DOLE vows aid for kin of OFWs killed in Abu Dhabi blast

Robie de Guzman   •   September 3, 2020   •   398

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment has assured financial assistance for the families of two overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who were killed in an explosion in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that families of both victims will receive P120,000 bereavement assistance each from the government.

“They will also get insurance benefits if they are qualified members of the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration,” Bello added.

The labor chief said that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will also provide more support allowed by the law to the families of the victims.

A report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Abu Dhabi said a total of 10 Filipinos, including two children, figured in the deadly accident reportedly caused by a gas leak inside a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurant along Airport Road on August 31.

The explosion instantly killed Clark Bacud Gasis, 39, an electrical draughtsman from Surigao del Sur, and Merriner Goc-ong Bertoces, 26, a KFC-Abu Dhabi employee from Negros Oriental.

The eight other Filipinos have received treatment for the injuries they sustained from the blast, DOLE said.

Duterte urges Congress to expedite creation of agency concerning OFWs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte urged Congress to expedite the creation of a new agency that will cater to the welfare of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“So I proposed in the coming months, and I hope to come up with a Department of Overseas Workers,” he said.

Duterte said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has so much burden to focus on OFWs.

The President also said the new agency will address the persistent woes encountered by OFWs. There is also a proposal to create another agency for seafarers.

“So iyan ang ano ko sa mga kababayan ko na naghihirap sa labas, (So that is what I can provide for our fellowmen abroad) that there will be a more thorough review in policies for your protection and that somebody should look after you,” he said.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go in 2019 filed Senate Bill 202, or the Department of Overseas Filipinos Act of 2019 in support of President Duterte’s advocacy. AAC

Pamamahagi ng libreng bisikleta sa mga nawalan ng trabaho, sisimulan sa Oct. 26 – DOLE

Robie de Guzman   •   October 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Sisimulan na sa Lunes, Oktubre 26, ang pamamahagi ng libreng bisikleta sa mga nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa COVID-19 pandemic, ayon sa Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Ayon kay Atty Karina Perida-Trayvilla, direktor ng DOLE – Bureau of Workers and Special Concerns, layunin ng proyekto na tulungan ang mga Pilipinong magkaroon ng trabaho sa gitna na rin ng mataas na demand para sa delivery ng food at non-food items.

“Starting Monday (October 26) to Wednesday, October 28, we will be awarding, it will be held at the DOLE office,” ani Trayvilla.

“We will be giving a total of 900 free bikes for the initial implementation of this project,” dagdag pa niya.

Ang mga bisikleta ay ibibigay lamang sa mga lubhang naapektuhan ng krisis.

Sa mga nais makakuha ng bisikleta, maaari silang pumunta sa pinakamalapit na DOLE field office of sa public employment service office para sa gagawing profiling.

Ang mga magku-qualify sa proyekto ay maaaring sumailalim sa social preparation training upang maturuan ng traffic regulations at iba pang panuntunan upang maging deliver service riders.

Sasailalim rin sila sa financial literacy at productivity training katuwang ang regional tripartite wages and productivity board.

Ibabahagi rin sa kanila ang occupational safety at health standards ng isa pang ahensiya na nasa ilalim ng DOLE.

Ayon sa DOLE, isasagawa rin ang ganitong proyekto sa iba pang regional offices.

No exemptions, deferment: DOLE tells firms to give workers 13th-month pay

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Thursday said it will neither defer nor give exemptions to any company from releasing the 13th month pay for their workers even amid the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will not postpone, we will not defer and we will not give an exemption to the payment of the 13th month pay,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said during a Laging Handa public briefing.

“The law says, pay the workers their 13th month pay on or before December 24. ‘Yan po ang ipatutupad ng Department of Labor,” he added.

Bello said a department order to companies will be released on Friday.

The Labor chief earlier said they are considering a proposal to help micro and small enterprises that were badly hit by the pandemic to give their workers 13th month pay through government subsidy.

Bello said they are seeking approval from the Department of Finance (DOF) for the proposed subsidy or loan program for small firms.

“Nag-request kami kay (Finance) Sec. (Carlos) Dominguez na kung maaari bigyan ng subsidy yung mga employers that are categorized as micro and small enterprises para mabigyan sila ng subsidy o kaya mabigyan sila ng opportunity to make loans sa ating banks, lahat ng mga banks,” he said.

Dominguez, for his part, said his agency has yet to determine the budget for the said proposal.

“I have asked Sec. Bello for the details of his proposal so we can determine if we have the budget cover for it,” the finance chief said in a message to reporters. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Mirasol Abogadil)

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