Issue of May 5, 2019
     
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New laws greet Filipino workforce on Labor Day
by DOLE release

As the nation observed Labor Day, the Duterte administration paid tribute to the Filipino workers by guaranteeing their welfare and protection through several laws and regulations passed during the first half of the President’s term.

Serving as impetus for the passage of these pro-worker laws was the issuance of Executive Order 50-2018, which prohibited illegal contracting and subcontracting practices in the country. The EO, signed by the President during the Labor Day celebration last year, aimed to eradicate all forms of abusive employment practices by strictly enforcing the provisions of the Labor Code.

This initiative is backed with the continued call of the labor department, along with organized labor groups, for the passage of the Security of Tenure Bill or House Bill 6908, now pending approval at the Senate.

The bill not just seeks to amend the Labor Code, particularly on the prohibition of labor-only contracting and other provisions that allow contracting arrangements, but also to define the nature of work and activities that may be contracted out, such as project and seasonal employees.

Early this year, the labor department helped shepherd the signing of Republic Act 11058, which strengthens compliance with occupational safety and health standards. This law paved the way for the 41-year-old Labor Code to be amended, for it now provides criminal penalties to occupational safety and health violators.

Workers can also look forward to the alternative work arrangement championed by RA 11165 or the Telecommuting Law, which encourages employers to allow their employees to work from an alternative workplace with the use of computer technologies.

In this system, the workers’ rights are upheld since employers are required to observe the same treatment given to employees working in the employer’s premises, including the minimum labor standards set by the law.

Workers who were also involuntarily separated from service are eligible for unemployment assistance under RA 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2019.

The inclusivity of the government’s pro-worker measures is also best exemplified by the recently approved policy of the Employees Compensation Commission, an attached agency of DOLE, which now enables self-employed members of the Social Security System to be covered by the benefits and services of the Employees’ Compensation Program.

Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello III, who chairs the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC), said members of the informal sector who are members of the Social Security System are expected to benefit from the expanded coverage of the program.

Another boon to Filipino workers both in the formal and the informal sector is RA 11223 or the Universal Health Care Law, which was signed by President Duterte in February. The law seeks to provide health care for all Filipinos by automatically enrolling them in the National Health Insurance Program.

Equally significant and auspicious especially for women workers is the signing of the Expanded Maternity Leave Act this year. The law extends the maternity leave period to 105 days for female workers in the government and the private sector, including those in the informal economy. This law is one of the priority legislations pushed by the Duterte administration.

Further, as the government strives to make working abroad a choice for Filipino workers, it remains keen on  safeguarding and promoting the welfare and interest of overseas Filipino workers at every stage of the migration cycle, from recruitment to deployment, return, and reintegration.

Among the measures that were put in place include the strengthened presence of one-stop service centers for OFWs across the country, integrating into one centralized location all frontline services, as well as the establishment of Hotline 1348, a government helpline which seeks to provide prompt action on concerns of OFWs and their families.

 
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BUSINESS
NEDA says Cordillera should strengthen its agri industry

Firms bag $42 M export sales

AANZFTA eyes self-certification to facilitate trade of products

GDH sector launches Ma’I brand to boost int’l competitiveness

PH foods to join New York’s biggest specialty food event

Gov’t urged to mull another fare hike

Recipients of free-range hens in Bontoc undergo training

Gov’t jobs top vacancies on Labor Day job fair

Cupping competition features budding Ifugao coffee industry

Hojap MPC grows to become leading maker in Asipuo

Sen Lacson pushes for people’s participation in budgeting

BOC exceeds April collection aim by 3%

Public warned vs overcharging airport cabs using DOT logo


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