DOLE reports dip in COVID-19 cases among OFWs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 7, 2020   •   597

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) has dropped, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday (October 6).

The Labor Department reported there are no new COVID-19 cases recored among OFWs in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Taiwan, and Japan.

New cases were reported in Israel and Qatar but the numbers are lower compared to the tally reported on September 30.

In Germany, the 80 OFWs who were COVID-19 positive were already declared recovered.  Likewise, in Belgium, the seven monitored cases were also confirmed to have recovered.

The good news continues in Spain where 85 recoveries were reported followed by France with eight more.

“The Philippine Overseas Labor Offices’ (POLO) monitoring of OFWs continues round the clock as part of the government’s heightened welfare and assistance program for migrant Filipino workers during the pandemic,” DOLE said.

Meanwhile, DOLE also reported that a new batch of Filipinos, 26 adults and 10 infants, are set for repatriation after qualifying for the Voluntary Repatriation Program of Israel. AAC

LGUs may recruit TUPAD workers as contact tracers – Bello

Robie de Guzman   •   April 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Local government units (LGU) may now utilize the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) cash for work program, Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced (TUPAD) to recruit contact tracers, the labor chief said.

In a statement, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that aside from Metro Manila, LGUs in other areas needing additional contact tracers may tap TUPAD beneficiaries as contact tracers in their respective jurisdictions.

Bello said he already informed the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) of this move to support the requirements of various LGUs for additional contact tracers, especially in areas with high cases of novel coronavirus disease.

DOLE regional directors have also been given the discretion to approve requests of local chief executives to tap TUPAD beneficiaries as contact tracers in their respective areas.

“In our meeting with the DILG, I already told Acting Secretary (Bernardo) Florece that he can allocate to any LGU the number of contact tracers to be employed under our TUPAD program,” he added.

Florece was designated as DILG officer in charge in March while Secretary Eduardo Año was on medical leave.

TUPAD is an emergency employment program for displaced informal sector workers. Beneficiaries are provided with temporary employment that runs between 10 days to 30 days, and paid the prevailing daily minimum wage in their respective areas.

Beneficiaries are normally those displaced by natural calamities like typhoon, earthquake, volcanic eruption or disasters and accidents like fire, among others.

“Since the DILG has problems funding the contact tracing of LGUs, I thought it wise to offer our TUPAD program for that purpose,” Bello said.

“In this manner, we are not only providing emergency employment to our displaced workers but also helping the urgent need of the community to stop the spread of the disease through contact tracing,” he added.

At the height of the lockdowns last year, DOLE said that TUPAD beneficiaries were engaged to undertake disinfection and sanitation of their homes and immediate neighborhood to contain the spread of the virus.

Bello had initially offered 14,000 TUPAD beneficiaries as contact tracers for the requirements of LGUs in the National Capital Region and the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna for a duration of one month.

But Metro Manila mayors requested that contract tracers be employed for three months instead for an allocation of P230 million equivalent to close to 5,000 contact tracers.

“The application and processing for NCR contact tracers under TUPAD started on Saturday and ends on April 22,” DOLE said.

DOLE prepares for nationwide job fair on May 1

Marje Pelayo   •   April 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is preparing for a national job summit on May 1 for Filipinos whose jobs have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agency plans to gather business groups, private and public agencies to open job opportunities during the summit.

“Mayroon din tayong isinusulong na job summit para sa May 1. Ang layunin naman ng job summit na ito ay ma-recover talaga natin ang employment na nawala sa atin during the pandemic,” DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay said during the Laging Handa briefing.

The official said even DOLE’s regional offices and public employment offices are already looking for job vacancies which they can offer to displaced workers in need of work opportunities.

The Labor department earlier announced its plan to hire additional contact tracers as part of the agency’s emergency employment program.

Applicants for the job fair may access updates through DOLE’s official website www.dole.gov.ph or the agency’s social media pages.

Over 67,000 displaced tourism workers in NCR Plus receive P5,000 cash aid

Marje Pelayo   •   April 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 67,347 tourism workers displaced by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus area will receive P5,000 cash assistance from the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

In a statement released by the DOT, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III agreed to provide cash assistance to the said sector workers in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

Of the said number, 6,817 beneficiaries are in Bulacan, 8,422 in Cavite, 14,161 in Laguna, 10,582 in Rizal, and 27,365 in the NCR.

The total disbursements amount to over P336.7 million as of April 6.

In today’s online awarding of certificates, around P41.2 million pesos were given to 8,251 recognized beneficiaries of the DOT-DOLE cash assistance program, broken down as follow:

NCR – 2,199
Bulacan – 901
Cavite – 924
Laguna – 2,490
Rizal – 1,737

“We are hopeful that this financial assistance will provide some relief to our most affected stakeholders and tourism workers during these difficult times. While it may help in the short term, we believe that the best way to help stakeholders, in the long run, is to develop a tourism industry that is stronger, more resilient, and more adaptable to change,” Puyat said in her opening remarks.

DOLE Secretary Bello added that the labor department will continuously provide assistance to the tourism workers despite the increasing odds brought by the pandemic.

“Rest assured that DOLE will always give its full support to our workers in need. In the coming months, as we start to put our economy on its track, we hope that our tourism stakeholders will get back on their feet, stronger than before,” he said.

Issued in February, the DOT-DOLE Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2021-001 (Amended Implementing Guidelines on Providing Financial Assistance and Cash-For-Work Program for Displaced Workers in the Tourism Sector) expanded its coverage of beneficiaries including Local Government-Licensed Tourism Support Service (TSS) enterprises, providers and associations of providers.

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