P600M fund earmarked for one-time aid to EC pensioners – Bello

Robie de Guzman   •   April 21, 2021   •   404

MANILA, Philippines – The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) has set aside around P600 million fund for the implementation of the one-time P20,000 assistance to vulnerable pensioners of the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.

In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the fund will benefit around 31,000 pensioners consisting of both private and public sector workers.

The ECC is an attached agency of the DOLE and Bello chairs the commission.

Bello’s announcement came after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Monday Administrative Order (AO) No. 39, which grants a one-time financial assistance to all Employees’ Compensation (EC) program pensioners for permanent partial disability (PPD), permanent total disability (PTD), and survivorship through ECC’s implementing agencies, Social Security System (SSS) for the private sector, and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for the public sector, once the implementing rules and regulations has been issued.

In signing the AO, Duterte recognized that the “adverse effects of the pandemic on the economy, supplementary health necessities for the battle against the virus, and restrictions imposed on our mobility and social interaction, have increased the financial and health burdens experienced by the EC pensioners.”

The ECC, SSS, and the GSIS have been tasked to set aside and release appropriate funding to cover the financial assistance from the Social Insurance Fund under the EC Program.

“This is great news for all EC pensioners who are further thrown into deep financial hardships made worse by the Covid pandemic. This attests to the President’s soft spot for the poor and the vulnerable,” Bello said.

ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis, for her part, said that all qualified pensioners do not need to apply to the GSIS or SSS, as it will be automatically granted to them in the same manner as their pension was processed.

Bello on Sinas’ request requiring police clearance for labor-related transactions: ‘More harm than good.’

Marje Pelayo   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III responded to the request of Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Debold Sinas on the latter’s request to require national police clearances for labor-related transactions.

Bello argued that though his agency supports the PNP’s rollout of the National Police Clearance System (NPCS) and while the proposal is ‘good-intentioned,’ the Labor Chief said requiring DOLE’s clients to secure an NPC to avail of its services will do ‘more harm than good.’

“It is a form of a red tape to all and an additional financial burden to many,” Bello said.

The Labor Secretary noted that after his consultation with DOLE’s stakeholders including workers and employers group, 94% of them are not in favor of requiring an NPC in labor-related transactions.

Bello also argued that the proposal is not aligned with the policy of President Rodrigo Duterte on the Ease in Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 and there is no legal basis in requiring an NOC to DOLE clients.

“We are with the PNP in building a safer place for Filipino. We can achieve this without adding burden to the transacting public and the people we serve,” Bello concluded.

Sinas sent a letter to Bello recommending to the agency the use of national police clearance to have broader information as to the character of all its applicants.

The Labor Chief earlier reacted that such a policy will only add to the burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to its applicant.

Over 45K local, overseas jobs up for grabs at Labor Day online job fairs beginning May 1

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—In commemoration of Labor Day, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will open nationwide online job fairs beginning May 1.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III encouraged jobseekers to take advantage of the  which is estimated to offer 38,000 local employment and 7,000 overseas job opportunities from various industries such as manufacturing, business process outsourcing, health services, retail, and construction.

Jobseekers can visit DOLE’s website to access the links where they can submit an application.

DOLE ASEC. Dominique “Nikki” Tutay said the department has three major events prepared in celebration of Labor Day.

“Mayroon po tayong gaganapin na job summit kung saan ang pamahalaan ilalatag niya ang tinatawag na 8 point employment recovery agenda under the national employment recovery strategy o NERS, she said.”

(We have a job summit where the government lays out an 8-point employment recovery agenda under NERS.)

Based on the latest Labor Force Survey of the Philippine Statistics Office (PSO), unemployment rate in the country has reached 8.8% or an equivalent of 4.2 million Filipinos with no jobs.

“Sa buong taon po ng 2021 patuloy po ang ating tinatawag na emergency employment program. Isinusulong parin natin ang wage subsidy program para sa ating mga businesses at sa ating mga maggagawa and pangatlo ang ating mga youth employability programs para makatulong sa mga kabataan,” Tutay said.

(Throughout 2021, we will continue our emergency employment program. We will also continue our wage subsidy program for our businesses and employees. We also have youth employability programs.)   AAC (with reports from Marvin Calas) 

 

Duterte OKs grant of one-time P20K aid to employees’ compensation pensioners

Robie de Guzman   •   April 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the grant of one-time financial aid of P20,000 to qualified pensioners under the employees’ compensation (EC) program.

Under Administrative Order (AO) No. 39, which was signed on Monday, Duterte authorized the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) to grant the cash aid to EC pensioners for permanent partial disability, permanent total disability, and survivorship, in the private and public sectors, “subject to the availability of funds and pertinent laws, rules and regulations.”

Duterte directed the ECC, Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to set aside and release appropriate funding to cover the financial assistance from the Social Insurance Fund under the EC Program.

The ECC, in coordination with the SSS and GSIS, will issue the implementing rules and regulations necessary for the effective implementation of the order.

In signing the AO, Duterte recognized that the “adverse effects of the pandemic on the economy, supplementary health necessities for the battle against the virus, and restrictions imposed on our mobility and social interaction, have increased the financial and health burdens experienced by the EC pensioners.

The one-time cash aid will be granted to around 31,000 pensioners of the SSS and GSIS.

Duterte said AO 39 will take effect following its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

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