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Free OFW ID available beginning Wednesday

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_071017_OFW ID

MANILA, Philippines — Starting July 12, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will launch the OFW ID card with its partner agencies such as SSS, DBP, PHILPOST, among others.

OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) can avail of the ID cards for free. They just need to go to POEA’s website to fill out the necessary information.

“So this is for OFWs who are scheduled to leave and for applicants,” said DOLE Usec. Dominador Say said.

Overseas workers don’t need to pay for the processing of their ID card, which will be delivered by Phil Post to their respective addresses.

“One of the costs of hiring an OFW is the ID. This for the benefit of the OFWs anyway so the employers must shoulder the expenses for it,” USec. Say said.

DOLE targets to provide ID cards to more than six million OFWs.

OFW seafarer Vuson Gil Taala is among those who would benefit from the new system.

He has been a seafarer for more than 20 years now.

Taala believes the new system will help in the faster processing of documents of Filipino migrant workers, especially those who set to leave for abroad.

“So far for now, there’s no problem because everything’s computerized. You can look it up on the website if an agency is really registered with POEA,”  Taala said.

Another OFW seafarer, Ryan Guevarra, has been working in the kitchen of a ship. Ryan said he can save more time and avail a number of privileges with the ID card.

“It will be a big help because instead of processing documents, you would just need to present the ID which has privileges. It will be favorable to OFWs,” he said.

An ID card will serve as a proof that the documents of an OFW are legally processed by POEA.

Along with the Overseas Employment Certificate, it will also serve as the travel exit clearance and is valid for up to two years.

Likewise, an OFW with an ID card will no longer need to pay for travel tax and terminal fee. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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DOF, expected to earn P2-B monthly tax from POGO industry foreign workers

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Saturday, July 6th, 2019

Courtesy: Pixabay

The Department of Finance (DOF) has created an inter-agency task force with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Bureau of Immigration (BI), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in intensifying the imposition of taxes on foreign workers in the country.

DOF Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino noted the increasing number of foreign workers in the country who do not pay taxes.

“It’s not fair to the Filipino worker who is paying taxes regularly when we have foreign nationals working here and not paying taxes. Because they use the same roads. Nakikinabang naman sila sa mga ilaw sa gabi, sa ating mga kalsada, kung anu-ano pang services na meron [They benefit from the electricity, from our roads, and from other services we have],” Lambino said.

The DOF official also said the country can earn 32 billion pesos every year from the tax that can be collected from 138,000 foreign workers in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (POGO) industry.

A data from DOLE shows that 84% of employees of the 182 POGOs that are registered in the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) are foreign nationals, most of which are Chinese.

This prompted the task force to come up with a joint memorandum circular which states that the DOLE will not release an alien employment permit to a foreign national who has no tax identification number issued by the BIR.

The DOLE and the BIR will also come up with a database that will set a solid data on the total number of foreign workers in the country and to have a strict monitoring in the taxation of these workers.

The BIR has also issued notices to other POGO providers to remind them to pay taxes that have now reached P4-Billion. (with reports from Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

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PH ‘unjustly vilified’ in 2019 global workers’ rights index – Bello

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, July 5th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has criticized a report which cited the Philippines as one of the worst countries in the world for workers.

In a statement released Friday, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the country was “unjustly vilified” in the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Global Rights Index 2019 placing the Philippines “as among the top 10 worst countries in the world for working people.”

The labor chief added that Filipino workers enjoy greater protection under the Duterte administration.

“It is unfortunate that ITUC failed to see the consistent efforts of the government in protecting the welfare of the Filipino workers. To say that the country has drastically regressed in protecting the worker’s rights is a drastically one-sided finding,” Bello said.

He also stressed that the cases of “violence and murder, brutal repression of public protests, and repressive laws” among workers are all allegations as the cited accusations are not officially reported as labor-related incidents.

He further emphasized the genuine efforts of the government in advancing the rights and welfare of workers, including the intensified enforcement of labor laws and standard, particularly in ensuring every worker’s right to safe and humane working conditions, and to the security of tenure.

The labor chief also noted the enacted landmark laws that championed the workers’ greater interest, including the Occupational Safety and Health Law, and the Expanded Maternity Leave Law, among others.

Bello also reported that as of now, DOLE is in the process of hiring 500 additional Labor Laws Compliance Officers to complement the assessment of over 900,000 establishments across the country to ensure compliance to the general labor laws and standards.

“DOLE is not sleeping on its job and responsibility to protect the workers, in the same way that we are mandated to encourage businesses to investing more,” he said.

“We remain committed in providing essence to our mandate despite these unwarranted accusations that undermine the genuine efforts of the administration,” he added.

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DOLE studying feasibility of 14th month pay bill

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, July 4th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday said it is studying the feasibility of the proposal seeking to grant 14th month pay to workers in the private sector.

Senator Vicente Sotto III on Monday filed the Senate bill no. 10 that seeks to require the private sector to provide its workers with 14th month pay in an aim to increase wage benefits amid rising prices of basic goods.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they are open to the merits of the measure but its effects should be studied and considered thoroughly.

Bello said that apart from its apparent impact on small and medium enterprises, the proposal is likely to further burden companies.

“Mukhang hindi pa ano, it’s not yet time. From the assessment of our National Wage and Productivity Board eh baka hindi makayanan,” he told UNTV News and Rescue in a phone interview.

Bello also said the proposal may also cause disequilibrium, particularly to companies that are having difficulty in fully complying with the granting of 13th month pay to workers.

“From our experience, sa 13th month pay pa lang eh, ang dami nang hindi nakakapag-comply. Additional month pay may cause disequilibrium. So, kailangan talaga ng masusing pag-aaral,” Bello said.

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), in a separate interview, said that the proposal could break the operations of small, micro and medium businesses, cause inflation to spike and the Philippines to lose its competitiveness against its Southeast Asian peers.

READ: Employers group says 14th month pay bill to burden small businesses

The measure would also leave employers to increase the prices of their products and services, reduce their work force or close shop to shoulder higher labor cost. (with details from Harlene Delgado)

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