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Faster, hassle-free services now available for OFWs with OWWA e-Card

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, 7 November 2018 11:56 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Overseas Worker Welfare Administration (OWWA) launched Tuesday (November 6) the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) e-Card courtesy of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The OFW e-card holders can easily access the different programs of OWWA, welfare services, scholarships, trainings, social benefits and many more, through on line.

This will also save OFWs cash through its paperless transactions.

The e-card can also be used as an exit clearance whenever leaving the Philippines.

“That the card will benefit OFW’s in many ways possible and the e-card is not just proof of OWWA membership upon payment of the required contribution but as a means for easier access to OWWA programs ang services and that a card will also function as a government issued ID card,” explained OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.

OFWs can apply through on line, and can claim their IDs to any regional OWWA offices.

As the benefits and programs developed, services of e-cards will be extended to other agencies such as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Bureau of Immigration (BI), Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIZEA), through an open database and easy link.

OFW Gilberto Dularte has been working in Saudi Arabia as service crew over the past 10 years.

And every time he goes home, he said, he would encounter hassles in going thru long queues of document processing from the time he steps into the airport.

“Kasi dati nung una pa nung wala pang mga ganitong card talagang pagtyatyagaan mong pipila sa owwa para makabayad ka lang ng oecpara makabalik ka lang sa pupuntahan mo sa abroad,” said Mang Gil.

With the e-card, things will be easy for Mang Gil to transact and process his papers with different concerned government agencies.

Mang Gil is just one of the 250,000 OFWs who will enjoy different benefits of having the OWWA OFW e-cards, which can be obtained, free of charge.

“Basta lahat ng transaction andito na eh pwede nang gamitin ito eh kaya nga lang walang pera nga daw ito,” he concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)

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Hanjin labor group leaders seek DOLE’s help for salary entitlement

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 12:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Hanjin labor group leaders are now seeking the help of the office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), appealing to the Labor chief to ensure that the company will make good in its legally-binding obligations like separation pay and other benefits.

Other demands include that they be given priority once the company reopens with the new management and that the employment bond which is 3% of their salaries be given back.

“Ang problema na lang kasi mayroon yung separation pay na one month for every year of service, meron one half month for every year of service kapag ang ground ng termination ay bankruptcy or closure or rehabilitation. Iyon ang pagaaralan din namin na baka sakaling paki-usapan ang Hanjin,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

The labor chief assures the more than 3,800 employees of his support.

An emergency employment program will be arranged after February 15, to somehow compensate the families of the affected workers while they are in between jobs.

The Labor chief also said that they will speak to the officials of the Pag-ibig Home Development Fund for consideration of moratorium on mortgage payment. 

On Wednesday (January 29), DOLE is also scheduled to meet with other concerned department heads and other agencies to strategize an employment program in different government projects to hire the 3,800 plus skilled workers. 

“Opo. Nabawasan po kasi, unang-una po iyong talagang mawawalan po kami ng trabaho iyon po ang hindi namin mai-a-alis sa amin. (Ang) anak po naming, magulang po namin (ay) umaasa sa amin,” explained Efren Vinluan, president of the Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin. 

But Hanjin workers like Matcho Son Raya, do not believe that Hanjin Philippines is bankrupt.

Raya has been working as a welder at the South Korean company for 10 years now.

In a decade of working with other skilled workers at Hanjin, they have created 120 vessels for the company.

“Tulad nga po ng ginawa nila noong una, retrenchment, voluntary retrenchment program na hindi na po naibalik yung 3% na kinakaltas po sa amin. Kasi sabi nila pag nag-resign ka, wala ka na. Kaya dahil sa pananakot nila, napilitan ang manggagawa (ang) aming mga kasama na mag-resign na lang dahil daw sa wala silang makukuha,” Raya noted.

Raya said they are worried about their work tenure and life security now that Hanjin has declared bankruptcy and only has until February 15 to operate.

Hanjin Subic shipyard has attained its stature as the 4th largest state shipbuilding facility in Asia. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)

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DOLE opens 1,000 job opportunities for PWDs

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 3 December 2018 11:35 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will launch a job fair for persons with disability (PWDs) on Wednesday (December 5) at the Quezon City Hall grounds.

The agency will open job opportunities in the field of advertising, business process outsourcing (BPO), electronics, hotel service, health and wellness, logistics, media, manpower and security services, travel and tourism among others.

Interested applicants may visit www.philjobnet.gov.ph for pre-qualification. – UNTV News and Rescue

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Senate recommends crackdown on foreign illegal workers

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 26 November 2018 06:49 PM

PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Senate has launched an investigation into the alleged growing number of illegal foreign workers in the country.

The Senate, in particular, is concerned about the growing number Chinese workers employed locally without proper documents especially in the National Capital Region (NCR) wherein their number has already reached up to around 200,000.

“Kapag umikot ka po dito sa NCR dun po sa BGC, sa eastwood, kung saan, tingin ko hindi lang 200,000,” observed Senator Joel Villanueva.

The senators are questioning the actions being taken by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in monitoring the activities of foreign workers especially those working illegally across the country.

The DOLE is the only agency that issues alien employment permit to foreigners applying for working visa at the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

According to the Senate, the DOLE should carefully screen all applications for special working permits especially those whose permits have already expired and are already overstaying.

“The policy issue I think, if they are still here beyond 6 months,” said DOLE Usec. Ciriaco Lagunzad.

The BI reports that there are around 119,000 foreigners already issued with special work permits. The agency admits that most of these numbers are Chinese nationals.

“Most of them are Chinese and they are work for POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators),” confirmed Atty. Homer Arellano, Chief for Prosecution and Legal Assistance, BI.

The lawmakers also are looking into the scheme of illegal workers where they use a tourist visa to enter the country then find a job afterwards.

Based on BI’s records, there are around 1.6M people were granted Chinese Tourist visa for this year.

Senator Grace Poe said her colleagues in the Senate all agree on a crackdown against illegal Chinese and other foreign workers.

“Kailagan talaga magkaroon ng crackdown. Sinabi nga ng commitee na ito na proactively… puntahan itong mga sites na ito, hingan sila talaga ng work permit kasi national security issue rin yan,” Poe said.

The BI admits they are lacking in personnel who will do the inspection. Overall, BI only has 80 inspectors deployed across the country.

The DOLE said such matter should be among the priority of the government next year. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

 

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