Bello: KSA to pay P4.6B unpaid salaries of OFWs in December

Maris Federez   •   November 1, 2021   •   310

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has announced that overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who were forced to return to the Philippines after they stopped receiving remuneration will be able to receive their unpaid salaries in December.

The DOLE said the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is expected to pay P4.6 billion in unpaid salaries to 9,000 OFWs.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, in a statement, said he is optimistic the payment will be made when KSA Labor Minister Ahmed al-Rajhi visits the country in December this year.

“So, the unpaid salaries of our OFWs can be settled just in time for Christmas,” the Labor chief said.

Bello was in KSA last week to attend the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, a forum for talks and cooperation between Asian Countries of labor origin and destination.

It aims to enable safe, orderly, and regular labor migration in some of the world’s largest temporary labor migration corridors.

There, Bello was invited by Al-Rajhi for a private meeting where the KSA labor executive appealed for the lifting of the suspension on Arab mega recruitment agencies.

These agencies were reportedly the ones who were responsible for the deployment of OFWs whose salaries and benefits remained unpaid.

Bello assured Al Rahji that the Philippines would lift the deployment ban in exchange for the payment of salaries of the OFWs.

Repatriated by the government in 2016, the unpaid OFWs, through the help of state lawyers, won the case over their unsettled pay in KSA.

Despite the legal victory, however, the KSA government refused to pay the OFWs.

“But our government is really thankful that the meeting with the KSA labor minister was fruitful,” Bello said. —/mbmf

Aplikasyon para sa one-time P5,000 ayuda sa mga empleyado simula na – DOLE

Robie de Guzman   •   January 24, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Simula ngayong Lunes, Enero 24, ay tatanggap na ng aplikasyon ang Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) para sa P5,000 one-time cash assistance sa mga manggagawang labis na naapektuhan ng paghihigpit ng COVID-19 restrictions.

Ayon sa DOLE, P1 bilyon ang inilaang pondo para sa program na ang layon ay matulungan ang mga manggagawang lubhang naapektuhan sa pagsasailalim sa Alert Level 3 sa mga lugar na may mataas na COVID-19 cases.

Halos 200,000 manggagawa ang maaaring makatanggap ng ayuda sa ilalim ng COVID-19 Adjustment Measure Program (CAMP), ayon sa DOLE.

Pero paglilinaw ni DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Rubia-Tutay, hindi makakasama sa mga beneficiary ang mga empleyado ng gobyerno na nasa flexible work arrangement.

“Uunahin po natin sa priority iyong mga manggagawa na naapektuhan ng permamnent closure or retrenchment,” ayon sa opisyal.

“Kasama rin po sa aayudahan natin or bibigyan ng financial assistance iyong mga manggagawa under temporary closure,” dagdag pa niya.

Sa mga manggagawang nais mag-avail ng programa, maaari silang magsumite ng aplikasyon sa DOLE sa pamamagitan ng reports.dole.gov.ph.

 

Mga manggagawa, hindi saklaw ng ‘no vax, no ride’ policy sa NCR – DOLE

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Hindi saklaw ng ipinaiiral na “no vaccination, no ride” policy sa mga pampublikong sasakyan sa National Capital Region (NCR) ang mga manggagawa kahit sila ay hindi bakunado kontra COVID-19.

Ang paglilinaw ay ginawa ng Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) kasunod ng mga batikos sa polisiyang ipinatutupad ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) at ulat na ilang manggagawa ang hindi pinasakay sa mga pampasaherong bus dahil hindi pa kumpleto ang bakuna.

Ayon kay Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, hindi dapat pigilan ang mga manggagawa na lumabas ng bahay at sumakay sa mga pampublikong sasakyan dahil sila ay maituturing na essential workers na nagbibigay ng mahahalagang serbisyo sa publiko.

“‘Pag hininto mo mga iyan, papaano gagalaw ang ating mga negosyo? ‘Pag walang negosyo, walang ekonomiya. So, luckily exempted po ang ating mga workers,” ang paliwanag ni Bello.

Kailangan lamang ay magpakita ng company identification card ang mga empleyado upang sila ay payagang makabiyahe kahit hindi pa fully vaccinated.

Bunsod nito, nais paigtingin ng DOLE ang information dribe sa naturang exemption upang lubos itong maintidihan ng publiko.

“Kailangan lang siguro more massive information drive to inform especially not only the public but especially the enforcing enforcement agencies – mga pulis, mga taga-DOTr, alam nila dapat ang mga workers are exempted from this no vax no ride policy,” ang wika ni Bello.

Sa panig naman ng DOTr, sinabi ng ahensiya na hindi absolute ang “no vaccination, no ride” policy dahil may exemption naman ang pagpapatupad nito.

Una nang sinabi ng DOTr na hindi saklaw ng panuntunan ang mga indibidwal na hindi nababakunahan dahil sa medikal na kondisyon at ang mga lumalabas ng bahay para sa essential goods and services.

Ngunit paalala ng kagawaran, dapat may maipakitang kaukulang dokumento gaya ng medical certificate o iba pang katunayan ang isang indibiduwal upang ma-exempt sila sa nasabing polisiya.

Kung may medical check-up o examination, magtatrabaho, bibili ng essential goods, mag-a-apply ng lisensya, passport at iba pa, kailangan lang din na magpakita ng mga pruweba ng pagpunta sa mga kaukulang lugar gaya ng identification card sa mga empleyado, medical o exam appointment, barangay health pass at iba pa.

Kung fully vaccinated na, dapat ay dala ang vaccination card.

Ikinokonsiderang fully vaccinated ang isang indibidwal dalawang linggo matapos matanggap ang second dose ng bakuna.

Iiral ang “no vaccination, no ride” policy sa mga pampublikong sasakyan sa Metro Manila hangga’t nakataas ang COVID-19 Alert Level 3 o higit pa. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Labor dept asks employers to provide workers with paid isolation, quarantine leave benefits

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday urged employers in the private sector to provide paid leave benefits to workers who have to undergo isolation or quarantine period due to COVID-19.

In a labor advisory, DOLE said this is to “ensure safe and humane working conditions” amid the rising cases of coronavirus in the country.

The labor department said employers in the private sector are encouraged to adopt and implement appropriate paid isolation and quarantine leave program, on top of the existing leave benefits under the company policy. Leave benefits under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Labor Code of the Philippines, and special laws should be separately applied.

“The paid isolation and quarantine leaves shall be without prejudice to other benefits provided by the Social Security System and the Employees Compensation Commission,” it added.

DOLE said its advisory applies to all establishments, employers, and their employees in the private sector.

Under the updated guidelines from the Department of Health, fully vaccinated COVID-19 patients who are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms need to isolate for seven days while those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated need to complete the isolation period for 10 days.

The isolation period for moderate cases is 10 days while those with severe and critical symptoms, and immunocompromised would have to isolate for 21 days.

The quarantine period for fully vaccinated asymptomatic close contacts has been shortened to five days.

Isolation is for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 while quarantine is for those who have been exposed and can possibly develop an infection.

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