POEA, OWWA to be placed as part of Department of OFW

Maris Federez   •   September 18, 2019   •   1582

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is pushing for the inclusion of several of its attached agencies in the creation of the Department of OFW.

Based on the proposal submitted by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to the Lower House, he recommended to place the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) as part of the Department of OFW.

Aside from the aforementioned agencies, Bello also proposed to include in the soon to be created department all other entities that cater to the needs and welfare of Filipino workers abroad.

“May mga existing bureau services like yung International Labor Affairs Bureau ng DOLE, yung OWWA ng DFA, yung CFO ng Office of the President, ipapaabsorb diyan sa department na yan,” Bello said. (from the report of Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf

DOLE asks gov’t for P2-B additional cash aid to workers in ECQ areas

Marje Pelayo   •   August 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) acknowledges the impact that the implementation of the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that will start on August 6 would bring to the livelihood of workers.

This prompted Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to ask the government for additional funds to help the affected workers.

“Iyong mga woker sa private sector, no-work no pay kaya iyan ang ipinakiusap ko na kung saka-sakali ay bigyan ng ayuda ang ating mga worker,” Bello said.

The labor chief said DOLE has about one billion pesos to be allotted as cash assistance to workers in ECQ areas.

Workers in the formal sector are expected to receive P5,000 provided that they are on the active lists of their respective employers.

Meanwhile, Bello said, the government may provide employment to workers in the informal sector like tricycle drivers and vendors for a period of 10 days or the duration of the ECQ and receive a minimum wage.

Currently, the agency has deployed a team to verify the numbers of workers who will be affected by the ECQ.

As for the workers’ group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP), the new ECQ will not only affect millions of workers in the NCR but also those in nearby provinces.

“Kapag nag-lockdown ang Metro Manila, automatically parang nag lockdown na rin ang mga manggagawa na nasa Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon at Batangas dahil marami sa kanila ang pumapasok at nagtatrabaho sa Metro Manila,” ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said.

Along with ALU-TUCP, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) asked the government to expedite and simplify the distribution of aid to affected workers.

“Dapat iyon ay ibigay on time dahil ngayon pa lang na wala pa ang ECQ marami na ang apektado,” said Sergion Luis-Ortiz, ECOP President.

“Noong nakaraan kasi na ECQ ay masuwerte na yung mga manggagawang makatanggap ng ayuda 1 week after the start of the lockdown. Ang pinakamatagal ay halos umabot ng 2 buwan bago nila natanggap,” Tanjusay said. -MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DOLE reiterates rights, protection of delivery riders under Labor law

Marje Pelayo   •   July 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reiterates the rights of riders in food delivery and courier activities under the Labor Code of the Philippines or their contract with the digital platform company, depending on the existence of an employer-employee relationship.

In an advisory, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said all delivery riders who are considered employees of a digital platform company are entitled to the minimum benefits under the Labor Code.

Meanwhile, those who work as independent contractors or freelancers shall be governed by their respective contracts or agreements with the digital platform company.

DOLE issued the advisory in order to set the standards in determining work relationships between food delivery companies and their respective riders.

This employer-employee relationship between the delivery rider and the digital platform company, Bello said, may be determined in consideration of the flexibility of work which includes working time, control through technology, and use of the equipment and other inputs.

The advisory stated that all delivery riders who are deemed employees of the digital platform company shall enjoy the minimum standards and benefits which include: minimum wage, holiday pay, premium pay, overtime pay, night shift differential, service incentive leave, thirteenth-month pay, separation pay, and retirement pay.

They are also entitled to get occupational safety and health (OSH) standards, including SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG, and other benefits under existing laws.

Riders shall also enjoy the right to security of tenure, self-organization, and collective bargaining.

Meanwhile, riders who are considered independent contractors or freelancers shall be governed by their respective contracts or agreements with the digital platform company.

The contract or agreement shall stipulate the following provisions, including but not limited to:

  • the payment of fair and equitable compensation, which shall not be lower than the prevailing minimum wage rates and facilitation of registration;
  • coverage under SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG;
  • compliance with applicable OSH standards;
  • attendance to regular training and seminars on road and traffic rules and road safety. This shall be arranged by the digital platform company in coordination with relevant government agencies;
  • arrangement with concerned local government units and/or merchants in setting up designated waiting areas for delivery riders

The Labor Advisory further states that any complaint or grievance of delivery riders or digital platform company shall be settled and resolved through conciliation, mediation, inspection, or arbitration, whichever is applicable, under existing rules and regulations.

DOLE mediates conflict between riders, food delivery company over ‘offboarding’ issue

Marje Pelayo   •   July 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has stepped in to settle the conflict between a food delivery service company and its partner riders over issues of ‘offboarding.’

During the Laging Handa press briefing on Wednesday (July 21), Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they have set a dialogue for both parties to hear their sides of the story.

“Iyong tungkol sa 10 years suspension, inamin naman ng Foodpanda na glitch ito nung kanilang communication line, technical difficulty nila iyan,” Bello said, adding that the imposed 10-year suspension for the affected riders has been lifted.

“Naayos na rin iyan wala na iyong 10-year suspension. In fact, out of the 2,500 riders, 36 na lamang ang hindi pa bumabalik sa trabaho. Wala na pong problema,” he added.

But according to Davao United Delivery Riders, there are still around 43 who still cannot access the food delivery app.

They said, all they want is to have a decent income and to be appropriately compensated for their services.

The riders’ group argued that their service rate for the first 23 kilometers has been lowered from P50 in 2020 to P23 this year.

“Demands po namin, unang-una, ibalik yung access ng mga kasama namin yung mga natanggalan, iyong mga na-suspend ng 10 years. Saka ibigay din iyong sa earnings. Taasan nila. Iyong ilang araw kami na hindi nakaduty, manghihingi din kami ng ano, bayaran kami,” Edmund Carillo, the group’s president said.

Foodpanda earlier insisted that they are giving appropriate rates to their riders which are even higher than what the competition is offering.

In relation to the issue, DOLE is issuing a labor advisory to guide and remind both the riders and the food service company of their respective obligations. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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