13th month pay hindi kayang ibigay ng lahat ng kumpanya ngayong may pandemya – ECOP

Robie de Guzman   •   October 12, 2020   •   972

MANILA, Philippines – Maraming kumpanya ang mahihirapang magbigay ng 13th month pay sa kanilang mga empleyado ngayong taon dahil sa epekto ng COVID-19 pandemic, ayon sa Employers Confederaton of the Philippines (ECOP).

Ayon kay ECOP President Sergio Luis-Ortiz Jr., 90 porsyento sa mga kumpanya sa bansa ay nabibilang sa micro o maliliit na negosyo at marami sa mga ito ang hindi pa nakakabawi mula sa pagkalugi bunsod ng pandemya.

Kaya kung puwede lang sana, ipagpaliban muna ang pagbibigay ng 13th month pay ngunit batid nilang hindi ito maaari sa ilalim ng Labor Code.

“We are encouraging everybody of course to pay, because that’s the law. Unfortunately the reality is merong mga kumpanya na hindi kayang magbigay,” ang wika ni Luis-Ortiz.

Ayon kay Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, obligado ang mga employer na bigyan ng 13th month pay ang mga manggagawa at wala silang planong ipagpaliban ito.

“’Yung 13th month pay ay dapat bayaran ng mga employer on or before December 25. ‘Yan ang batas PD 851. Wala po kaming planong i-postpone o i-delay ang pagbayad niyan,” ang pahayag ni Bello.

Kung kailangan naman ng mga maliliit na negosyante ng pera na pandagdag-puhunan o kaya ay para sa iba pang kadahilanan, sinabi ng Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) na maaari silang mag-apply sa loan program ng Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.)

Ayon kay Frank Lloyd Gonzaga, ang Vice President for planning and advocacy ng DTI-SB Corp., P10 bilyon ang inilaan ng pamahalaan para sa programang ito na ipinatutupad sa ilalim ng Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

Ayon kay Gonzaga, pinadali na ang proseso sa aplikasyon ng loan at maaaring gawin online ang transaksyon.

“Ngayon ang nire-require natin as long as meron kang BIR filed financial statement ay maaari nang mag apply,” ang pahayag ni Gonzaga.

Sa mga interesado, maaaring bisitahin ang website ng SB Corp. para sa karagdagang detalye. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rey Pelayo)

Bello tells micro, small biz:  Apply for a 13th-month pay loan

Maris Federez   •   November 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has announced that micro and small enterprises that are having difficulty in financing the 13th-month pay of their employees can apply for a government loan.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III made the call on Friday during the ceremonial launch of the loan program with the Department of Trade and Industry and its financing arm, the Small Business Corporation (SBCorp), reminding employers that the grant of 13th-month pay is mandatory.

The labor chief, however, assured establishments that are still struggling amid the re-opening of the economy of the government’s support through SBCorp.

“Let me remind the employers that the grant of 13th-month pay is mandatory. We issued a Labor Advisory where we maintained that no exemption and no deferment will be allowed on the payment of the 13th-month pay,” Bello said.

“So, with this loan facility from SB Corporation, there is no more reason to not give the 13th-month pay,” he added.

As of November 12, a total of 25 loan applications amounting to P5.052 million were already approved by SBCorp.

DOLE said qualified borrowers are the micro and small enterprises that have implemented flexible work arrangements and registered under the agency’s Establishment Reporting System as of October 15, 2021.

The zero-interest rate, no collateral loan program can cover up to 40 employees per establishment.

The loanable amount is at P12,000 per current employee which is payable in 12 months, inclusive of the three-month grace period.

“I encourage our employers, especially yung mga nahihirapan pa, to avail of this facility so that they can comply with the mandate to pay our workers with what is due them, especially this Christmas season,” said Bello.

The labor chief invites interested micro and small enterprises to apply at www.bayanihancares.ph. —/mbmf

No bonus for unvaccinated Cebu City Hall employees

Maris Federez   •   November 11, 2021

More than 5,000 Cebu City hall employees will be affected should Acting Mayor Michael Rama push through with the plan not to give bonuses to unvaccinated personnel.

Mayor Rama said city hall employees must set an example to the people in following government initiatives to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

While giving 13th-month pay to all employees is mandatory, Rama explained that offering bonuses is a prerogative of the city government.

As of November 8, around 300,000 of the city’s target of 700,000 individuals are now fully vaccinated.

The city government will also hold inoculation activities this coming weekend at the city hall grounds for employees who are still unvaccinated.

Meanwhile, Mayor Rama also announced the lifting of mandatory use of face shields in Cebu City.

“The mandatory wearing of face shields is hereby lifted, except while inside the following: hospitals, clinics, diagnostic laboratories, other medical facilities, public utility vehicles, except traditional public utility jeepneys with open windows and ventilation,” Rama said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Irish Madelo)

PH to re-deploy OFWs after South Korea lifts restrictions – DOLE

Robie de Guzman   •   November 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Overseas Filipino workers will soon be re-deployed to South Korea after entry restrictions into the country have been lifted, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.

In a statement on Sunday, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he has directed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to commence the processing of deployment of workers as he welcomed the South Korean government’s decision.

“This is a very good news not only to our EPS (entry permit system) workers and their families, but also to the Korean employers who have been waiting for our workers to return,” he said.

Last Friday, Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) announced it will allow the entry of workers under EPS from all sending countries, including the Philippines starting this November.

According to MOEL, the entry of EPS workers will be subject to pre-entry measures such as full vaccination and negative PCR test results, and post-entry measures such as mandatory quarantine and PCR testing.

The Korean Embassy in the Philippines said it is awaiting guidelines from the South Korean government on the issuance of E9 visas to Filipino EPS workers.

Bello said he has directed the POEA to immediately meet with the Korean government officials to discuss the requirements and procedures for the re-entry of EPS workers to Korea, in coordination with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in the Philippine Embassy in Seoul.

Since 2004, the Philippines has been sending Filipino workers to Korea under a government-to-government cooperation agreement on EPS.

The deployment of workers was temporarily halted in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.

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