ECOP doubts pay hike in NCR will push through

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 2, 2019   •   1158

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) doubts the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board will agree to raise across-the-board wages to P710 per day for workers in the National Capital Region (NCR).

This is based on the petition filed by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).

According to the ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luiz, the board can review the new petition a year after the last wage hike petition unless it is really necessary.

The wage board approved the P25 wage hike petition in November 2018 for NCR. Ortiz-Luiz said the economy last year was different.

“Look at it from what has happened in November. What was approved is P25 and that was at a time when inflation is very high, rise, sugar, vegetables were all high the cost of fuel was going up. We didn’t know where to stop that is all reversed already,” he said.

For this year, he explained that there is no reason to raise the daily wages since most commodity prices have gone down.

“Bumaba na ang rice, bumaba na ang lahat. Wala kaming makitang reason na may supervening condition, (rice prices have gone down. We don’t see any reason that has supervening condition)” according to Ortiz-Luiz.

Meanwhile, several senators are open to discussing the wage hike petition for NCR workers.

Senator Sonny Angara said that if oil prices continues to soar in the world market, the wage board should consider increasing the daily wages.

“If prices keep going up as a result of crude oil hitting $75/barrel then the wage boards should consider and study carefully the possibility of raising the minimum wage in the regions affected,” he said.

Senator Joel Villanueva and Senator Koko Pimentel are proposing a careful review of the living wage for workers.

For Senator Panfilo Lacson, there are a lot of things to consider in order to approve a wage hike.

“There are so many factors to consider. Hence, a thorough study must be made in this regard. Wage hikes are always associated with inflation as a consequence of higher prices of goods, especially in the manufacturing sector not to mention possible loss of jobs since business may not be able to cope up,” Lacson said.(with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

DepEd NCR nagdeklara ng health break mula Enero 15 to 22

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Nagdeklara ng academic health break ang regional office ng Department of Education (DepEd) para sa National Capital Region (NCR) sa gitna ng dumaraming bilang ng mga nagkakasakit dahil sa COVID-19.

Sa inilabas na memorandum order, sinabi ng DepEd-NCR na suspindido muna ang klase sa lahat ng antas sa basic education mula Eneroi 15 hanggang 22.

Muling babalik ang klase sa Enero 24 hanggang 29 pero limitado lang muna ito sa distance learning modalities gaya ng online schooling, module at DepEd TV.

Hindi rin required ang pisikal na pagpasok sa paaralan ng mga guro.

Gayunman, dapat gamitin na lang ng mga estudyante at guro ang kanilang midyear break mula Enero 31 hanggang Pebrero 5 para sa makeup clasess upang mabawi ang mga backlog sa aralin.

Nakatakda naman ang second quarter examinations para sa Pebrero 7 at 8.

Una nang binigyan ng kapangyarihan ng DepEd ang regional at school division offices na magdesisyon ukol sa suspensyon ng klase bunsod ng tumataas na kaso ng COVID-19.

“kung ang pagtataya ng ating Local Officials Regional Director Level or Division or even at the School Level ay kailangan magsuspinde ng klase o ng if not the full class ay learning activities then we are authorizing maximum of two weeks at a time subject to reporting at kung mas mahaba pa dun ay kailangang ikonsulta sa amin kung maaring pahintulutan ito,” ani DepEd Undersecretary Noel Nepomuceno.

Samantala, nasa diskresyon naman ng mga pribadong paaralan kung kailan sila magsususpinde ng klase.

Maliban sa NCR, nagdeklara na rin ng class suspension ang DepEd CALABARZON mula Enero 17 hanggang 29.

Ang pamahalaan naman ng Antipolo City sa Rizal ay nagdeklara rin ng health break sa kaparehong petsa.

Nauna nang nagdeklara ng health break ang pamahalaang lungsod ng Maynila simula ngayong Biyernes, Enero 14 hanggang 21.

Layunin ng deklarasyon na mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga guro at mag-aaral na makapagpahinga, lalo na ang mga may karamdaman. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

 

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.

No need to upgrade NCR alert level yet amid rising COVID cases, WHO exec says

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2022

MANILA, Philippines ­– There is no need yet to further tighten the restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR) amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, an official of the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday.

WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said the COVID-19 Alert Level 3 being imposed in the NCR is sufficient if the reduction in Tuesday’s COVID-19 cases is used as an indication.

“We are looking closely at the current Alert Level 3… we are seeing a significant reduction in mobility and if yesterday’s reduction in number is an indication maybe the current alert levels are adequate,” Abeyasinghe said during a public briefing.

The Philippines on Tuesday recorded over 28,000 new cases, down from the record-high 33,000 logged last January 10.

Abeyasinghe said alert levels should only be increased if there are signs that the healthcare system is being overwhelmed.

“We are very conscious that we will need to increase those alert levels and increase the restrictions only if we see signs of the healthcare system being overwhelmed. Right now, we don’t see that,” he said.

The WHO official said the Philippines may be able to manage the current surge if the decline in new COVID cases will continue.

“Projections are that the Philippines may be able to avert that if even if current trends are continued until about the end of this month, meaning that red line analysis that we have done projects that we can manage the health systems to about the 27/28 of January. Given the trends up to yesterday, with yesterday’s decline, we may be even to manage beyond that,” he added.

Malacañang earlier said that there is no need yet to escalate the country’s alert levels amid ballooning coronavirus cases as the utilization of the healthcare system remains within the moderate risk level.

Apart from restricting mobility, Abeyasinghe stressed the importance of following the minimum public health standards at an individual level and isolating or quarantining themselves if they have symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 to reduce the risk of transmission.

“[This is to] reduce the need for stricter quarantine because that has very serious economic consequences,” he said.

“We need to try to take that best approach and try to keep the economy open unless we are seeing signs that the current alert levels are not working,” he added.

Malacañang earlier said the government’s task force for COVID-19 response will meet on Thursday to discuss the new alert levels to be implemented after January 15.

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