DOLE reminds employers to give 13th month pay to workers

Robie de Guzman   •   December 12, 2019   •   425

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has reminded private employers to release the 13th month pay of their workers on or before December 24.

“This is a reminder to our employers not to forget. The law is clear that you have to give your employees on or before Christmas Day their 13th month pay. It doesn’t matter if you’re earning or not, you are mandated by law,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Wednesday.

“There are other employers who released half of it middle of the year but they should give it,” added.

Under Presidential Decree 851, private sector workers are entitled to receive a 13th month pay not later than December 24. However, an employer may release to his or her employees half of the benefit before the opening of the regular school year and the other half on or before December 24 each year.

Bello also reminded employers that the law on 13th month pay also covers house helpers and workers of small businesses.

He added that the benefit should be given in cash and not in kind.

Bello urged workers who fail to receive their 13th month pay to file a complaint with DOLE regional offices. – RRD (from the report of Correspondent Dante Amento)

DOLE assures job security for Filipino crew in cruise ship

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 18, 2020

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has assured job security for the Filipino crew in the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess.

DOLE Usec. Ana Dione. said the labor attache of the Philippines in Japan is already coordinating with the Japanese company that owns the Diamond Princess for the job security of the repatriated Filipino crew.

“Tutulong and DOLE diyan through our POLO [Philippine Overseas Labor Office] offices na i-secure iyong kanilang trabaho, now kung mag-desisyon sila kung babalik o hindi nasa kanila na iyon (DOLE will help through our POLO offices in securing their jobs. Now, it is their decision if they wish to return or not),” she said.

After the 14-day quarantine on Wednesday (February 19), the DOLE said they are prepared to repatriate the over 500 Filipino crew and passengers.

“Exact date ay hindi natin iyan kayang sabihin sa ngayon, (we cannot say the exact date as of now) but we are hoping that within this month,” according to Dione.

The repatriated Filipinos will also undergo the 14-day quarantine period, based on the protocol of the Department of Health (DOH).—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

DOLE urges DOH to lift travel ban to Taiwan

Robie de Guzman   •   February 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Thursday said it has requested the Department of Health (DOH) to lift the travel ban for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to Taiwan amid the threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he has coordinated with the DOH for his request to review its decision and lift the temporary travel ban soon.

“For those who are affected by the travel ban in Taiwan, we ask for your patience and in a few days, there will be a review. While waiting for the lifting of the ban, we are providing financial assistance,” Bello said.

The labor chief assured that stranded overseas workers who are members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will receive P10,000 financial assistance amid the crisis.

Affected OFWs will also be provided with accommodation, food and transportation assistance.

Bello asked stranded OFWs to wait for the result of the assessment for the next three to five days.

“We are seeking understanding from our OFWs because the implementation of a temporary ban by the DOH is for your own safety as well,” he said.

“We hope for a possible lifting of the ban in a few days,” he added.

The Philippine government earlier imposed a travel ban on China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau, in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. It later expanded the travel restrictions to include Taiwan.

The Taiwanese government questioned the Philippines’ move and reportedly warned to impose countermeasures should the latter keeps the entry ban.

Dubai denies report that Filipino worker died of coronavirus

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 7, 2020

The Dubai Media Office has denied claims made by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III that a Filipina had died due to coronavirus.

The media office said overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Amalia Collado Daproza died of pneumonia and had tested negative for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

They also reiterated that there are no cases of death due to coronavirus in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Bello already apologized to the government of Dubai for the confusion.

In a statement, the Labor Secretary clarified that the death of Daproza at Al Zahra Hospital in the UAE was not a case of nCoV as earlier reported.

“Based on a belated report received by the office of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III from the Philippine Labor Office in Dubai, results of confirmatory tests conducted by the Pathology and Genetics Department of the Dubai Health Authority on Daproza’s specimen yielded negative of the novel corona virus,” the statement reads.—AAC

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