DOLE opens 1,000 job opportunities for PWDs

Marje Pelayo   •   December 3, 2018   •   4108

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will launch a job fair for persons with disability (PWDs) on Wednesday (December 5) at the Quezon City Hall grounds.

The agency will open job opportunities in the field of advertising, business process outsourcing (BPO), electronics, hotel service, health and wellness, logistics, media, manpower and security services, travel and tourism among others.

Interested applicants may visit www.philjobnet.gov.ph for pre-qualification. – UNTV News and Rescue

DOLE assures assistance to repatriated OFW acquitted of murder in KSA

Marje Pelayo   •   September 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has assured assistance to Rose Dacanay Policarpio, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was recently repatriated after being acquitted of murder in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the government had worked closely on the case of Policarpio until she gained her freedom, and will continue to help her to start anew.

Policarpio was repatriated last week, two years after being acquitted on the murder of her Lebanese employer.

Labor Attache Nasser Mustafa of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Riyadh said Policarpio arrived in Saudi Arabia on June 3, 2013.

She was deployed by her Philippine recruitment agency, Saranay Philippines Inc. as a food server for the Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation but  she ended up as a household service worker to a Lebanese woman who was living alone. 

Barely two weeks after her arrival, she was falsely accused of the murder of her employer.

Policarpio denied the accusation and claimed that the crime was perpetrated by three unidentified men, who entered the house of her employer while she was out throwing garbage.

After the incident, she called her Saudi agency, who arrived at the scene with members of the Saudi police. She was detained thereafter and the case of murder was filed against her.

The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh provided her with a lawyer from the AI Kheraiji Law Office, which helped her obtain an acquittal in November 2018.

Policarpio was finally freed in December 2018. She was fetched from the police precinct by representatives of the Assistance to Nationals Section of the Embassy and was admitted at Bahay Kalinga on January 3, 2019.

After staying at the Bahay Kalinga for less than nine months, she was transferred to Lotuston Hotel, the temporary shelter maintained by the Embassy for distressed female OFWs with police cases. 

She stayed at the hotel for one year before her repatriation last week.

Kingdom of Bahrain lifts suspension on domestic workers — DOLE

Marje Pelayo   •   September 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday (September 14) confirmed that the Kingdom of Bahrain has lifted its temporary suspension on household service workers.

This means that the Kingdom has resumed the recruitment of domestic workers.

In an advisory, the agency said the announcement was made a month after the renewal of the issuance of work permits of expatriate skilled workers last August 9.

According to its report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Bahrain added that Filipino workers are preferred by most employers in the kingdom in reopening their doors to migrant workers.

It said that the Kingdom’s Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) has warned would-be employers of migrant domestic workers to refrain from engaging the services of unlicensed domestic manpower agencies in hiring domestic workers. 

Such is to ensure that mitigation measures against the spread of COVID-19 are strictly followed and workers’ rights are upheld and protected, the agency said.

Based on data from POLO–Bahrain, the number of Filipino domestic workers in the Kingdom declined by 9% from January 2019 to June 2020. 

From 18,663 domestic workers in 2019, only 16,576 remained as of June 2020, the agency said.

The ban was announced in March due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

DOLE, DTI mandate regular COVID-19 tests for workers

Marje Pelayo   •   August 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said that workers in several sectors will be required to undergo regular real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests.

The said measure, which took effect Saturday (August 15), is contained in the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04 series of 2020, or DTI and DOLE Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19.

It aims at preventing the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in workplaces, according to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

It covers all workers in the hospitality and tourism sectors, manufacturing companies, including frontline and economic priority employees.

The Secretary emphasized, however, that the tests must be administered free of charge.

“The COVID-19 testing must be at no cost to the employees,” he said.

“This is so far the most comprehensive set of guidelines for the safety and protection of workers and employees in workplaces. The strict observance of these health protocols will make a big  difference in our long-drawn battle to defeat Covid 19 and ensure the productivity of the Filipino workforce,” he added.

Specifically identified to undergo the RT–PCR test include workers in:

  • tourist zones
  • local manufacturing companies
  • transport and logistics
  • food retail
  • education
  • financial services
  • non-food retail services
  • public market
  • construction
  • water supply
  • sewerage and waste management
  • public sector
  • mass media

The joint memorandum covers all establishments, projects, sites, including establishments located inside special economic zones and other investment promotion agencies, and all other places where work is being undertaken in all branches of economic activity, except in the public sector.

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) said it still need to clarify the details of the memorandum with DOLE. 

According to ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., about 90% of businesses in the country are micro enterprises and about 50% of them have already closed.

ECOP said these enterprises might decide to permanently close due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. 

“Even nga iyong small matters like face mask and face shield, issue pa rin sa ibang kumpanya. Napakaliit na bagay noon. Iyong testing pa ba [Even the small matters like face masks and face shield remain an issue with other companies. Those are actually small items. How much more with the (RT-PCR) testing],” Luis concluded. MNP (with inputs from Rey Pelayo)

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