P15.63B calamity loans, P190M unemployment benefits of COVID-hit workers approved in July – SSS

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2020   •   1233

MANILA, Philippines – The Social Security System (SSS) has so far approved P15.63 billion in novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) calamity assistance loans, as of July 28, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Tuesday.

The SSS also approved P190.02 million in unemployment insurance benefits from July 1 to 27 this year, to tide over members heavily hit by the pandemic’s economic fallout, the DOF added.

According to SSS President and CEO Aurora Cruz Ignacio, they have approved more than one million applications for its Calamity Loan Assistance Package (CLAP) for the COVID-19 outbreak since its online filing was launched last June 15.

Ignacio said the Calamity Loan for COVID-19 will run for a period of three months starting June until September 14, 2020 only.

Online application for the loan is now mandatory, she added.

The calamity loan for COVID-19 carries a six percent interest per annum commencing on the 4th month with a 27-month term, inclusive of a three-month moratorium.

The SSS said members who are involuntary separated from work can avail of unemployment insurance equivalent to a half of their average monthly salary credit for a maximum of two months.

To qualify, they should have paid the requisite minimum number of monthly contributions for three years, twelve of which should have been made in the eighteen-month period immediately preceding the month of involuntary separation.

Dominguez tells DOF, attached agencies to prepare back-to-office plans

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines ­– Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has ordered the department and its attached agencies and state corporations to prepare their respective plans on transitioning work back to their respective offices.

In a statement, the DOF said Dominguez has emphasized that the back-to-office plans should strictly adhere to health and safety protocols being implemented against COVID-19.

The order comes after more than a year of shifting to work-from-home (WFH) arrangements because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it added.

Dominguez said that as more government employees get fully vaccinated, the DOF and its agencies such as the Bureaus of Customs (BOC), of Internal Revenue (BIR), of Local Government Finance (BLGF) and of the Treasury (BTr); Insurance Commission (IC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other attached organizations should gradually shift to working normally in their respective offices.

The transition plans, Dominguez said, should include testing protocols for employees and their immediate families, and seminars to educate them on how to return safely to full-time office work.

“I think that we should already have a plan for transitioning back into working normally. In other words, back-to-office work,” Dominguez said during a recent executive committee (Execom) meeting.

“I’d like everybody to start working on this plan already assuming that we’re going to have to live with this virus,” he added.

The Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has yet to allow the full transition to back-to-office arrangements with the National Capital Region (NCR) now under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with Alert Level 3 status.

The DOF said that 76.6 percent of its employees have been fully vaccinated, as of October 8.

Apelang ipagpaliban ang SSS rate hike, pinag-aaralan na – Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   September 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Pinag-aaralan na ng tanggapan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang apela ng ilang business at labor group na ipagpaliban ang pagtaas ng monthly contribution sa Social Security System (SSS).

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, nakarating na sa Office the President ang kanilang hiling na maglabas ng executive order upang suspindihin muna ang buwanang umento sa SSS contribution upang makabawi muna ang mga negosyong naapektuhan ng pandemya.

“Mayroon na pong sinubmit na recommendation ang SSS pero titingnan po natin ang financial viability ng SSS at the same time, yung kahinaan ng negosyo at hanapbuhay sa gitna ng pandemiya. asahan po natin ang desisyon sa lalong mabilis na panahon,” ani Roque.

Sampung business at labor groups ang lumagda sa apela na isinumite sa tanggapan ni Pangulong Duterte.

Iginiit ng mga ito ang pagpapaliban sa SSS contribution hike sa ilalim ng Republic Act 11548 na nilagdaan noong buwan ng Mayo.

Sa ilalim ng batas, may otoridad ang pangulo na ipagpaliban ang nakatakdang pagtaas ng SSS premium contributions habang nasa ilalim ng state of calamity ang bansa dahil sa COVID-19 pandemic.

Noon pang Enero 2021 naging epektibo ang scheduled increase ng SSS monthly contribution mula 12 percent sa 13 percent.

DOLE reiterates rights, protection of delivery riders under Labor law

Marje Pelayo   •   July 27, 2021

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.

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.