At least 6,000 foreign nationals employed in the Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGOs) are undocumented, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) disclosed on Tuesday during the Senate deliberation on the P14.42-billion proposed budget of the DOLE for 2020.
Department of Labor and Employment (MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Joel Villanueva, who presided over the hearing as finance committee vice chairman, had asked labor officials for updates on the DOLE’s efforts against the country’s continuing problem on illegal foreign workers who are mostly employed in the thriving POGO industry.
DOLE-Bureau of Local Employment Director Dominique Tutay said that as of June this year, the department has inspected 177 POGO service providers employing 57,288 workers.
Of the 57,288, Tutay said 8,371 foreign workers have no alien employment permit (AEPs) or special working permits (SWPs).
An AEP is given by the DOLE to a foreigner whose job is highly-technical and specialized and cannot be performed by Filipinos. The permit is a requirement for the application for work visas.
An SWP, meanwhile, is issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for foreign workers who have tourist visas and seek employment for three to six months.
Tutay said they summoned the employers of the more than 8,000 illegal foreign workers to check their employees’ compliance to the country’s immigration laws. Some 1,693 of these foreign workers have since have secured AEPs.
“So the difference now is 6,678 foreign nationals na hindi po talaga nagcomply (who really failed to comply),” Tutay said.
She said they have referred last month the erring foreign workers to the BI for proper disposition.
According to the DOLE, there are 218 registered POGO service providers in the country, two of which are not operating at present.
This does not include the 60 POGO operators licensed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).
Tutay said there are 83,999 workers in the POGO sector, 70,113 of which are foreigners, mostly Chinese (88 percent, or 61,878). A total of 13,886 of the POGO workers are Filipinos.
The agency has so far distributed 51,172 AEPs to foreign workers in the country.
Villanueva found the number of undocumented foreign workers “unacceptable” saying that the country is losing P2 billion a month from the unpaid taxes of the POGO workers.
He continued to hit the BI for issuing 101,385 SWPs to foreign workers. The chair of the Senate labor committee maintained that the DOLE should have the sole authority to vet foreign nationals who seek to engage gainful employment in the country.
Tutay, however, said the number of SWPs issued has “drastically gone down” to only 127 in August. She attributed this to the government’s newly-formed policy excluding POGO workers from those who could be given the short-term work permits.
“Hanggang ngayon, patuloy pa rin tayong naniniwala na ilegal ito at hindi po ito parte ng charter ng BI (Until now I believe that the issuance is illegal and not part of the BI’s charter),” Villanueva said.
There are three holidays in the month of November, the subject of the latest advisory of the labor department prescribing proper payment of wages for private sector workers nationwide.
In Labor Advisory No. 11 issued by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, employers are reminded to observe and implement the proper payment of wages to their workers during the observance of All Saints Day and All Souls Day on November 1 and 2, respectively, and Bonifacio Day on November 30.
The advisory is pursuant to presidential Proclamation No. 555 declaring November 1 and 2 as special non-working holiday, and November 30 as regular holiday in commemoration of the birthday of revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio.
To guide employers and workers in the computation of proper wages during the holidays, the following rules were prescribed:
For November 1, and 2 special non-working holidays, the following payment of wages should be observed:
If the employee did not work, the “no work, no pay” principle shall apply, unless there is a favorable company policy, practice, or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) granting payment on a special day.
While, for work done during the special day, the workers shall be paid an additional 30 percent of their daily rate on the first eight hours of work. [(Basic wage x 130%) + COLA)];
For work done in excess of eight hours (overtime work), the workers will be paid an additional 30 percent of their hourly rate on said day. (Hourly rate of the basic wage x 130% x 130% x number of hours worked).
For work done during a special day that also falls on the workers’ rest day, they shall be paid an additional 50 percent of their daily rate on the first eight hours of work, [(Basic wage x 150%) + COLA)]; and
For work done in excess of eight hours (overtime work) during a special day that also falls on the workers’ rest day, they shall be paid an additional 30 percent of their hourly rate on said day, (Hourly rate of the basic wage x 150% x 130% x number of hours worked).
While for November 30, a regular holiday, employers should implement the following pay rules:
If the employee did not work, he or she shall be paid 100 percent of his or her salary for that day [(Basic wage + COLA) x 100 percent]; however, if the employee worked on the said holiday, he or she shall be paid 200 percent of his or her regular salary for that day for the first eight hours [(Basic wage + COLA) x 200 percent].
In addition, if the employee worked in excess of 8 hours (overtime work), he or she shall be paid an additional 30 percent of his or her hourly rate on said day (hourly rate of the basic wage x 200 percent x 130 percent x number of hours worked).
If the employee worked during a regular holiday that also falls on his or her rest day, he or she shall be paid an additional 30 percent of his or her daily rate of 200 percent [(Basic wage + COLA) x 200 percent] + [30 percent (Basic wage x 200 percent)].
Furthermore, if the employee worked in excess of 8 hours (overtime work) during a regular holiday that also falls on his or her rest day, he or she shall be paid an additional 30 percent of his or her hourly rate on said day (hourly rate of the basic wage x 200 percent x 130 percent x 130 percent x number of hours worked). #Paul Ang
Panuntunan ng pasahod para sa November holidays, inilabas
Mayroong tatlong holidays sa buwan ng Nobyembre na siyang paksa ng advisory ng Department of Labor and Employment na nagtatakda ng tamang pagbabayad ng suweldo para sa mga manggagawa sa pribadong sektor sa buong bansa.
Sa Labor Advisory No. 11 na inisyu ni Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, pinaalalahanan ang mga employer na sundin at ipatupad ang tamang pasahod sa kanilang manggagawa sa paggunita sa All Saints Day at All Souls Day sa Nobyembre 1 at 2, at sa Bonifacio Day sa Nobyembre 30.
Alinsunod ang advisory sa Presidential Proclamation No. 555 na nagdedeklara sa Nobyembre 1 at 2 bilang special non-working holiday, at Nobyembre 30 bilang regular holiday para sa pag-alala sa kaarawan ng revolutionary hero na si Andres Bonifacio.
Upang gabayan ang mga employer at manggagawa para sa tamang pagkalkula ng suweldo sa mga nasabing holiday, itinatakda ang mga sumusunod:
Para sa Nobyembre 1 at 2 na special non-working holiday, ang mga sumusunod ay dapat sundin:
Kung ang empleyado ay hindi nagtrabaho, ang patakaran na ‘no work, no pay’ ang dapat gamitin maliban lamang kung may polisiya ang kompanya o collective bargaining agreement (CBA) na nagtatakda ng kabayaran para sa special holidays.
Ang patakaran para sa mga nasabing holidays para sa ginampanang trabaho, dapat bayaran ang empleado ng karagdagang 30% ng kanyang arawang sahod para sa unang walong oras o [(Arawang Sahod x 130%) + COLA].
Habang ang trabahong ginampanan ng mahigit sa walong oras (overtime), siya ay dapat bayaran ng karagdagang 30% ng kanyang orasang kita o [(Orasang kita ng kanyang arawang sahod x 130% x 130% x bilang ng oras na trinabaho)].
Para sa trabahong ginampanan para sa mga nasabing araw na siya ring araw ng pahinga ng empleado, dapat siyang bayaran ng karagdagang 50% ng kanyang arawang kita para sa unang walong oras, o [(Arawang sahod x 150%) + COLA].
Samantalang para sa trabaho na mahigit sa walong oras (overtime), siya ay dapat bayaran ng karagdagang 30% ng kanyang orasang kita, o [(Orasang kita ng kanyang arawang sahod x 150% x 130% x bilang ng oras na trinabaho)].
Para naman sa Nobyembre 30, isang regular holiday, dapat ipatupad ng mga employer ang mga sumusunod na panuntunan sa pasahod:
Kapag ang empleyado ay hindi nagtrabaho, babayaran pa rin siya ng 100 porsiyento ng kanyang suweldo para sa isang araw, gayundin ng kanyang Cost of Living Allowance [(Arawang suweldo + COLA) x 100%];
Kapag pumasok naman ang empleyado sa trabaho, babayaran siya ng 200 porsiyento ng kanyang suweldo para sa isang araw para sa unang walong oras ng trabaho, gayundin ng kanyang COLA [(Arawang suweldo + COLA) x 200%].
Kapag ang empleyado ay nagtrabaho nang lagpas sa walong oras, babayaran siya ng karagdagang 30 porsiyento ng kanyang hourly rate (Hourly rate ng arawang suweldo x 200% x 130% x bilang ng oras na tinrabaho).
Kapag ang empleyado ay nagtrabaho at nataon na ang mga araw na ito ay kanyang day-off o rest day, tatanggap siya ng karagdagang 30 porsiyento ng kanyang arawang sahod na 200 porsiyento [(Arawang suweldo + COLA) x 200%] + [30% (Arawang suweldo x 200%)];
Sakali namang mataon na day-off ng empleyado at nagtrabaho siya ng overtime, tatanggap siya ng karagdagang 30 porsiyento ng kanyang hourly rate para sa nasabing araw (Hourly rate ng arawang suweldo x 200% x 130% x 130% bilang ng oras na tinrabaho).
Women workers and employees are entitled to receive tax-free maternity benefits under the expanded maternity leave law, according to the labor department.
In Department Advisory No. 01-A, Series of 2019, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the salary differential paid by the private sector employer to women employees availing of the expanded maternity leave is exempt from income and withholding taxes.
The salary differential is the difference between the full salary of the female worker during her maternity leave and the actual cash benefits received from the Social Security System.
The department advisory is pursuant to Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 105-2019 issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue which clarifies the proper tax treatment of maternity leave benefits under the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law.
According to the memorandum circular, the provisions of RA 11210 and its implementing rules and regulations jointly issued by the Civil Service Commission, Department of Labor and Employment, and Social Security System prescribe that workers availing of the maternity leave period and benefits must receive their full pay.
The advisory amends Department Advisory No. 01 Series of 2019 in so far as the tax treatment of salary differential is concerned.
Foreign nationals who intend to work in the Philippines are now required to secure a Certificate of No Objection from the labor department before they can be issued the appropriate visa and permits from concerned government agencies.
The rule is spelled out in Department Order No. 205, series of 2019 or the ‘Implementing Guidelines on the Issuance of Certificate of No Objection on the Applications for Work-Related Permits, Visas, and Authorities of Foreign Nationals’ issued by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
A CNO is necessary to prove that no individual objects or protests against the interest of the foreign nationals to work in the Philippines and perform their desired jobs.
The guidelines cover personnel, participants, trainees, professors, technicians, and fellows entitled to 47(a)(2) visa under certain entities and programs of the Codified Visa Rules and Regulations of 2002 of the DFA, and foreign nationals employed and/or seconded in a foreign enterprise that has existing agreement, understanding or document of similar nature with the Philippine government agencies.
Foreign applicants are required to submit to the DOLE Regional Offices, which has jurisdiction on their intended area of worksite, a letter request from the foreign enterprise/ entity or project implementer; photocopy of passport bio page and entry visa/ latest admission with valid authorized stay, and a certified true copy of notarized contract of employment between the foreign national and its enterprise/ entity.
The DOLE Regional Office shall grant or deny the issuance of CNO to the foreign national applicant within three working days after the receipt and evaluation of the complete documentary requirements and payment of the corresponding fee.
The DOLE regional director may deny the request for CNO of a foreign national if the labor department has received a meritorious objection or information on the employment of the applicant; misrepresentation of facts and submission of fraudulent documents; and derogatory information from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).
Meanwhile, those who are exempted from securing CNO from DOLE are scholars, students, volunteers and personnel of International Organizations entitled to 47(a)(2) visa, foreigners exempted under Sec. 7 of the JMC No. 001, s. of 2019, and those who are required to secure an Alien Employment Permit (AEP).
MANILA — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) remains steadfast on the commitment of President Rodrigo Duterte to end contractualization by providing contractual workers regular status in their jobs.
In a letter to National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Executive Director Allen Capuyan, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said several measures were implemented to stop contractualization.
“To protect and respect all rights at work, the DOLE strictly enforced compliance to labor laws and standards through its labor inspection system,” he said.
“The DOLE remains aggressive (in) its efforts to realize the President’s directive in ending endo and other forms of illegal contracting arrangements through strict enforcement of labor standards as well as development of enabling policies to protect workers’ right to security of tenure,” the labor chief added.
Bello said the department has inspected some 184,539 establishments covering 12.196 million workers nationwide, as a result of its intensified inspection of private establishments to ensure compliance with labor law standards.
He added that 474,329 workers have been regularized from August 2016 to June 30, 2019.
“Of this figure, 343,580 workers were regularized through voluntary regularization while 130,749 workers were regularized through inspection,” he said.
He noted that stronger policy measures were issued to complement the efforts in labor inspection, which include the issuance of DOLE Department Order (DO) No. 174-17 or the new rules on contracting and subcontracting; Executive Order (EO) No. 51 “Implementing Article 106 prohibiting illegal contracting and subcontracting” and the Security of Tenure Bill (SOT) which was passed by the House of Representatives and Senate awaiting the approval of the President.
DO 174-17 is a product of comprehensive and inclusive area-wide consultations involving all sectors, such as the formal, informal, public, migrant, women, and youth.
The DOLE, he said, has undertaken measures to ensure the effective implementation of DO 174-17, which include the regularization of workers through inspection, deputization of trade unions and employer organizations to participate in the inspection of establishments’ compliance to labor laws and social legislations.
Under EO 51, SOT is defined as the right of employee not to be dismissed or removed without just, authorized and observance of procedural due process consistent with the Constitution, Labor Code, as amended, and prevailing jurisprudence.
The end-of-contract scheme, popularly known as endo, is the practice of hiring and terminating workers after every five months to circumvent their regularization.
Meanwhile, the DOLE is looking to have a new version of the SOT bill, which was vetoed by Duterte, before the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) next week.
Bello earlier said the President instructed them to revisit the measure, which aims to end contractualization.
The new version will be a balance between the security of tenure and the viability of employers. (PNA)
MANILA – A meeting in Manila this month aims to further promote professionalization of translation in the country.
The Aug. 7 “Kongreso ng mga Tagasalin” will tackle development of a resolution on professionalizing translation in Filipino, showed the latest program for this event at University of Santo Tomas (UST).
Activities during the event will also include formation of the core group that will pursue efforts for professionalizing translation.
Demand for translation is increasing so there is a need for people who can deliver professional translation services, noted Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino’s (KWF) Sangay ng Salin head John Enrico Torralba.
“Translations must be correct,” he said.
He also said translators’ fees must be in accordance with standard rates for the target translation profession.
Delegates to the 2014 Kongreso sa Salin sought creation of a translation agency and setting of translation courses for secondary and tertiary education.
Aside from forming the resolution and core group, this year’s Kongreso ng mga Tagasalin will examine condition of translators in the country.
Discussions during the event will also cover law- and labor-related aspects of professionalizing translation.
The event is part of the Aug. 5-7 Pambansang Kumperensiya sa Pagsasalin to be held at the UST.
Talks during the national conference’s first two days will be aligned with the theme “Ang papel ng pagsalaing pampanitikan sa interaktibong ugnayan ng wikang pambansa at mga katutubong wika”. (PNA)
GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Region 12 has recently released some PHP2 million worth of livelihood grants to marginalized workers in South Cotabato province.
Arlene Bisnon, DOLE-12 assistant director, said Monday the assistance is part of the area’s allocation this year for the continuing implementation of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP).
She said they turned over the check worth PHP2,049,199 to the municipal government of Tantangan, which serves as the agency’s local co-partner for the initiative.
“It will benefit at least 147 individuals in the area (Tantangan) who are self-employed with insufficient income,” she said in a statement.
Bisnon said the assistance will be given to the beneficiaries in the form of livelihood starter kits for various small business ventures that were chosen by the beneficiaries themselves.
These are for dressmaking, vulcanizing, welding, car wash and auto repair, carpentry, furniture making, massage services, cosmetology/manicure, vegetable gardening, beauty care, food vending (fried chicken, siomai, balut, barbeque, halo-halo), kakanin production, eatery, baking and food processing.
As part of the program, the beneficiaries will undergo trainings and seminars to ensure that their ventures will be sustained and prosper.
Bisnon lauded the local government of Tantangan for partnering with the agency and supporting the rollout of their programs and services in the area.
She said the municipal government has committed to help monitor the progress of the livelihood projects.
“It’s a welcome news for us. We want the beneficiaries to be successful with their chosen business ventures,” she said.
DILEEP is one of the flagship programs of DOLE that focuses on improving the lives of marginalized workers in local communities.
It seeks “to contribute to poverty reduction and reduce vulnerability to risks of the poor, vulnerable and marginalized workers through self-employment or livelihood undertaking.” (PNA)
MANILA — A certification from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is the basic requirement for involuntarily laid-off employees who wish to apply for unemployment insurance, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Tuesday.
In Department Circular No. 01, series of 2019 issued by Bello last week, the issuance of the certificate is included in the guidelines for the laid-off workers to avail of the involuntary separation benefit of the Social Security System (SSS).
In a statement, Bello said the issuance of the guidelines to implement the program which covers eligible SSS-member employees, including kasambahay and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who were involuntarily separated from work.
The certification must be secured from the DOLE field or provincial office where applicants reside or from where their company is located.
For OFWs, they can file their application at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office located in the areas where their employers operate or at their residences nearest DOLE field or provincial office.
Those who would like to avail of the unemployment benefit are also required to bring a valid identification card, a copy of the notice of termination issued by the employer, or if not available a duly notarized affidavit of termination of employment.
To qualify for the grant, the employee should not be over 60 years old at the time of involuntary separation; has paid at least 36 monthly contributions, 12 of which should be in the 18-month period immediately preceding the month of involuntary separation.
The applicant has no settled unemployment benefit within the last three years prior to the date of involuntary separation.
The workers must have been involuntarily separated due to “authorized causes,” such as the installation of labor-saving devices; redundancy; retrenchment or downsizing; closure or cessation of operation; or disease/illness of the employee whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his or her co-employees’ health.
Other individuals that are eligible to file are those who lost jobs due to “just causes” under Article 300 (285) of P.D. No. 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines; or due to an economic downturn, natural or human-induced calamities/disasters, and other similar cases as may be determined by the DOLE and SSS. (PNA)
MANILA — Over 400,000 contractual workers have been given permanent employment as part of the anti-“endo” campaign of the government, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported on Wednesday.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that from January to December 3, a total of 411,449 private sector employees were regularized by their employers.
“I know it is still low, percentage wise, considering the number of contractual workers in the country,” Bello said in statement.
“But that 400,000 plus figure is unprecedented in our country. Never in history has that number been achieved,” the DOLE chief added.
Bello noted 65 percent of the figure have been regularized due to the voluntary compliance of the private companies.
While the remaining 35 percent were given regular employment statuses as a result of the issuance of compliance orders.
Of the number, he said some 11,660 are workers from the SM malls chain. They have been regularized this year as of the end of the third quarter.
“It could even be higher if we include the last quarter of the year,” Bello added.
SM malls in the National Capital Region (NCR) had the most number of regularized workers with 4,800; followed by those in Calabarzon with 2,865; and those in Mimaropa with 1,476.
Meanwhile, Bello also reported that the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) has promised to regularize all their workers.
“ECOP said all its members will regularize all their employees. We are just waiting for their timeline,” he said.
In turn, the DOLE offered ECOP members to be exempted from the regular labor inspection activities.
“I offered to waive the inspection of their members unless, of course, there is a complaint filed against them,” Bello added. (PNA)
MANILA — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday announced that the PHP25 increase in the minimum wage for workers in Metro Manila will take effect on November 22.
In a press briefing, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the latest salary increase of National Capital Region (NCR) employees will be effective 15 days after the order has been published in a newspaper of general circulation.
“It will take effect in November 22, it was published on November 7,” he said.
At the same time, the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NPWC) clarified reports that the effectivity of the Order is on Nov. 22 and not Nov. 27 as earlier reported.
On Nov. 5, the DOLE reported that the Regional Tripartite Productivity and Wages Board (RTPWB)-NCR has approved the wage increase for minimum wage in the private sector.
The increase makes the minimum salary from PHP512 to PHP537.
According to Wage Order No. NCR-22, the salary adjustment covers non-agriculture workers and those in the retail/service establishments.
For those who are employing 15 workers or less, and manufacturing establishments regularly employing less than 10 workers, the new minimum wage rate would be PHP500 from the current PHP475. (PNA)