DOLE studying feasibility of 14th month pay bill

Robie de Guzman   •   July 4, 2019   •   2060

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday said it is studying the feasibility of the proposal seeking to grant 14th month pay to workers in the private sector.

Senator Vicente Sotto III on Monday filed the Senate bill no. 10 that seeks to require the private sector to provide its workers with 14th month pay in an aim to increase wage benefits amid rising prices of basic goods.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they are open to the merits of the measure but its effects should be studied and considered thoroughly.

Bello said that apart from its apparent impact on small and medium enterprises, the proposal is likely to further burden companies.

“Mukhang hindi pa ano, it’s not yet time. From the assessment of our National Wage and Productivity Board eh baka hindi makayanan,” he told UNTV News and Rescue in a phone interview.

Bello also said the proposal may also cause disequilibrium, particularly to companies that are having difficulty in fully complying with the granting of 13th month pay to workers.

“From our experience, sa 13th month pay pa lang eh, ang dami nang hindi nakakapag-comply. Additional month pay may cause disequilibrium. So, kailangan talaga ng masusing pag-aaral,” Bello said.

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), in a separate interview, said that the proposal could break the operations of small, micro and medium businesses, cause inflation to spike and the Philippines to lose its competitiveness against its Southeast Asian peers.

READ: Employers group says 14th month pay bill to burden small businesses

The measure would also leave employers to increase the prices of their products and services, reduce their work force or close shop to shoulder higher labor cost. (with details from Harlene Delgado)

DOLE suspends work in head office, NCR on January 14 & 17

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2022

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced that work in its main office in Intramuros, Manila, and its regional office in the National Capital Region (NCR) have been suspended on January 14 (Friday) and January 17 (Monday).

In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the work suspension order was due to the surge of COVID-19 cases, particularly in NCR, and “the increasing number of cases in the department.”

Bello said that 128 DOLE officials and staff have been infected as of January 13. This accounts for about 21 percent of DOLE’s central office personnel of around 600.

“Services of the Department of Labor and Employment in the central office in Intramuros and its regional office in the National Capital Region will not be available to the public on Friday, January 14, and Monday, January 17,” the department said in an advisory.

In a memorandum issued on Thursday, January 13, Bello directed all heads of offices, services, and bureaus, including the NCR regional office to resume work on January 18.

Earlier in the week, Bello directed all DOLE offices and attached agencies in areas with a surging number of COVID cases to implement alternative work arrangements, including work from home, for their personnel.

“Skeletal [sic] workforce shall be limited to those performing or providing essential services,” Bello said in an administrative order issued on Tuesday.

The work arrangements took effect on Wednesday and will last until January 30, he added.

The flexible work arrangements, however, do not cover personnel in the offices of the Secretary, undersecretaries and assistant secretaries, and the office of the directors.

Bello urged all DOLE personnel to continue observing public health standards and other safety protocols in the workplace to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

Employers urged to strictly enforce protocols, promote work-from-home setup amid rising COVID cases

Robie de Guzman   •   January 6, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Wednesday reminded employers from the public and private sectors to firmly enforce minimum public health standards amid increasing cases of COVID-19 in the country.

In a joint statement, the agencies said employers should also “encourage work-from-home setup or alternative work arrangements, whenever possible,” saying it is critical during this period of exponential increase in cases.

For those working on-site, the employers are reminded to implement the following:

  • Assign and designate health safety officers to remind employees of minimum public health standards as well as to monitor and track symptoms
  • Ensure proper ventilation and avoid closed spaces
  • Close down pantries or areas where people can meet up maskless.
  • Facilitate isolation for symptomatic (for 10 days) or quarantine for close contacts (14 days non-vaccinated, 7 days vaccinated) and testing of symptomatic employees
  • Provide adequate assistance for individuals who are undergoing quarantine and isolation such as support for medicine, food, and others
  • Promote the use of bicycles or walking to the office to avoid exposure in crowded places
  • Comply strictly on inspecting proof of vaccination in premises or business operations where these are required by the IATF

“Employees with symptoms should stay home, isolate, and maximize the use of telemedicine services with healthcare providers,” the statement read.

Options for telemedicine services can be viewed at this link.

“All employers are strongly encouraged to coordinate with the local government unit’s epidemiological and surveillance unit for specific response and reporting guidance,” the agencies said.

Loan application para sa 13th month pay budget ng MSMEs, pinalawig – DOLE

Robie de Guzman   •   December 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Maaari pa ring mag apply ng loan ang micro at small enterprises (MSME) na nahihirapang magbigay ng 13th month pay sa kanilang empleyado dahil sa epekto ng COVID-19 pandemic, ayon sa Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Ayon kay DOLE director Rolly Francia, pinalawig ng SB Corporation ng Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) ang deadline sa pagsusumite ng aplikasyon hanggang sa Disyembre 21.

Ang SB Corp. ay ang financing arm ng DTI.

Sa ilalim ng programa, maaaring umutang ang MSMEs ng hanggang P12,000 para sa 13th month pay ng bawat empleyado.

Paalala ng DOLE, walang ipinapataw na interes at collateral fee ang nasabing loan program.

Maaari itong bayaran sa loob ng isang taon at may tatlong buwang grace period.

“Kami po ay nananawagan sa mga micro and small business enterprises to avail of this loan facility mula sa Small Business (SB) Corporation ng DTI,” ani Francia.

“Ang qualified po dito ang mga kumpanya na maliliit na enterpresa na naka-rehistro sa Department of Labor na ang kanilang manggagawa ay isinailalim sa work from home or rotation at iba pang sistema as of October 2021,” dagdag pa niya.

Sa ngayon ay nasa 865 na MSMEs na ang nakapagsumite ng kanilang aplikasyon para sa loan. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

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