Regional workers likely to have pay increase this month – DOLE

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2018   •   6156



QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced Monday (July 9) that regional workers are possible to receive minimum wage increase before the end of July.

Bello added that DOLE proposed for P200 monthly subsidy to around 4.1 million minimum wage earners in the country which is now awaiting the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte. The President might announce the approval on the matter during his state of the nation address (SONA) on the 23rd of July.

“Ito’y isang konting tulong lang na cash subsidy galing sa ating gobyerno,” Bello confirmed.

Currently, the Wage Board is still studying the petition of labor groups for an increase in minimum wage in all regions.

Though the latest increase was granted in October 2017, Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress Of The Philippines (ALU-TUCP) Spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said they are compelled to ask for another increase because of the sudden spike in prices of basic commodities and the impact of rising inflation.

“Ang aming hinihiling ay P320 across the board wage increase,” he said.

Research group Ibon Foundation, meanwhile, argued that the government seems to agree that the current minimum wage is not enough that’s why it is opted to provide a subsidy to ordinary workers which, in the end, would be an additional burden to taxpayers.

“Iyong sinasabi nilang subsidy isa yang mekanismo that is unmanageable and costly for government para lang maprotektahan nya yung business profit,” said Ibon’s Executive Editor, Rosario Bella Guzman.

But for his part, Bello said that though he agreed that ordinary workers’ daily wage is obviously low, he explained that the current economic state of the country should also be taken into consideration.

“Kung itaas mo yung ating sweldo, baka tataas nga ang sweldo liliit naman ang employment. So we have to balance,” the Labor Secretary concluded. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

DOLE eyes P7k to P11k ‘wage subsidy’ for pandemic-affected workers

Marje Pelayo   •   February 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is working on providing wage subsidy for workers whose jobs have been affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) global pandemic.

Labor Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay said the Department may cover from 25% to 75% of a company’s salary for workers on the condition that the company will not retrench its employees. In doing so, the agency will need around P62 billion to P88 billion budget.

“With the wage subsidy, we’re hoping that kahit papaano mabigyan ng ayuda ang ating mga establishments para makabalik na sa kanilang operation as the economy re-opens,” the official said.

“Then kung iyan ay mangyayari iyong mga trabahante nila ay magkakaroon na rin ng trabaho and at the same time income para meron silang panggastos,” she added.

The DOLE estimates that around five million workers from different sectors will benefit from the wage subsidy.

Tutay said they have submitted their request for the said additional fund as it is not included in the 2021 National budget.

“We based the budget on the average wage of the workers in different sectors kasi iba-ibang industry po ay iba-iba ang kanilang average wage — so it’s between P7,000 to P11,000 na subsidy and it will run for three months,” the official said. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DOLE waives fee for mandatory occupational health and safety training

Marje Pelayo   •   February 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines –  Starting this year, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will be offering the mandatory occupational health and safety training in workplaces and enterprises for free.

The new policy which was announced on Sunday (January 31) is pursuant to the directive of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to enhance workplace health and safety.

It also aims to ease the burden on micro, small and medium businesses amid the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Secretary Bello emphasized the need to ensure the health and safety of the workers and employees to boost productivity as the economy reopens gradually.

“We are waiving the training fees being charged to micro and small businesses. The workers in those enterprises have to be assured of their safety and health while at the workplace. This is a big factor to their productivity,” he said.

“This is also a form of assistance to our MSMEs being hardest hit by the restrictions due to the pandemic,” he added.

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) law or Republic Act 11058 makes it mandatory to designate and train safety officers in all business establishments, the number of which corresponds to the number of employees in enterprises. 

A fee of P5,500 per trainee is fixed by Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) for the safety training.

It was a requirement ordered by DOLE In March 2019 following the issuance of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the OSH Law released in January of the same year.

Under the guidelines, all establishments “are encouraged to immediately conduct mandatory workers’ OSH seminars for all workers/employees at no cost to the workers and attendance at such seminar shall be considered compensable working time.”

The OSH Law states that all workers are required to attend an eight-hour OSH seminar which should include a joint employer-employee orientation on safety and health standards.

Labor groups reiterate call for minimum wage increase

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A labor group has called on the government for a minimum wage increase especially due to the price hike in market goods amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Christian Lloyd Magsoy of Defend Jobs Philippines, the P537 minimum wage is not enough especially during the pandemic.

He stressed that even before the pandemic, an average family in the Philippines spends over P1,100 per day.

The labor group appeals to increase the minimum wage by P750.

So, hindi akma. Hindi angkop. Kulang na kulang iyong minimum wage na mayroon ngayon kung ikukumpara mo sa dapat na gastusin ng isang pamilya (It is not enough. The minimum wage is not sufficient compared to the expenses of a family per day),” he said.

Ito ay panahon pa noong walang pandemic. Lalo pa ngayon, nagtataasan ang mga bilihin, walang trabaho ang mga mangagagawa, walang ayuda (That is even before the pandemic. It has gotten worst now because prices of common goods are high, several workers became jobless, and there is no assistance),” Magsoy added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it is a challenge to balance the capability of employers to provide the wage increase needed by its employees.

“We have to analyze that in relation to its impact on the growth of the economy and whether the employers are capable of absorbing such cost,” DOLE’s National Wages and Productivity Commission Executive Director Criselda Sy said.

The Labor Department said a bill was already filed in Congress to increase the minimum wage to P750. -AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)


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