DOLE pushes for random drug testing in the workplace

admin   •   October 24, 2016   •   4756

File photo.

File photo.

 

Labor secretary Silvestro Bello III clarified that all private sectors are covered by Department Order 53-03 which provides that anti-drug policies to be adopted by companies shall include random drug testing for officers and employees.

It means that all employees, even contractors and concessionaires, must undergo random drug testing.

The secretary added that aside from drug abuse prevention and control, the sector should also intensify the implementation of drug testing programs, treatment, rehabilitation, monitoring and evaluation of their employees. — UNTV News and Rescue

Government, business groups to create 1M job opportunities for Filipinos — DOLE

Marje Pelayo   •   June 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) leads key government agencies in a collaboration with major business groups to create one million jobs this year.

The project is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval and signing of an executive order adopting the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS).

NERS is an employment recovery plan from 2021 to 2022 which aims “to create a policy environment that encourages the generation and improved access to employment, livelihood, and training opportunities; improve employability, wellness, and productivity of workers; and provide support to existing and emerging businesses to preserve and create employment.”

Coincidingly, the EO prompts the formation of a task force to oversee the project’s implementation.

“This project synchronizes with safe and gradual reopening of the economy and addresses the impact of the prolonged community quarantine to thousands of smaller enterprises and millions of Filipinos workers,” noted Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

The project known as Reform, Rebound, Recover: One Million Jobs for 2021 prompts the business and employers sector to primarily identify job vacancies from its member companies and find jobs for the qualified but unemployed jobseekers.

Through the NERS Task Force, the government sector will secure vaccination for workers who qualify for the partnership project.

Also, it will organize job caravans; provide a profile of workers who can be referred to existing job vacancies; and offer transportation services to workers who will get their vaccination jabs.

DOLE deployment ban to Saudi Arabia leaves hundreds of OFWs stranded at NAIA

Marje Pelayo   •   May 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Hundreds of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) were not allowed to leave on Friday (May 28) after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued a temporary deployment ban to the Kingdom.

Based on the memorandum issued by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), there were reports that several OFWs were being obliged by their recruiters or employers to shoulder all COVID-related expenses including the insurance premium imposed upon entry to Saudi Arabia.

To date, the department has yet to receive any definite guidelines from the KSA if OFWs are exempted from their policy regarding the ban on unvaccinated foreign travelers or those who have been vaccinated with a brand that is not allowed by the Saudi government.

Based on reports from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Riyadh, OFWs are being charged up to P1,000 dollars before departure from Manila.

“Wala naman kaming na-receive sa POLO na nagreklamo na worker but as I have heard from Manila, sa Manila ko narinig na may mga nagrereklamo dyan,” said Labor Attache Fidel Macauyag.

“That prompted our secretary and on top of that walang clear guidelines ang ating mga advisories dito sa Saudi kung sino ba talaga ang magbabayad,” he added.

As a result of the temporary ban, about 500 OFWs were left stranded as they weren’t allowed to fly despite their existing contracts.

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) was also surprised by the announcement but proceeded even with an empty flight because there are Filipinos waiting for their flight to the Philippines in Riyadh.

Those who were affected have the option to rebook their tickets to another date once the ban is lifted.

POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia, for his part, promised to address the problem while waiting for clear guidelines from the Saudi government.

“Konting pasensya at konting sakripisyo kasi po ang ginagawa natin ay para sa kapakanan ng nakararami,” Olalia noted.

“Lahat po tayo ay makikinabang dito lalong lalo na ang mga OFWs na pinagbabayad ng institutional quarantine, pinagbabayad ng insurance coverage, pinagbabayad ng COVID-19 test at hindi po kinikilala ang mga vaccine na vaccinated na yung mga OFWs natin,” he added.

Olalia assured that the Overseas Worker Welfare Administration (OWWA) will shoulder the accommodation expenses of the stranded OFWs as well as their fare returning to their respective hometowns as a result of the ban. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Deployment of OFWs to Israel remains suspended for three more weeks — DOLE

Marje Pelayo   •   May 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has extended to three more weeks the suspension on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Israel.

According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the agency needs to make sure that all OFWs bound for Israel would be safe and the truce between Israel and Hamas is sincerely being carried out by both parties.

“Give it another two or three weeks at ma-maintain talaga ang strict observance of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinian and the Hamas then we will already consider giving the OFWs the OEC which is the final document for their deployment,” Bello assured.

Once the suspension is lifted, about 400 caregivers may be accepted right away as stipulated under the Philippines and Israel’s bilateral agreement.

This is in addition to around 30,000 OFWs in Israel who are mostly caregivers.

To date, no Filipinos are hurt or killed in the ongoing unrest. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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