply for involuntary separation benefit or unemployment insurance after being laid off involuntarily from their previous job.

Under Department Circular No.1 series of 2019 signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, employees who are eligible members of the Social Security System (SSS), including house helpers and overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who were retrenched from work will need to secure a DOLE certification of involuntary separation as a requirement to avail unemployment insurance.

A concerned employee may apply for certification at all DOLE field or provincial office where the employee resides or where their company is located.

OFWs, meanwhile, can file their application at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) located in the areas where their employers operate or where the OFWs reside.

Requirements for application are as follow:

– one valid identification card;

– a copy of the notice of termination issued by the employer, (or if not available a duly notarized affidavit of termination of employment)

DOLE said that to qualify for the grant of unemployment benefit, the employee:

  • should not be over 60 years of age at the time of involuntary separation;
  • has paid at least 36 monthly contributions (12 of which should be in the 18-month period immediately preceding the month of involuntary separation);
  • has no settled unemployment benefit within the last three years prior to the date of involuntary separation.

Only those employees involuntarily separated for “authorized causes” are qualified to apply for unemployment benefit. Example of these causes include:

– the installation of labor-saving devices;

– redundancy;

– retrenchment or downsizing;

– closure or cessation of operation;

– disease/illness of the employee whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his or her co-employees’ health

Meanwhile, employees who lost their jobs due to “just causes” are also eligible to apply.

Under Article 300 (285) of the Labor Code of the Philippines, ‘just causes’ for employment separation are as follow:

  • serious insult to the honor and person of the employee;
  • inhuman and unbearable treatment accorded the employee by the employer or his representative;
  • crime committed against the person of the employee or any immediate members of the employee’s family.

Employment separation due to an economic downturn, natural or human-induced calamities or disasters, and other similar cases as may be determined by the DOLE and SSS can also be valid reasons to apply for insurance benefit.

The DOLE field or regional office is directed to release the certification within the day upon receipt and verification of application provided the application is supported with complete documentary requirements.

OFWs exempted from travel ban on countries with new COVID-19 strain cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in countries with a travel ban from the government are exempted and will be allowed to enter the Philippines, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

In a press conference on Tuesday (December 29), Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said President Rodrigo Duterte wants OFWs to be able to return to their families.

Bello said returning OFWs would need to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Some 60,000 to 100,000 OFWs are expected to return in the next two weeks, he added.

Duterte, on Monday (December 28), approved the imposition of travel ban on countries with confirmed reports of the new strain of COVID-19. The travel ban will take effect on December 30 at 12:01 a.m. until January 15. AAC

DOLE’s TUPAD program pays P4.5-B to nearly 1 million workers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 29, 2020

The Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) cash-for-work program has provided emergency employment to close to one million workers.

As of December 28 under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program, 939,209 informal sector workers hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and those affected by the successive typhoons last month, received assistance.

More than P4.5 billion in wages in just close to two months was provided by the program to the informal sector workers.

Beneficiaries of the program are paid for work done for a minimum of 10 days to a maximum of 16 days based on the threshold requirements in the area.

Bureau of Workers with Special Concern (BWSC) director Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla said that 797,222 beneficiaries had been paid while 141,989 have ongoing jobs.

Trayvilla said TUPAD may reach more than one million beneficiaries with more funds still available from the P6-billion appropriation under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2).

The National Capital Region topped the regions with the biggest TUPAD fund allocations with P923.9 million. It was followed by CALABARZON with P593.2 million, and Central Luzon with P587.1 million. AAC

DOLE eyes completion of COVID-19 aid distribution next week

Robie de Guzman   •   December 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday expressed confidence that it will be able to meet the deadline for the distribution of the cash assistance for workers affected by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement, the DOLE said more than 93% of the P16-billion allocation for the assistance to workers in the formal and informal sectors, including overseas Filipino workers (OFW), has been downloaded to the department’s regional and overseas offices.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the early release of the funds for the beneficiaries of the assistance programs under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) will enable the department to meet the deadline before the law expires on December 19.

The assistance includes financial aid under the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) and Abot Kamay Ang Pagtulong (AKAP) Program; emergency employment under Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program; and livelihood assistance under DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP), the department said.

Of the released funds, P7.4 billion was allocated for CAMP, which is a safety-net program that offers financial support to workers in private establishments that have adopted flexible work arrangements or temporary closure during the pandemic.

Under this program, affected workers, regardless of their employment status, will be receiving one-time financial assistance equivalent to P5,000.

DOLE said it has recently adopted an online application system to fast-track the processing of CAMP applications.

Bello advised workers and establishments in the private sector to apply online through this link.

As for TUPAD, total of P4.9 billion has been allocated under Bayanihan 2. It aims to provide temporary wage employment to workers in the informal sector who were displaced or whose earnings were affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help OFWs financially, DOLE said it has also been extending a one-time P10,000 or $200 cash aid under the AKAP program to OFWs whose incomes were affected by the pandemic.

A total of P1.8 billion financial aid was allocated for OFWs who were repatriated and who are onsite.

Bello said the labor department has streamlined the process of AKAP applications following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to enable more OFWs to benefit from the one-time cash assistance.

OFWs who will be repatriated to the Philippines may file their AKAP application before they arrive in the country, and receive their benefits within three to five days upon submission of complete documents.

Meanwhile, P132-million was allotted for the DILP or Kabuhayan Program which provides sustainable self-employment through easy-to-learn livelihood activities.

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