DOLE stops accepting cash aid applications from private-sector workers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 16, 2020   •   881

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has stopped accepting cash aid applications from workers in the private sector.

According to DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Rubia-Tutay, they halted applications on Thursday (April 15) at 5:00 p.m. and noted that all accepted applications will still go through an evaluation.

Around 240,000 workers from over 10,000 private companies received P5,000 cash assistance from DOLE under CAMP. From the P1.61 billion CAMP fund, P1.2 billion were already given to the workers.

DOLE is currently processing 85,000 applications which will be enough for the remaining funds of CAMP.

Tutay advised employees who have not received the P5,000 cash assistance but have an ‘on-process’ status to wait until next week.

“Kapag pino-process at ine-evaluate na, preparation na po iyan ng payment ng kanilang P5,000 financial assistance (If [the application] is being processed and evaluated, it is already a preparation for the payment of their P5,000 financial assistance),” she said.

Employees can receive DOLE’s cash assistance through money remittance centers or through their ATM bank account.

Meanwhile, other employees who have not received assistance from DOLE will be referred to the P51 billion wage subsidy program of the DOF. Among these employees are middle-income workers with a monthly salary from P18,200 to P109,200.

“Doon po sa mga hindi aabutin ng nakalaang pondo para sa COVID-19 Adjustment Measure Program (CAMP), ang information po ay ishe-share namin sa Department of Finance (DOF) (Those who will not make the cut for the allotted fund for the COVID-19 Adjustment Measure Program, we will share the information to the Department of Finance),” Tutay said. –AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

DOLE warns employing minors as ‘kasambahay’ is illegal

Marje Pelayo   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has reminded households that it is unlawful to employ minors as domestic workers.

In a news release Thursday (December 3), Director Karina Perida-Trayvilla of DOLE’s Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) said Republic Act No. 10361 or the Kasambahay Law strictly prohibits employing minors or those who are below 15 years old, as domestic household workers.

This, she said, is considered a clear form of child labor and exploitation.

The announcement is in line with the government’s campaign to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.

According to the October 2019 survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there are 1,400,132 domestic household workers in the country. This number includes 4% or more than 40,000 child domestic workers aged 15 to 18, and close to 1% or about 5,000 who are below 15 years old.

Employers who are proven guilty of employing minors as kasambahay can be penalized with a fine ranging from P10,000 to P40,000. 

“These penalties are on top of the civil and criminal charges that can be filed against the employers under the R.A. 9231 or the act on the elimination of the worst forms of child labor,” Trayvilla noted.

Local airlines to increase number of flights this holiday season

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Local airlines are preparing to add more flights as more passengers are expected to travel this holiday season just as quarantine restrictions ease.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said the easing of quarantine restrictions can help the airline industry recover from the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The good news is the Balikbayan Program. This is the easing of travel requirements for balikbayans to entice them to return to the Philippines,” she said.

Villaluna said they are also coordinating with local government units to make sure the minimum health standards are still being implemented.

Local airlines have already partnered with private laboratories for more affordable and faster swab testing of passengers. For PAL and Air Asia, the RT-PCR testing in their accredited diagnostic lab costs P4,000.

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific launched a “test before boarding” policy which requires passengers to undergo an antigen testing before boarding. The testing in Cebu Pacific is free from December 3 to December 14 but it is only exclusive to passengers en route to General Santos City.

“This is an initiative where we are closely working with the LGU in coming up with this process wherein passengers are required to take an antigen test no more than five hours before their departure time and then the results will come out in 30 minutes,” according to Candice Iyog, vice president for Marketing and Customer Experience of Cebu Pacific.

Local airlines advise passengers to refer to their respective websites for the essential requirements before boarding their flights. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Duterte to attend virtual UN General Assembly on COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to participate in the 31st Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic from December 3 to 4, Malacañang said Thursday.

The Palace said Duterte is expected to deliver the Philippine Statement on December 3, where he will further amplify his call for global solidarity in addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19.

The president is also expected to raise universal access to the anti-COVID-19 technologies, as well as the need for global efforts to ensure the availability of safe and effective vaccines to peoples of developing nations.

During the 75th UNGA session last September, Duterte also said that COVID-19 vaccines “must not be denied nor withheld,” and that “it should be made available to all, rich and poor nations alike, as a matter of policy.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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