PAL could ‘change mind’ on retrenchment plan – DOLE

Robie de Guzman   •   October 8, 2020   •   1573

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Airlines (PAL) may still reconsider its plan to lay off 2,400 of its workers following losses brought about by the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Thursday.

In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III expressed his belief that improving prospects for the airline industry could prompt the airline company to no longer pursue its retrenchment plan.

Bello said the airline business may start to turn around with DOLE allowing more workers to return to their jobs abroad where health and safety conditions have improved.

“PAL may no longer pursue its plan to retrench workers if it sees signs of recovery at the horizon. The government is confident the airline industry can get back to its feet anytime now because we are already allowing more trips in and out of the country, especially the travels of our countrymen seeking employment overseas,” Bello said.

The Labor chief also dispelled fears of renewed massive displacement of workers over the plan of PAL to terminate more than 2,000 of its employees due to losses incurred amid the public health crisis.

“It is the prospect of better mobility and travel conditions that can make PAL change its mind about the fate of its workers. The good news is that things are improving in the country including the way we move from one place to another,” Bello explained.

PAL earlier announced it would be letting go of some of its workers as part of its recovery plan.

The continuing coronavirus pandemic has rendered millions of workers unemployed and closed many businesses across the globe.

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.

Davao City prohibits trick-or-treat, other holiday events amid pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2020

No community events, parties, and other similar gatherings in all government and private offices and establishments will be held in Davao City especially during the holiday season, the local government announced Thursday.

In an advisory, the city government said the prohibition includes trick-or-treating, which is a traditional event of western countries adopted by some Filipinos during Undas period.

The measure will be implemented after health officials and infectious disease experts noted that conducting office or community events increase the transmission and risk of contracting the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Davao City, just like the rest of the world, continues to face the threat of the pandemic. Cases are still surging and it is feared that more and more deaths will happen if the unnecessary gathering of people is allowed,” the advisory read.

The city government reiterated its appeal to residents to stay home and avoid areas where people converge to avoid exposure and transmission of COVID-19.

It also encouraged residents to celebrate the holidays with their families intimately, use online shopping for groceries, food delivery services, and other contactless services to avoid unnecessary exposure. 

Instead of spending money on a grand party celebration and risk contracting the virus, residents are urged to share grocery items with a family in need, the city government added.

“This year, celebrations will only be truly special and meaningful if you, your family, and everyone in our communities are healthy and safe,” it added. 

The city government likewise advised residents to think twice before leaving their homes to attend parties, dinners, and other events that are not necessary or urgent, and always consider their own families’ safety and other people in the community.

As of Oct. 21, Davao City has recorded a total of 2,851 COVID-19 infections, of which, 671 are active cases. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lucille Lloren)

Manila opens another quarantine facility for COVID-19 patients

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The city government of Manila on Wednesday opened its newest quarantine facility at the San Andres Sports Complex in a bid to increase the city’s capacity in dealing with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“This is our preparation, and in our little way, to continue to strengthen our load capacity na kung sakali, huwag naman sanang loobin ng Dios na mangyari sa atin, yung nangyari sa most portion of Europe na nagkaroon ng second wave,” Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso told reporters at the opening of the quarantine center.

“Inaabatan namin iyong posibleng hindi magandang mangyari sa December o Enero so kung dumating iyon, at huwag naman sana, at least kahit papano, ‘yung Maynila may espasyo,” he added.

The airconditioned quarantine facility, which has 54 beds with toilet and WiFi, was established with the help of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

So far, the city has 13 operational quarantine facilities, aside from walk-in testing centers and two confirmatory or swab testing centers.

Mayor Isko said they are still looking for more spaces to be converted as isolation centers amid the pandemic.

“Sa awa ng Dios we only have 68 percent occupancy rate with our facilities and 33 percent occupancy rate sa amin namang mga COVID-19 bedrooms in our six hospitals,” he said.

As of Oct. 20, Manila has recorded a total of 18,963 COVID-19 infections with 557 deaths. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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