DOLE urges firms to allow ‘work-from-home’ scheme to curb spread of novel coronavirus

Marje Pelayo   •   February 27, 2020   •   1227

work from home

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is encouraging companies to allow telecommuting or ‘work-from-home’ services to help curb spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Based on record from DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment, only less than a hundred companies in the country offer a ‘work-from-home’ program, most of them are in the Information Technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry due to its capacity and nature of work.

DOLE admits, however, that there are factors companies take into consideration before allowing said work scheme, such as the firm’s facilities for telecommuting, the working environment and the employees themselves.

“May mga considerations kasi like iyong work ethics mo, iyong performance mo, how critical the job is that you are handling in the workplace,” explained DOLE-BLE Director Dominique Tutay.

“Then siyempre, nandyan ang trust, nandiyan din ang security issue of information,” the official added.

Also, one of the major factors to be considered is the employees’ Internet connection given that all work will be done online.

“Handa ba ang alternative workplace? I-check din po iyan ng mga employer kung ito po bang tahanan halimbawa ng ating worker ay papasa into a telecommuting environment,” the director said.

Last month, DOLE issued a Prevention and Control Guidelines for private companies in consideration of the coronavirus threat in their workplaces. MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)

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Philippines includes China, 4 other countries in travel ban list

Marje Pelayo   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang announced Tuesday (January 12) that the Philippine government is expanding its travel ban to include China and four other countries amid threats of a new coronavirus (COVID-19) variant.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that apart from China, travelers from Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg and Oman are also not allowed to enter the country starting Wednesday (January 13) to Friday (January 15).

The expansion of travel restriction is part of the country’s measures to prevent the entry of new variants of coronavirus that were initially reported affecting residents in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

With five additional nations on the list, the Philippines so far has banned flights to and from 33 countries.

READ: PH expands entry restrictions, bans travelers from the US effective Jan. 3

However, the government clarified that Filipinos coming from the said countries may be allowed entry subject to a 14-day absolute facility-based quarantine period. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

DOLE’s TUPAD program pays P4.5-B to nearly 1 million workers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 29, 2020

The Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) cash-for-work program has provided emergency employment to close to one million workers.

As of December 28 under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program, 939,209 informal sector workers hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and those affected by the successive typhoons last month, received assistance.

More than P4.5 billion in wages in just close to two months was provided by the program to the informal sector workers.

Beneficiaries of the program are paid for work done for a minimum of 10 days to a maximum of 16 days based on the threshold requirements in the area.

Bureau of Workers with Special Concern (BWSC) director Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla said that 797,222 beneficiaries had been paid while 141,989 have ongoing jobs.

Trayvilla said TUPAD may reach more than one million beneficiaries with more funds still available from the P6-billion appropriation under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2).

The National Capital Region topped the regions with the biggest TUPAD fund allocations with P923.9 million. It was followed by CALABARZON with P593.2 million, and Central Luzon with P587.1 million. AAC

DOLE eyes completion of COVID-19 aid distribution next week

Robie de Guzman   •   December 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday expressed confidence that it will be able to meet the deadline for the distribution of the cash assistance for workers affected by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement, the DOLE said more than 93% of the P16-billion allocation for the assistance to workers in the formal and informal sectors, including overseas Filipino workers (OFW), has been downloaded to the department’s regional and overseas offices.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the early release of the funds for the beneficiaries of the assistance programs under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) will enable the department to meet the deadline before the law expires on December 19.

The assistance includes financial aid under the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) and Abot Kamay Ang Pagtulong (AKAP) Program; emergency employment under Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program; and livelihood assistance under DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP), the department said.

Of the released funds, P7.4 billion was allocated for CAMP, which is a safety-net program that offers financial support to workers in private establishments that have adopted flexible work arrangements or temporary closure during the pandemic.

Under this program, affected workers, regardless of their employment status, will be receiving one-time financial assistance equivalent to P5,000.

DOLE said it has recently adopted an online application system to fast-track the processing of CAMP applications.

Bello advised workers and establishments in the private sector to apply online through this link.

As for TUPAD, total of P4.9 billion has been allocated under Bayanihan 2. It aims to provide temporary wage employment to workers in the informal sector who were displaced or whose earnings were affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help OFWs financially, DOLE said it has also been extending a one-time P10,000 or $200 cash aid under the AKAP program to OFWs whose incomes were affected by the pandemic.

A total of P1.8 billion financial aid was allocated for OFWs who were repatriated and who are onsite.

Bello said the labor department has streamlined the process of AKAP applications following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to enable more OFWs to benefit from the one-time cash assistance.

OFWs who will be repatriated to the Philippines may file their AKAP application before they arrive in the country, and receive their benefits within three to five days upon submission of complete documents.

Meanwhile, P132-million was allotted for the DILP or Kabuhayan Program which provides sustainable self-employment through easy-to-learn livelihood activities.

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