PH Labor chief apologizes to Dubai gov’t over report on OFW death due to coronavirus

Robie de Guzman   •   February 7, 2020   •   737

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Friday issued an apology to the government of Dubai for his earlier statement that a Filipino worker there recently died of coronavirus.

In a statement, DOLE clarified that the death of Filipino worker, identified as Amalia Collado Daproza, was not a case of novel coronavirus.

“Based on a belated report received by the office of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III from the Philippine Labor Office in Dubai, results of confirmatory tests conducted by the Pathology and Genetics Department of the Dubai Health Authority on Daproza’s specimen yielded negative of the novel coronavirus,” DOLE said.

“Secretary Bello nonetheless wishes to apologize to the government of Dubai for the confusion and whatever anxiety that the announcement may have caused,” it added.

Bello on Thursday told media that a Filipino in Dubai had died of “coronavirus” based on earlier information provided to his office.

He, however, did not say if the worker was infected with the novel coronavirus strain which caused the outbreak in China.

The Dubai Government Media Office in a Facebook post denied Bello’s claim, saying tests conducted on the deceased person showed she did not contract the virus.

“The Dubai government media office denied the validity of the statements by the Philippine minister of labor regarding the death of a Filipino woman in Dubai due to the new coronavirus,” the post stated.

“The deceased was suffering from a respiratory infection and laboratory tests showed she did not have the virus,” it added.

DOLE survey shows workers want more secure bike lanes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 15, 2020

Filipino workers want more secure bike lanes and parking, based on the recent survey of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

“Majority of the workers are in favor of having more bike lanes on paved roads, bike paths, and more secured bike parking,” the Labor Department said in a statement.

Respondents also said feeling unsafe is what prevents them from using the bike as transportation. They do not feel safe traveling due to poor road conditions as well as lack of secured bike parking areas.

DOLE conducted the survey in line with their Bike-to-Work Project, which aims to assist workers in this time of pandemic by providing bicycles as a transport option or a livelihood opportunity.

The survey yielded a total of 1,119 respondents, with the majority of them coming from the National Capital Region (NCR).

“The preliminary results of the research, which was carried out at the onset of the relaxing of community quarantine in Metro Manila and other parts of the country, were presented to DOLE Senior officials to discuss possible projects and policy recommendations,” DOLE said. -AAC

Free online courses for Filipino seafarers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 14, 2020

Filipino seafarers can have access to the courses being offered by the government for free, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), an agency under DOLE, has launched online courses especially designed to teach personal safety and skills enhancement for maritime workers.

“This is our way of keeping our seafarers active and productive whether they are at their respective homes spending quality time with their families, in quarantine facilities, or even when onboard ships. They will be able to receive their Certificate of Completion upon successful fulfillment of the online courses,” according to NMP Executive Director Joel Maglunsod.

Interested individuals may visit the NMP website at or visit the agency’s Facebook page ( nmptrainingcenter). AAC 

DOLE proposes one-time financial aid for 2M beneficiaries in 2021 budget

Marje Pelayo   •   September 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The proposed budget of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for 2021 has increased by more than P9 billion, raising it to P27.53 billion.

During the budget briefing of the House Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday (September 10), DOLE said most of the added amount will be allocated to benefits for workers whose livelihoods had been affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) approved the budget which includes the one-time P5,000 financial assistance for two million beneficiaries.

DOLE initially requested P40 billion for this project to reach most of the affected workers.

“Actually hindi sasapat ang in-approve ng Department of Budget and Management. But if Congress — both the House and the Senate— will restore our original proposal, then we can reach more,” said DOLE’s Financial and Management Service director, Warren Miclat.

The department’s previous COVID-19 program for affected workers has only reached one million beneficiaries.

“Gusto lamang naming i-emphasize na kahit flexible work arrangement malaki rin ang income na nawala sa ating mga manggagawa kaya’t sila ay isa sa priority na binigyan ng financial assistance (We just want to emphasize that even with flexible work arrangements, our workers have suffered a huge income loss, that’s why they are among those prioritized to receive financial assistance),” explained DOLE Assistant Secreray Dominique Tutay.

This time, the agency promised to prioritize beneficiaries who did not receive assistance under Bayanihan 1.

The department also allotted a P500 million budget for 16,000 beneficiaries of the government’s Balik Probinsya program. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)


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