DOLE reminds private sector of rules on pay, work suspension during calamities
Robie de Guzman • January 13, 2020 • 4832
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday reminded employers in the private sector of the rules on pay and work suspension mandated by the law during times of natural or man-made calamities.
In an advisory dated January 13, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III cited Article 5 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, which states that, “Except as provided for by law or appropriate proclamation, employers in the private sector shall, in the exercise of management prerogative and in coordination with the safety and health committee, or safety officer, or any other responsible company officer, suspend work to ensure the safety and health of their employees during natural or man-made calamity.”
Bello also reminded employers to observe the following rules on wages during calamities:
If unworked – no pay, unless there is a favorable company policy, practice, or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) granting payment of wages on said day. When the employee has accrued leave credits, he/she may be allowed to utilize such leave so that he/she will have compensation on said days.
If worked – no additional pay shall be given to the employees but only their salary on said day.
To alleviate the plight of employees in times of natural or man-made calamity, Bello said employers may provide such extra incentives or benefits to employees who reported to work on the said days.
The labor chief also noted section 3 of the Labor Code which gives assurance to employees “who fail or refuse to work by reason of imminent danger resulting from natural or man-made calamity shall not be exposed to or subject to any administrative sanction.”
Malacañang on Sunday declared the suspension of work in several government offices and classes in areas affected by the ash fall brought about by the phreatic explosion of the Taal Volcano.
Ash fall from Taal Volcano blanketed parts of Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Luzon.
Taal Volcano is currently on Alert Level 4 which means that hazardous explosive eruption is imminent within hours or days, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
More than 30,000 college students who are dependents of repatriated, displaced, and deceased overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will benefit from the government’s P1 billion education subsidy, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III signed a memorandum of agreement to launch “Tabang OFW”. The program aims to provide a one-time financial assistance of P30,000 to one college-level dependent of a repatriated, displaced, or deceased OFW.
Bello said the program is just one of the government’s ways of reciprocating the sacrifices of overseas Filipinos.
“We hope this will go a long way in helping our OFWs and their children in these most challenging times. By doing this, we also hope we can partly repay our modern-day heroes,” he said.
Under the agreement the Labor Department shall issue orders, circulars or guidelines that will spell out the effective and efficient implementation of the program while the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will release the funds amounting to P1 billion to DOLE for its implementation.
The Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) will assist DOLE on the promotion and other information dissemination activities of the program. AAC
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it has sought the assistance of national Coast Guards from China, South Korea and Taiwan to help locate the Filipino crew men of the livestock cargo vessel that sank off south-western Japan.
In a meeting on Thursday (September 25), Bello assured the kin of missing seafarers that the government is doing its best to find the answers as to what happened to their loved ones.
“I know you’re in a very difficult situation, but there’s hope,” Bello told wives, siblings and parents of the missing seafarers.
Prior to this, the Japanese Coast guard, which found three Filipino mariners—two survivors and one fatality—announced that it has stopped its special operations for the remaining crew —36 Filipinos, two Australians and two New Zealanders–of the ill-fated MV Gulf Livestock 1.
“So don’t give up on your loved ones because there’s really hope. Three foreign governments are helping us find them,” Bello, who requested the assistance abroad, said
Huang Xilian, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China, said China has already commenced rescue operations.
The Chinese government announced, however, that they have not found any sign of the missing seafarers during their rescue operations on September 19 and 20.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Ambassador Peiyung Hsu told Belo his request was immediately conveyed to the Taiwan Coast Guard (TCG).
“Rest assured that your good office will be kept posted on any findings or developments of the said operations,” he said.
Meanwhile, South Korean Ambassador Han Dong-Man in response to Bello’s request said he has already forwarded the endorsement to their Ministry of Foreign Affairs for proper action.
“I am hoping that our government’s participation in any search and rescue operation that may be conducted will shed light on the status of the missing crew,” the official added.
Given these developments, families of the missing mariners thanked Bello for giving them hope. Each family of the victims present during the meeting was given financial assistance by DOLE through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Filipino workers want more secure bike lanes and parking, based on the recent survey of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
“Majority of the workers are in favor of having more bike lanes on paved roads, bike paths, and more secured bike parking,” the Labor Department said in a statement.
Respondents also said feeling unsafe is what prevents them from using the bike as transportation. They do not feel safe traveling due to poor road conditions as well as lack of secured bike parking areas.
DOLE conducted the survey in line with their Bike-to-Work Project, which aims to assist workers in this time of pandemic by providing bicycles as a transport option or a livelihood opportunity.
The survey yielded a total of 1,119 respondents, with the majority of them coming from the National Capital Region (NCR).
“The preliminary results of the research, which was carried out at the onset of the relaxing of community quarantine in Metro Manila and other parts of the country, were presented to DOLE Senior officials to discuss possible projects and policy recommendations,” DOLE said. -AAC
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