Mina Diaz

Boracay alien employment permit suspended

The issuance of alien employment permits (AEP) to foreign nationals in Boracay Island was temporarily suspended by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III mentioned in his Labor Advisory No. 11, series of 2018, the temporary suspension covers foreign nationals who intend to engage in gainful employment in the island of Boracay and those with valid AEP who intend to renew their employment permits. However, foreign nationals who are either commissioned or authorized by the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force are exempted from the temporary suspension, he clarified. Specifically, this includes foreign nationals who come to Boracay to conduct research studies or undertake work related to the island’s rehabilitation.

‘Kasambahays’ enjoy extra days off

“The entitlements are aside from the five-day service incentive leave granted under the Labor Code.” Household service workers (HSW) can now enjoy more leave benefits on top of the provisions in the Domestic Workers’ Act (Republic Act 10381), popularly known as the Kasambahay Law. In a labor advisory, Secretary Silvestre Bello III identified three other laws that entitle kasambahays to special leave benefits. Under the advisory, HSW meet the requirements for Solo Parent Leave (Republic Act 8972), Special Leave Benefit for Women under Magna Carta for Women (RA 9710) and Violence Against Women and Their Children (VAWC) Leave (RA 9262), may apply for holiday benefits under the law. The entitlements are aside from the five-day service incentive leave granted under the Labor Code. The Solo Parent Leave under RA 8972 can be availed of by domestic household workers if they need to perform parental duties and responsibilities where physical presence is required. Meanwhile, the Special Leave Benefit for Women under the Magna Carta for Women provides two weeks and up to 60 days (or two months) of paid leave. This is applicable to woman workers who have a gynecological disorder that would require surgical procedures, such as dilatation and curettage or those involving female reproductive organs as well as gynecological surgeries such as hysterectomy, ovariectomy and mastectomy. Also, the househelps who are victims of physical, sexual and psychological violence, as well as economic abuse, are entitled to avail of a 10-day paid leave under RA 9262. “Our household service workers shall be entitled to all the rights and benefits granted under RA 10361, or Batas Kasambahay, as amended unless expressly provided. The employers are not prohibited from granting such other benefits in addition to the minimum requirements of the law,” Bello said. The Labor chief also encouraged healthy dialogue between the kasambahays and their employers to promote a harmonious working environment and settle disputes. The Kasambahay Law provides benefits for household service workers such as a standard minimum wage, social benefits, 13th-month pay, five-day annual service incentive leave and a one-whole day uninterrupted weekly rest period.

2 PUV drivers commended

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) yesterday recognized two drivers of public utility vehicles (PUV), who have shown honesty and dedication to their work. A plaque of appreciation and token were given to Grab driver Arnel Oyardo Lunar and taxi driver Rex Binibini during the flag-raising ceremony at the LTFRB office yesterday morning. Lunar was commended for saving the life of his passenger, Katrina Andrea Jaena Tolentino, whom he rushed to a hospital in Parañaque when she had a heart attack. When they got to the hospital, the driver took care of her belongings and even waited and canceled other bookings just to make sure his passenger was safe.

PhilJobnet reveals top job offers

PhilJobnet, an Internet-based job and applicant matching system of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), has ranked machine operators first on its list of occupations with highest vacancy count with 6,000 jobs up for grabs. Meanwhile, vacancies in the business process outsourcing industry, including call center agents or specialists, only ranked second with 3,061. A machine operator is responsible for performing various tasks to set up, operate, monitor, troubleshoot and perform preventive maintenance on assigned machines. This job is also one of the top 10 available skills in every locality across the country, according to the Public Employment Service Office’s Information System. The Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), an attached agency of the DoLE, also reported the other top occupations at the PhilJobNet: domestic helper – 1,091; customer service assistant – 933; salesman – 918; cashier – 888; food server – 630; junior supervisor – 534; sales associate professional – 415; and service crew – 396. There are also vacancies for barista – 386; teller – 363; staff nurse – 351; mason (general) – 315; promo salesperson – 295; sales clerk – 274; construction carpenter – 270; bagger – 252; driver – 250; and market salesperson – 245. PhilJobnet is a facility of the DoLE that aims to fast track the search for jobs and the employer’s search for a workforce. Its centralized database is maintained by BLE. The employment facilitation portal also has the capability to upload applicant’s profile photo, company’s logo and documentary requirements. It allows users to retrieve or reset the forgotten password. PhilJobnet has made job matching more flexible by allowing users to modify filters such as specific job requirements and applicant qualifications. It also provides an option for the applicants to apply online and to view top hiring companies. A jobseeker who is at least 15 years old may register as a job applicant in the PhilJobNet. An employer or establishment duly recognized by Philippine business authorizing agencies and with existing Tax Identification Number can register in the PhilJobNet. The PhilJobNet service is free of charge for both job applicants and establishments. Its facilities can also be accessed at the Job Search Kiosks, an ATM-type stand-alone equipment, at DoLE attached agencies and regional offices, Public Employment Service Offices and selected schools throughout the country.

Don’t expect 200 subsidy, workers told

A labor group has forewarned 4.1 million minimum wage workers not to expect the P200-monthly subsidy endorsed by the Department of Labor Employment (DoLE) for approval by President Rodrigo Duterte for fear it might be rejected by his economic managers. “I advise minimum wage workers not to expect too much from the proposed economic relief. We expect the economic managers would recommend to President Duterte to turn it down,” Associated Labor Unions (ALU) spokesman Alan Tanjusay said. Tanjusay tagged Duterte’s economic managers for expressing disapproval to the measure that ALU proposed to help minimum wage earners cope with the rising inflation. “Our only hope is for Mr. Duterte to realize the urgent need for workers to be given economic relief in the face of the incredible series of increases in the prices of commodities and services, making life difficult for workers who help and maintain the economic growth at a competitive level,” Tanjusay said. Last year, the group presented to the President the first-ever government subsidy program for minimum wage earners amid the eroding purchasing power of their daily pay and the rising prices of commodities and increasing costs of services. Under the Labor Empowerment and Assistance Program or LEAP, an initial 4.1 million minimum wage earners as active-paying members of the Social Security System will be given monthly cash vouchers equivalent to P500 to be used in the purchase of grocery items. The Office of the President was identified as the source of funds for the program for the first year. However, the DoLE modified the proposal the group submitted to Malacañang last week by proposing P200 for the first year, P300 and P400 in the succeeding years.

Displaced Boracay worker? Read on!

Only 3,600 out of the 19,000 registered workers in the holiday island of Boracay have so far availed of the government’s livelihood assistance package, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III yesterday said. Bello urged displaced workers in Boracay to avail of the assistance under the Department of Labor’s Adjustment Measures Program (AMP). Located in Aklan, Boracay has been shut down by President Rodrigo Duterte for six months starting April to ensure tourism-related establishments in the island comply with environmental regulations. Boracay had been called a “cesspool” by President Duterte after many beachside establishments had been discovered to dump untreated sewage into its waters. The MAP package provides P4,200 in monthly financial support for six months, employment facilitation, and training. “We urge all displaced, suspended Boracay workers in the formal sector to avail of the financial assistance provided by our President,” said Bello. “They should be informed that there is an available assistance fund waiting for them, which can help them cope with the temporary closure of Boracay,” he added. AMP, which includes the Boracay Emergency Employment Program (BEEP), aims to enhance the employability and competitiveness of the beneficiaries, as well as to mitigate the adverse economic impact of the island’s rehabilitation. AMP applicants should submit duly accomplished BEEP AMP Application Form, photocopy of certificate of employment, photocopy of any government-issued ID, and proof of Land Bank of the Philippines account to DoLE Regional Office VI, or any of its field offices. For affected workers who have gone back to their respective hometowns, they may submit their applications to the nearest DoLE regional/field/satellite offices. Aside from MAP, Bello said informal sector workers and indigenous people affected by the closure of the island can also apply for assistance under its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program.

DPWH adds 700-m pavement to Laguna Lake Highway

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) yesterday opened an additional 700-meter, two-lane concrete pavement along Laguna Lake Highway, formerly C-6 Dike Road. This new road section from Napindan to M. L. Quezon in Taguig City will bring to a total of 6.7 kilometers (kms) concrete roadway serviceable to the public. The Laguna Lake Highway project consists of a two-lane concrete road with a two-meter wide planting strip and drainage. It also includes the construction and widening of three bridges of Napindan, Barkadahan and Tapayan. Pedestrian-friendly infrastructures have been integrated within the project through a 1.5-meter wide sidewalk and a three-meter wide protected bike lane. Spearheaded by DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, the event was also graced by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Bases Conversion and Development Authority president and CEO Vince Dizon, Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano and other officials from the local government of Taguig. Just in time for the rainy season, Villar emphasized the importance of the Laguna Lake Highway in safeguarding the lives and properties of the residents in the vicinity against heavy rains. “Aside from increasing mobility, this project acts as an armored elevated dike protecting Taguig City against possible flooding,” Villar said. “The Laguna Lake Highway can also be a temporary evacuation area during the occurrence of floods,” he added. Also, the Taguig General Hospital is being constructed along the Laguna Lake Highway for accessibility. Once completed, motorists traversing Rizal province and the eastern corridor of Metro Manila, particularly from the cities of Makati and Taguig, can utilize the Laguna Lake Highway as an alternative to Edsa and C-5 Road. The project is expected to reduce travel time from Taytay to Bicutan from one hour to only 30 minutes.

Group: NutriAsia liable for labor violations

A labor group has accused NutriAsia of violating some labor laws three weeks after its employees held a picket to protest the company’s practice of contractualization or “endo.” “For workers of the factory, it is no longer just about wages – it is a bigger fight they need to win to regain their dignity as workers after their rights have been trampled upon for so long,” Associated Labor Unions (ALU) spokesman Alan Tanjusay yesterday said. NutriAsia workers held a strike in their Marilao, Bulacan factory last June 2. They protested the company’s contractualization policy and lack of benefits. “Nutriasia is trying to renounce and manipulate serious allegations made by employees by pointing responsibility to its manpower service provider, B-Mirk Enterprises Corp.,” Tanjusay said. The ALU official said that factory workers should be regular directly hired by NutriAsia management despite being deployed by B-Mirk Enterprises for many years working on the same type of work. Tanjusay said most of the workers still serve as contractual employees despite working for more than 15 years at the Marilao plant. Earlier, the company had said that most of the protesters who manned the picket line were not employees but members of the militant groups Kadamay, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Worker Movement for Change and Gabriela. It added that it would seek legal action because the picket led to damage. NutriAsia is one of the largest producers of condiments in the country. The company has popular products such as Datu Puti, Golden Fiesta, Jufran, Mang Tomas and UFC.

Warning on bogus Japan caregiving jobs aired

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) issued yesterday a warning that it has yet to issue the guidelines on the hiring of caregivers under an internship program in Japan. As such, the POEA urged the public not to be baited by illegal recruiters into taking non-existent caregiving jobs in Japan following the buzz created on the said internship program. POEA said the recruitment being done purportedly under the Technical Internship Training Program (TITP) of the Japanese government is illegal. POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia said they have received reports on the unauthorized placement offerings for caregivers under the 2016 TITP Act of Japan. The POEA released on February the general rules for the implementation of TITP, but Olalia said they will be releasing separate guidelines for the health-care sector. At the same time, the POEA said recruitment agencies that will continue to use TITP will face administrative and criminal actions if they defraud jobseekers.
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