Filipino finance professionals needed in the UK — DOLE

Marje Pelayo   •   July 12, 2021   •   400

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced employment opportunities for Filipino professionals in the United Kingdom.

According to DOLE, the UK is gearing up for recruitment of interested applicants from the financial sector based on a report by London Labor Attaché Amuerfina Reyes.

Reyes said, apart from higher demand in health care services, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) also noted a high demand for specific positions such as accountants, comptrollers, auditors, and also some jobs in the agriculture sector, as seasonal workers.

“Based on the job orders that we have been receiving, there are emerging opportunities for our overseas Filipino workers here in the financial sector. We can see an increase in the demand for accountants and auditors. Another opportunity is up for those seasonal agricultural workers in the potato farms,” Reyes said.

The POLO official added that in light of the urgent need and high-demand for nurses in the UK, the labor office has been getting more job orders and contracts for senior health care workers due to the spread of COVID-19 cases in various European countries.

“Here in the UK, there is a big demand for nurses and healthcare-related jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they saw the need for this, she said.

“They prefer to hire Filipino workers first not only for our good work ethics but because we work passionately from the heart,” she added.

Reyes also said the UK needs about 50,000 nurses until the year 2024.

The official said Filipino workers in the UK are generally in a good working environment.

Upon their arrival in the UK, Pinoy nurses are already being scheduled for vaccination following the end of their quarantine period.

Reyes said nurses in the UK are getting £19,000 to £20,000 per year. If they pass the local exam for nurses, they will receive £23,000 to £24,000 per year.

“They are getting more from overtime pay, on top of their opportunity of becoming permanent residents after 5 years, if their track records are clean,” the POLO official concluded.

UK to donate 415,000 shots of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to PH

Robie de Guzman   •   July 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is set to receive more than 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that were donated by the United Kingdom (UK), the British Embassy said on Wednesday.

In a statement, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the AstraZeneca vaccine shots bound for the Philippines are part of the first batch of 100 million doses that the UK pledged to donate to low-income countries worldwide.

“The UK is sending 415,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to the Philippines. This is part of the first batch of the 100 million doses we’ve pledged to get the poorest parts of the world vaccinated as a matter of urgency,” Raab said.

“We’re doing this to help the most vulnerable, but also because we know we won’t be safe until everyone is safe,” he added.

The British embassy said the vaccines are expected to start leaving the UK this week.

The UK has pledged to donate 100 million vaccines overseas by June 2022. Around 80 million of which will go to World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility, with the rest going to countries directly

“The donations follow the pledge that G7 leaders made to vaccinate the world and end the pandemic in 2022,” the embassy said.

“This week’s deployment will help meet the urgent need for vaccines from countries around the world, including in Africa, South East Asia and the Caribbean. These regions are experiencing high levels of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” it added.

The Philippine government earlier said it has so far secured a total of 164 million vaccine doses from different vaccine manufacturers for this year through purchase as well as donations coming from the COVAX facility and other donor countries.

DOLE reiterates rights, protection of delivery riders under Labor law

Marje Pelayo   •   July 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reiterates the rights of riders in food delivery and courier activities under the Labor Code of the Philippines or their contract with the digital platform company, depending on the existence of an employer-employee relationship.

In an advisory, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said all delivery riders who are considered employees of a digital platform company are entitled to the minimum benefits under the Labor Code.

Meanwhile, those who work as independent contractors or freelancers shall be governed by their respective contracts or agreements with the digital platform company.

DOLE issued the advisory in order to set the standards in determining work relationships between food delivery companies and their respective riders.

This employer-employee relationship between the delivery rider and the digital platform company, Bello said, may be determined in consideration of the flexibility of work which includes working time, control through technology, and use of the equipment and other inputs.

The advisory stated that all delivery riders who are deemed employees of the digital platform company shall enjoy the minimum standards and benefits which include: minimum wage, holiday pay, premium pay, overtime pay, night shift differential, service incentive leave, thirteenth-month pay, separation pay, and retirement pay.

They are also entitled to get occupational safety and health (OSH) standards, including SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG, and other benefits under existing laws.

Riders shall also enjoy the right to security of tenure, self-organization, and collective bargaining.

Meanwhile, riders who are considered independent contractors or freelancers shall be governed by their respective contracts or agreements with the digital platform company.

The contract or agreement shall stipulate the following provisions, including but not limited to:

  • the payment of fair and equitable compensation, which shall not be lower than the prevailing minimum wage rates and facilitation of registration;
  • coverage under SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG;
  • compliance with applicable OSH standards;
  • attendance to regular training and seminars on road and traffic rules and road safety. This shall be arranged by the digital platform company in coordination with relevant government agencies;
  • arrangement with concerned local government units and/or merchants in setting up designated waiting areas for delivery riders

The Labor Advisory further states that any complaint or grievance of delivery riders or digital platform company shall be settled and resolved through conciliation, mediation, inspection, or arbitration, whichever is applicable, under existing rules and regulations.

DOLE mediates conflict between riders, food delivery company over ‘offboarding’ issue

Marje Pelayo   •   July 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has stepped in to settle the conflict between a food delivery service company and its partner riders over issues of ‘offboarding.’

During the Laging Handa press briefing on Wednesday (July 21), Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they have set a dialogue for both parties to hear their sides of the story.

“Iyong tungkol sa 10 years suspension, inamin naman ng Foodpanda na glitch ito nung kanilang communication line, technical difficulty nila iyan,” Bello said, adding that the imposed 10-year suspension for the affected riders has been lifted.

“Naayos na rin iyan wala na iyong 10-year suspension. In fact, out of the 2,500 riders, 36 na lamang ang hindi pa bumabalik sa trabaho. Wala na pong problema,” he added.

But according to Davao United Delivery Riders, there are still around 43 who still cannot access the food delivery app.

They said, all they want is to have a decent income and to be appropriately compensated for their services.

The riders’ group argued that their service rate for the first 23 kilometers has been lowered from P50 in 2020 to P23 this year.

“Demands po namin, unang-una, ibalik yung access ng mga kasama namin yung mga natanggalan, iyong mga na-suspend ng 10 years. Saka ibigay din iyong sa earnings. Taasan nila. Iyong ilang araw kami na hindi nakaduty, manghihingi din kami ng ano, bayaran kami,” Edmund Carillo, the group’s president said.

Foodpanda earlier insisted that they are giving appropriate rates to their riders which are even higher than what the competition is offering.

In relation to the issue, DOLE is issuing a labor advisory to guide and remind both the riders and the food service company of their respective obligations. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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