Bello on Sinas’ request requiring police clearance for labor-related transactions: ‘More harm than good.’

Marje Pelayo   •   May 5, 2021   •   269

MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III responded to the request of Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Debold Sinas on the latter’s request to require national police clearances for labor-related transactions.

Bello argued that though his agency supports the PNP’s rollout of the National Police Clearance System (NPCS) and while the proposal is ‘good-intentioned,’ the Labor Chief said requiring DOLE’s clients to secure an NPC to avail of its services will do ‘more harm than good.’

“It is a form of a red tape to all and an additional financial burden to many,” Bello said.

The Labor Secretary noted that after his consultation with DOLE’s stakeholders including workers and employers group, 94% of them are not in favor of requiring an NPC in labor-related transactions.

Bello also argued that the proposal is not aligned with the policy of President Rodrigo Duterte on the Ease in Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 and there is no legal basis in requiring an NOC to DOLE clients.

“We are with the PNP in building a safer place for Filipino. We can achieve this without adding burden to the transacting public and the people we serve,” Bello concluded.

Sinas sent a letter to Bello recommending to the agency the use of national police clearance to have broader information as to the character of all its applicants.

The Labor Chief earlier reacted that such a policy will only add to the burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to its applicant.

DOLE, may alok na insentibo para sa mga bakunadong essential workers vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   June 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Mamamahagi ng bisikleta at cellphone na may load ang Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) bilang insentibo sa mga essential worker na makakakumpleto ng kanilang bakuna kontra COVID-19.

Ayon kay DOLE Bureau of Workers Special Concern (BWSC) director Atty. Ma. Karina Perida-Trarvilla, bahagi ito ng mga hakbang ng kagawaran para maenganyo ang mga manggagawang kasama sa A4 group na magpabakuna laban sa coronavirus disease.

“It’s actually pursuant to the instruction of the (DOLE) Secretary (Silvestre Bello III) that we come up [with] this incentive for our A4, economic frontliners to entice them to submit themselves to vaccination at nadeploy na nga tayo ng vaccination program for A4 noong June 7. Gusto natin maraming maengganyo na mabakunahan,” ani Perida-Trayvilla.

Aniya, uumpisahan ng DOLE sa Hulyo 1 ang pamamahagi ng 2,000 bisikleta at cellphone na may load sa A4 workers na fully vaccinated na kontra COVID-19.

Target ng programa ang mga nasa informal sector na namamasukan sa mga pribadong kumpanya, pati na ang household helpers at self-employed.

Ngunit paglilinaw ng kagawaran, sa halip na sa manggagawang nagpabakuna, ibibigay ang insentibo sa sinomang miyembro ng kanyang pamilya o kamag-anak.

“Kase nga po yung mga A4 workers natin may trabaho naman diba yung bibigyan po natin nitong bike yung kanilang next of kin or yung kanyang relative… Gusto kase nating gamitin nila ang bisikleta pawang pang livelihood,” ani Perida-Trayvilla.

Tig-isang libong bisikleta na may kasamang insulation bags, protective helmet, reflective vest, cellphone na may load wallet ang ilalaan sa mga benepisyaryo sa National Capital Region at sa mga probinsya.

“Hindi lang po iyan, yung makakatanggap ng bisikleta ii-enroll rin po natin siya sa group personal accident insurance or GPAI kase nga magla-livelihood siya mai-expose din siya sa risk kailangan mai-insure natin sila,” ani Perida-Trayvilla.

Para sa mga interesadong makakuha ng nasabing incentives, makipag-ugnayan lamang sa BWSC sa numerong 84043336 o di kaya ay mag-email sa mail@bwsc.dole.gov.ph.

Magpresenta lamang ng alin mang government o company id at vaccination card na patunay na fully vaccinated ang isang manggagawa.

Sa susunod na linggo, inaasahang matatapos na ng BWSC ang mechanics para sa nasabing livelihood program. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Janice Ingente)

DOLE eyes expanding HCW deployment cap to 10k

Marje Pelayo   •   June 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) eyes increasing the current deployment cap on healthcare workers (HCW) to 5,000 more and make it 10,000 per year.

“Naniniwala ako right now na we have enough number of nurses kaya I’m willing to recommend na itaas ang deployment cap from 5,000 to another 5,000,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III in response to the request of HCW who wish to seek employment abroad.

Recently, the government has stopped the deployment of new medical workers abroad after the number reached the 5,000-limit.

Bello assured that should his recommendation be approved, the country would not come short of healthcare workers.

He stressed, however, that the decision still remains with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

The Filipino Nurses United is pleased with the proposal as this would provide more opportunities for them to seek greener pastures abroad.

However, they still want the removal of the deployment cap and let all Filipino healthcare workers explore employment opportunities in other countries.

“Sa tingin po namin merong sapat in terms of number. Ang problema po ay yung paghikayat ng gobyerno na magtrabaho sila as nurses sa ating mga healthcare facilities,” said Jocelyn Andamo, Secretary-General of the Filipino Nurses United.

The group said there are still around 200,000 nurses in the country who work outside their profession and earn below what they deserve being professional nurses.

Since the deployment cap was imposed, around 4,000 nurses were not able to process their documents for employment abroad. -MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DOTr, DOLE to provide jobs to repatriated OFWs affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Transportation (DOTr), along with other government agencies, has signed a memorandum that would provide job opportunities for repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

During the 2021 Migrant Workers’ Day celebration on Monday (June 7), DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to provide OFWs displaced by the pandemic with employment opportunities in the DOTr.

“Our repatriated OFWs who are out of work will be able to work under the DOTr at narito sila sa sarili nilang bansa. They no longer need to go out of the country because work is here at home. Second, we will not be looking elsewhere in getting the needed workforce to finish various infrastructure projects,” he said.

Under the said agreement, the DOTr will provide OWWA with a list of vacant positions and skills required where an OFW can apply for work. These include projects under the Build Build Build Program.

Tugade reported that 2,000 jobs will be made available under the PNR Clark Phase 1 Project.

He also said that the department will not only prioritize hiring OFWs, but also displaced public utility drivers and conductors once the project becomes operational. AAC

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