DOLE to open 5,000 contact tracer jobs for NCR Plus

Marje Pelayo   •   April 9, 2021   •   1457

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to hire around 5,000 contact tracers as part of its emergency employment assistance program.

The job vacancy will be opened next week once the details of the application are finalized between DOLE and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Salary will be based on regional wage rate. So for National Capital Region (NCR), each contact tracer will receive a minimum wage per day of P537 or around P16,000 per month.

Atty. Ma. Karina Trayvilla, director of DOLE – Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) said successful applicants will be provided training for the job but the base requirements would be basic knowledge in telephone and internet service.

“Ang gusto po sana nating ma-hire dito ay ang ating mga nasa informal settlers at iyong mga na-displaced po sa trabaho,” Trayvilla said adding that they are also pushing to hire high school graduates since they already have the skills.

The official said the government targets to achieve the ideal ratio of one contact tracer per 800 population to effectively conduct contact tracing activities.

Interested individuals may apply before the DOLE’s Public Employment Service offices.

Bello on Sinas’ request requiring police clearance for labor-related transactions: ‘More harm than good.’

Marje Pelayo   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III responded to the request of Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Debold Sinas on the latter’s request to require national police clearances for labor-related transactions.

Bello argued that though his agency supports the PNP’s rollout of the National Police Clearance System (NPCS) and while the proposal is ‘good-intentioned,’ the Labor Chief said requiring DOLE’s clients to secure an NPC to avail of its services will do ‘more harm than good.’

“It is a form of a red tape to all and an additional financial burden to many,” Bello said.

The Labor Secretary noted that after his consultation with DOLE’s stakeholders including workers and employers group, 94% of them are not in favor of requiring an NPC in labor-related transactions.

Bello also argued that the proposal is not aligned with the policy of President Rodrigo Duterte on the Ease in Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 and there is no legal basis in requiring an NOC to DOLE clients.

“We are with the PNP in building a safer place for Filipino. We can achieve this without adding burden to the transacting public and the people we serve,” Bello concluded.

Sinas sent a letter to Bello recommending to the agency the use of national police clearance to have broader information as to the character of all its applicants.

The Labor Chief earlier reacted that such a policy will only add to the burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to its applicant.

Private sector workers urged to get COVID vaccine jabs in June

Marje Pelayo   •   May 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The private sector is gearing up for the expected mass vaccination in June once the supply of COVID-19 vaccines specifically, AstraZeneca, arrives in the country.

According to Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Secretary Joey Concepcion, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III already issued a memorandum encouraging employers and workers in the private sector to get vaccinated.

Concepcion believes that vaccination is the only solution to the country’s pandemic and economic problems.

“Every citizen has to do their civic duty to take the vaccine. That is the only way,” he said.

Together with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Concepcion said they have launched the ‘Let’s Go Bakuna’ campaign to address vaccine misinformation and boost confidence among employees.

He said vaccination should cover 100 percent of the workers’ sector to be able to achieve herd immunity.

“Kasi kung 70 percent lang ng mga empleyedo ang magpapabakuna, hindi natin ma-achieve ang herd immunity sa bansa natin. Iyong factory safety natin ay 70 percent lang, paano ang mangyayri sa 30 percent? Iyong 30 percent ay pwede pa ring ma-infect ang nasa 70 percent kasi ang efficacy ng mga bakuna hindi naman 100 percent,” he explained.

Concepcion said around 17 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine are expected to arrive in batches in June this year.

“That is going to help about close to 100 companies,” he said adding that the first and second batches of mass vaccination for workers are expected in June and July, respectively.

“Ang mga logistics providers ang magde-deliver sa vaccination centers na pinili ng private sector,” he added.

Companies may tap private sector implementers to facilitate the inoculation of their workers.

“We have about over 200 private companies that will do the vaccine implementation. Lahat iyan nakahanda na,” Concepcion assured.

“Vaccine confidence and vaccine implementation, iyon ang kailangan natin gawin. The faster we implement it, the faster we stop this infection,” he said.

DILG expects 1,000 newly hired contact tracers to start working this week

Marje Pelayo   •   May 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has confirmed that around 1,000 newly hired contact tracers are expected to start work this week.

“We expect siguro by this week mayroon nang magsisimula na magtrabaho sa contact tracers, around 1,000 ay makakatapos na ng kanilang training na isasagawa ng DILG at the Local Government Academy,” DILG Spokesman Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said during the Laging Handa public briefing on Monday (May 3).

Malaya added that so far, they have already assessed the applications of more than 2,000 out of over 10,000 applicants for the job.

“Doon sa 5,754 na ide-deploy natin sa NCR ay 2,696 na po ang na-assess natin, at more than 10,000 po ang nag-apply,” he noted.

The contact tracers may renew their contract after three months if they wish to continue with the job.

The official added that the salary of the newly hired contact tracers will be funded by the Department of Labor and Employment’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged / Displaced Workers (DOLE-TUPAD).

The program has allotted around P280 million for the three months’ salary of 5,754 contract tracers at P537/day which is the minimum wage rate at the National Capital Region under its TUPAD program.

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