DOLE reiterates rights, protection of delivery riders under Labor law

Marje Pelayo   •   July 27, 2021   •   339

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reiterates the rights of riders in food delivery and courier activities under the Labor Code of the Philippines or their contract with the digital platform company, depending on the existence of an employer-employee relationship.

In an advisory, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said all delivery riders who are considered employees of a digital platform company are entitled to the minimum benefits under the Labor Code.

Meanwhile, those who work as independent contractors or freelancers shall be governed by their respective contracts or agreements with the digital platform company.

DOLE issued the advisory in order to set the standards in determining work relationships between food delivery companies and their respective riders.

This employer-employee relationship between the delivery rider and the digital platform company, Bello said, may be determined in consideration of the flexibility of work which includes working time, control through technology, and use of the equipment and other inputs.

The advisory stated that all delivery riders who are deemed employees of the digital platform company shall enjoy the minimum standards and benefits which include: minimum wage, holiday pay, premium pay, overtime pay, night shift differential, service incentive leave, thirteenth-month pay, separation pay, and retirement pay.

They are also entitled to get occupational safety and health (OSH) standards, including SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG, and other benefits under existing laws.

Riders shall also enjoy the right to security of tenure, self-organization, and collective bargaining.

Meanwhile, riders who are considered independent contractors or freelancers shall be governed by their respective contracts or agreements with the digital platform company.

The contract or agreement shall stipulate the following provisions, including but not limited to:

  • the payment of fair and equitable compensation, which shall not be lower than the prevailing minimum wage rates and facilitation of registration;
  • coverage under SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG;
  • compliance with applicable OSH standards;
  • attendance to regular training and seminars on road and traffic rules and road safety. This shall be arranged by the digital platform company in coordination with relevant government agencies;
  • arrangement with concerned local government units and/or merchants in setting up designated waiting areas for delivery riders

The Labor Advisory further states that any complaint or grievance of delivery riders or digital platform company shall be settled and resolved through conciliation, mediation, inspection, or arbitration, whichever is applicable, under existing rules and regulations.

Labor group calls on gov’t to make vaccination accessible to workers

Marje Pelayo   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A labor group is asking the government to make vaccination accessible to workers.

Associated Labor Union-trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) said about 200,000 to 300,000 workers still remain unvaccinated in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus Bubble.

“Nauuso ngayon iyong walk-in vaccine hopping. Ito yung mga manggagawang desperado na nagtatrabaho pero dahil kulang yung vaccines doon sa mga probinsya nila o sa kanilang siyudad kung saan sila nakatira, eh desperado silang naghahanap ng mga walk-in sa NCR o sa karatig na probinsya,” ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said.

The group said that those in the provinces suffer the long wait for vaccines unlike residents in Metro Manila.

They added that even if the local government units (LGUs) in the said region have opened their vaccinations to non-residents, non-NCR residents are still not among their priority.

Thus, the group is calling on the government to bring the vaccinators to their workplaces especially now that most industries require workers to be fully vaccinated.

“Dapat siguro bakit hindi pumunta yung mga vaccinator sa mga workplaces? Imbes na mga manggagawa ang maghanap-hanap kung saan, dapat lahat ng businesses o business establishment sa Metro Manila ay puntahan ng mga vaccinators,” Tanjusay said.

Meanwhile, the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) is requesting for additional supply of COVID -19 vaccines and the construction of additional storage facilities.

Marinduque governor and LPP president, Presbitero Velasco said, “Tingin ko yung government kung may pondo pa, they should provide ultra low freezers para pati naman yung malalayong LGUs at yung mga lower rank LGUs ay mabigyan naman ng magagandan bakuna.”

For its part, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has begun vaccination programs for construction and factory workers after the national government provided them with 452,000 doses of vaccines.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III stressed that workers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to avoid further crippling the economy.

“Kasi kung hindi mo bakunahan yung mga workers natin, mapipilay yung ating mga negosyo. Ngayon pag napilay yung negosyo, pilay yung ating ekonomiya,” Bello said.

In the coming week, DOLE has scheduled a roll out of vaccination in certain provinces with a specific number of COVID vaccines doses:

Malolos, Bulacan – 1,000 (Sept. 23, 2021)
Bataan – 1,000 (Sept. 24, 2021)
Dumaguete – 1,000 (Sept. 24, 2021)
Cebu – 5,000 (Sept 24, 2021)

MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DOLE confident of reaching target of 1M jobs by year-end

Marje Pelayo   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in compliance with the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) is aiming at reaching its goal of generating one million jobs by the end of the year.

NERS 2021-2022 is an employment recovery plan addressing the changes in the labor market brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Layunin po ng programa na ito na makapag-hire o makapag-recruit po tayo ng mga manggagawa para ma-fill up ‘yung ating mga vacancies sa construction sector at saka sa manufacturing sector,” said DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay.

The official said they are also looking into job opportunities in information technology and business process outsourcing sectors.

Citing the latest quarterly labor force survey from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Tutay said the prevailing  COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the country’s labor force.

However, the DOLE together with other concerned agencies has laid plans to be able to achieve its target under NERS.

“Ang iba pong mga hakbang na ginagawa natin ngayon is ongoing po ang ating vaccination rollout para doon sa mga workers ng construction sector at saka manufacturing sector,” ASec Tutay said.

“Nagkaroon din tayo ng pagpupulong sa SSS at sa Pag-IBIG dahil iyon pong mga job seekers na rine-recruit po ng ating mga kumpanya ay nahihirapan po sila sa pre-employment documentary requirements,” she added.

DOLE assures working closely with NERS Task Force and various government agencies to ensure improvements in the country’s labor market amid the pandemic.

Pag-IBIG Fund makes cash loans more affordable with longer payment period

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Pag-IBIG on Thursday (September 9) announced that it will lengthen its payment term to three years from the previous 24 months or two-year period.

Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo del Rosario said they provided a longer payment period to give borrowers more time to pay off their loans, and more importantly, to make monthly payments lower.

This is amid the difficulties faced by members during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“During these difficult times, we continue to improve our programs to respond to the needs of our members,” he said.

Pag-IBIG Fund’s cash loans come in the form of a Multi-Purpose Loan (MPL) and a Calamity Loan (CL) for areas under a state of calamity.

According to Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Acmad Rizaldy Moti, with the extended payment period, members who will take a P20,000.00 loan amount can reduce their monthly payment to P734.57 a month for MPL, and P615.72 a month for a CL.

Previously, the payment for the said MPL and CL amount were P1,016.52 and P897.23 per month, respectively.

With payments spread out over a longer period, monthly payments were brought down by 28% for the MPL and 31% for the Calamity Loan.

“We recognize that these are challenging times, and we are doing all we can to help our members as the health emergency continues,” he said.

“We are poised to help more members in the coming months, now that the extended payment term has made our cash loans even more affordable,” Moti added.

From January to July alone, Moti reported that Pag-IBIG has released P25.42 billion in cash loans to aid more than 1.1 million members.

“We also made the process of applying for loans safer and more convenient by accepting loan applications online via the Virtual Pag-IBIG. This is Lingkod Pag-IBIG at work, especially when members need us most,” Moti further said. AAC

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