Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III has advised seafarers and other Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to go back to the Philippines and start their own business.
This was his message during the 2019 NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition on November 8. The competition is an annual search for the best business proposals among seafarers.
In his message read by Undersecretary Renato Ebarle, Bello assured seafarers that the government, together with the private sector and non-government organizations, is always ready to help OFWs towards productive reintegration.
The competition aims to provide start-up capital, training, and mentoring for the winners and their proposed businesses.
Seafarer Gary Esguerra was hailed as this year’s winner for his “green” slippers business proposal.
Esguerra aims to replace disposable slippers, commonly provided by hotels and resorts, with ‘greener’ slippers made from abaca residue as soles and by incorporating seeds inside the slippers.
He also said the slippers will decompose easier compared to the regular disposable slippers. Esguerra received P500,000 as start-up capital.
Meanwhile, NRCO OIC-Director Roel Martin announced that a similar business plan competition for land-based OFWs is set to be launched in the first quarter of 2020.—AAC
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to deploy teams to Mindanao areas that were heavily hit by the magnitude 6.5 earthquake on Thursday morning.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the quick response teams will assess the extent of destruction in workplaces and possible displacement of workers in quake-hit areas.
“I have sent Undersecretary Ana Dione and Assistant Secretary Benjo Santos Benavidez to proceed to General Santos City, and Davao City to lead our regional DOLE officials in the assessment of the situation,” he said in a statement.
He said checking on job displacements of workers in affected areas will be the priority task of the response team followed by the profiling of workers.
The labor chief added that he himself will fly to Davao City on Sunday, Nov. 3 to check on the situation of employees, along with Occupational Safety and Health Center executive director Noel Binag.
The magnitude 6.5 quake that occurred around 9:11 a.m. Thursday struck east of Tulunan town in Cotabato, the same general area which was hit by two power temblors last Oct. 16 and Oct. 29. The tremor was also felt in nearby areas in Mindanao, including Kidapawan and Davao City.
Bello said labor inspectors were already deployed to check the compliance of establishments on occupational safety and health standards and ensure the safety of the workers.
After the assessment of damages, he said the department will allocate funds to provide emergency employment assistance to affected workers and livelihood assistance to informal sector workers.
“We received a directive from the President to monitor and provide appropriate assistance to the earthquake-affected cities. Even when the first earthquake jolted Mindanao early this month, we have already deployed our team to provide assistance for the affected workers,” Bello said.
Malacañang earlier assured that the government is on top of the situation in Mindanao following the quake.
All agencies and responsible local government units have also been directed to provide the necessary assistance and immediate relief to affected communities.
Based on Labor Advisory No. 11 issued by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, employers are reminded to observe and implement the proper payment of wages to their workers for the holidays.
“The advisory is pursuant to presidential Proclamation No. 555 declaring November 1 and 2 as special non-working holiday, and November 30 as regular holiday in commemoration of the birthday of revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio,” according to DOLE’s statement.
For employees who will work on November 1 and 2 they shall be paid an additional 30 percent of their daily rate on the first eight hours of work. [(Basic wage x 130%) + COLA)].
For overtime work, employees will be paid an additional 30 percent of their hourly rate on said day
Meanwhile, November 30 will be a regular holiday. Employees who will not work on the said day shall be paid 100 percent of his or her salary. Those who will work shall be paid 200 percent of his or her regular salary for that day for the first eight hours.
For overtime work on November 30, employees shall be paid an additional 30 percent of his or her hourly rate on said day.—AAC
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