Top 12 DOLE Labor Advisories on on COVID-19

HR Practitioners should be very conversant to the many DOLE Labor Advisories issued related to COVID-19. Regardless, it’s still a shock to me that many do not seem to read the DOLE Labor Advisories that are published for free in their website. Not only are such information widely available, but they are also timely updated, giving both employers and employees a clear guideline on what to do on various scenarios.

So to make life easier, I have compiled the Top DOLE Labor Advisories that are directly related to COVID-19 for everyone’s references:

1. No Work, No Pay (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 1, Series of 2020, 13 January 2020)

2. Time Spent on Quarantine or Time Off due to COVID-19 is UNPAID (DOLE Labor Advisories No. 4, Series of 2020, 31 January 2020)

3. If Company has Paid for SSS and Philhealth of the Employee, the Employer is NOT Held Financially Liable if the Staff Gets COVID-19 (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 4, Series of 2020

4. Reminder that Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA) is an Option for Employers for Job Preservation (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 9, Series of 2020, 4 March 2020)

5. The Use of COE and Company ID to Travel (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 9, Series of 2020, Issued: 14 March 2020, Stamped: 16 March 2020)

6. Labor Advisories Informing Private Workers of Various Government Sourced Ayudas including DOLE CAMP 1 (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 12, Series of 2020, 19 March 2020), SBWS, DOLE CAMP 2, and CAMP Bayanihan 2 (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 30-A, Series of 2020, 30 December 2020)  

7. If the Probationary Employee Did Not Work during the Community Quarantine, their Time Off is NOT Included on the 180 Days of Probationary Period (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 14 and No. 14-A, Series of 2020, 9 May 2020)

8. DOLE was open to various methods to save jobs as much as possible. This included Work From Home (WFH), Flexible Work Arrangements (Again, FWA), and Temporary Reduction of Wages and Benefits (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 17, Series of 2020, 18 May 2020)

9. Employers CANNOT Charge any cost of the prevention of COVID-19 to the Employee (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 18, Series of 2020, 18 May 2020)

10. Employers CANNOT Charge the Cost of COVID-19 Vaccine to the Employees. Employers Also Cannot Discriminate Against Employees Who Refuse to be Vaccinated (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 3, Series of 2021, 12 March 2021). Employers should Promote Workers to get Vaccinated at their LGUs (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 8, Series of 2021, 1 May 2021).

11. The Government has TWO Extra Documents that Specifies Guidelines on how to Prevent and Control COVID-19 in the Workplace — The DOLE and DTI Interim Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 (Published on 1 May 2020) and the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04-A, DTI and DOLE Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 (Published on 15 August 2020)

BONUS: This is our Company Policy if a staff is suspected COVID-19 Positive

12. Reporting Obligations — DOLE is Asking Companies to Submit a A) WAIR Form Monthly (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 9, Series of 2021, 3 May 2020), and B) An Establishment Report When They Choose a FWA Option (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 17-A, Series of 2020, 11 June 2020)

It’s a long article so let’s start:


Top 12 DOLE Labor Advisories on on COVID-19

1. No Work, No Pay (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 1, Series of 2020, 13 January 2020)

Last January 12, 2020, the Taal Volcano exploded,43 years after its previous eruption in 1977, spewing ashes across CalabarzonMetro Manila, and some parts of Central Luzon and Ilocos. Classes and work were temporarily suspended, communities were evacuated, and flights in the area stopped. It was an awesome welcome to the new year.

This led DOLE to issue its first advisory of the year — Labor Advisory No. 1, Series of 2020 — last January 13, 2020, declaring that payment of wages should follow a No work no Pay policy.

This meant, if you worked, there’s no additional pay but the salary. And if unworked, there’s no pay unless staff utilizes their leave credits. It was merely a reminder but a harbinger of bad news to come for the year.

The concept of no work and no pay is one of the core principles of the Labor Code and is supported by many jurisprudence of yesteryears.

Based on the saying that everyone should be paid for a good day’s work, the no-work-no-pay rule came out to be fair to everyone that a person should be paid when work is done. And should not be paid if no work has been done. 

2. Time Spent on Quarantine or Time Off due to COVID-19 is UNPAID (DOLE Labor Advisories No. 4, Series of 2020, 31 January 2020)

A few weeks later on January 29, Filipinos first came across the first news of COVID-19 via Labor Advisory No. 3, Series of 2020. DOLE informed us the HR community of a “viral pneumonia infection in Wuhan.” OFWs were advised to follow precautions to avoid infection. The next day on January 30, the first case of COVID-19 case in the Philippines was reported.

On January 31, DOLE released DOLE Labor Advisory No. 4, Series of 2020 informing people on how to protect themselves from Novel Coronavirus in the workplace. This was the first time the government issued health precautions for Filipinos to follow. This was the foundation of future labor advisories which continuously hawked the same precautions repeatedly.


Source: DOLE Labor Advisory No. 4, Series of 2020

I believe this was pretty much ignored by most of the HR community. Two days later on February 1, the first ever person to die of COVID-19 outside China passed away in San Lazaro Hospital. Not something to be proud of but still.

It was only a month later on March 5 that it was confirmed that the first local transmission for COVID-19 was reported. It was announced last March 7, and on March 11, the first Filipino patient passed away from severe pneumonia.

DOLE Labor Advisory No. 4, Series of 2020 was very relevant — It declared with formality that if you were absent due to any reasons related to COVID-19, you can first use your sick/vacation leave credits. And once that’s spent, the absences are all unpaid. See relevant advisory below:

3. If Company has Paid for SSS and Philhealth of the Employee, the Employer is NOT Held Financially Liable if the Staff Gets COVID-19 (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 4, Series of 2020

DOLE Labor Advisory No. 4, Series of 2020 was also relevant in such that it cleared up any confusion on who will be charged the expense when an employee contracts COVID-19. The policy is clear:

  • If the employee gets COVID-19, there are SSS and Philhealth benefits
  • If the employee does not have SSS and Philhealth benefits due to their employer’s negligence, the EMPLOYER will be financially liable for all medical expenses from the diagnosis to recovery.
  • That’s why, every employer should pay their SSS, Philhealth and Pag-ibig’s benefits as not only is it mandatory by law, but it is also an insurance against any claims if in case any employee gets COVID-19

“But that’s not enough!” Employees may claim

Well, apparently, it is. In defense, SSS and Philhealth offer some respite from the expenses if you get COVID-19. For example for Philhealth, here is the savings you will get if you’re a member.

 

Personally, I find that the coverage is SIGNIFICANT. Imagine, you only pay 1.5% EE share for your Philhealth, and you get Php 143,267 coverage if you get moderate pneumonia? That’s why I have been quiet about the PhilHealth Php 15B debacle — COVID-19 is enough to bankrupt Philhealth if the budget is not balanced properly.

And may I remind my dear readers, “How much exactly have you contributed to Philhealth anyway? The medical coverage is way more than expected considering the number of people who did get COVID-19, and how little each Filipino contributes.”  

Mag math lang tayo pag may time, okay? Yan din kasi ang problema sa atin. Malakas tayong magreklamo, pero hindi natin tinitignan ang sarili natin.

(We should do math when we have time, okay? This is our problem. We complain so much and yet, we refuse to see that we are also part of the problem.)

As for SSS and ECC Sickness Benefits, I have written extensively about it below. Please click on the links to find out how you can apply for SSS Sickness and ECC Sickness Benefits.

HR Talk: Top 10 Questions Re: SSS Sickness Benefit Answered

HR Talk: Top 15 Questions Answered Re: the Employee Compensation Program (Where You Get Paid If You Get Sick/Injured/Die At Work)

4. Reminder that Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA) is an Option for Employers for Job Preservation (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 9, Series of 2020, 4 March 2020)

Actually, I am in awe on how prepared DOLE and the government was despite the limited resources and time to preparation. On March 4, 2020, DOLE issued DOLE Labor Advisory No. 9, Series of 2020, which stated:
  • Reminder of Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA) as an option
  • Posting of Labor Advisory in visible area of the workplace
  • Notice of FWA to DOLE (With form, also used in DOLE CAMP)

However, at that time, before the lockdown occurred, only three were highlighted:

  • Reduction of Workhours and Workdays
  • Rotation of Workers
  • Forced Leave

Interestingly, the form for Flexible Work Arrangement was also the same form for DOLE CAMP. So a lot of foresight on this one. Their only boo boo was to declare DOLE CAMP applications to be sent via gmail email addresses, which received hundreds of thousands of applications within a few days. However, gotta give credit to DOLE where credit is due – they surely acted fast given the circumstances.

Because as we know, everything happened all so fast.

One day later on March 5, 2020, the lab confirmed that COVID-19 has arrived in the Philippines. The government announced its first local case for COVID-19 on March 7, 2020.

And on March 11, 2020, the first Filipino dying of COVID-19, PH35 passed away from severe pneumonia.

The government in its defense acted very fast. Despite what it would do to the Philippine economy, the President announced the very first Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the entire Luzon in the evening of March 16, 2020.

By that time, 12 people have died of COVID-19 related diseases. So both the spread, infection, and death came very quickly. And the government valued human Filipino lives over the economy locked down the island very fast.

5. The Use of COE and Company ID to Travel (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 9, Series of 2020, Issued: 14 March 2020, Stamped: 16 March 2020)

On the day of their announcement on the 16th of March, DOLE Labor Advisory No. 11, Series of 2020, Supplemental Guidelines Relative to the Remedial Measures in View of the Ongoing Outbreak of COVID-19 was released. The Advisory focused on the following critical points, most of which on the elements of travel to facilitate essential members of society to be able to move to and fro work:

  • Use of COE and ID to travel to work
  • Goods delivery only requests a Delivery Receipt (DR)
  • Employees of healthcare facilities are allowed smooth travel

For this August’s ECQ in NCR, here were the guidelines:


6. Labor Advisories Informing Private Workers of Various Government Sourced Ayudas including DOLE CAMP 1 (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 12, Series of 2020, 19 March 2020), SBWS, DOLE CAMP 2, and CAMP Bayanihan 2 (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 30-A, Series of 2020, 30 December 2020)  

The ECQ lasted almost 2 to 2.5 months, ending around May 15, 2020. ECQ stopped the economy at its track, shut down majority of the businesses, and suspended people’s work on a no work no pay basis.

To alleviate the workers’ concerns on where they are going to find money for food, the government wisely introduced several programs to provide financial assistance directly to Filipino workers whose jobs were affected by the pandemic. At first came DOLE CAMP (March 19 to April 15, 2020), followed by SSS Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS, from April 16, 2020 to May 8, 2020)

A. DOLE CAMP was the first initiative, granting small business employees with a Php 5,000 one-time grant during a time of desperate need (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 12, Series of 2020, 19 March 2020)

DOLE CAMP was announced on March 19, 2020, three days later after the ECQ announcement. The program targeted employees who are working in private companies whose operations were affected by the lockdown due to the pandemic.

The program is to distribute a one-time financial support of Php 5,000 straight to the payroll of the workers (which later turned out to be Palawan remittances), and those who applied need only to email their nearest DOLE branch the following Establishment Report and one month company payroll, which is super easy to do.

In fact, it was so easy to do that almost everyone thought it was a scam. And who can blame them? In my lifetime, the Philippine government has never gave me back money. And now, they were talking about giving private employees Php 5,000.00 each, which is like a heck of money for no work done.

But you lose nothing by trying, so I did enroll all of our employees in the program. I filled up the Establishment Form and sent it to our local DOLE office gmail address. Lo and behold, we received text messages from Palawan that our Php 5,000.00 was ready to be picked up at the nearest Palawan center!

After people in the HR community saw it was not a scam, only then did everyone apply for DOLE CAMP. The program formally ended on April 15, 2020. DOLE suspends the CAMP program because they ran out of money by April 17, 2020, as their P1.6 billion was quickly depleted. 

B. Small Business Wage Subsidy (May 16, 2020 to May 8, 2020)

Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) was a government program that was led by the Social Security System (SSS) and Department of Finance to provide a wage subsidy of between 5,000 to 8,000 pesos (based on the regional minimum wage) per month per eligible employee. Those who were eligible were small businesses (Note: They must not be in the BIR’s Large Taxpayer Service (LTS) list) and small companies under:

  • Category A (non-essentials) that are forced to stop operations (i.e., temporary closure or suspension of work) and
  • Category B (quasi-essentials) that are allowed to operate a skeleton force can apply for the wage subsidy for employees who are not able to work and did not get paid during the ECQ
  • Employers in areas where other forms of quarantine have been put in place by the LGU may also qualify.

 

Those who were eligible for SBWS were those who fit ALL the criteria written below (Source: Department of Finance).

 

This meant that if you were on Work from Home, or earning salary at any time during the ECQ, you were NOT eligible for SBWS, and your employer should not have applied SBWS for you. This brings me back on memory lane as I wrote extensively about how to apply for SBWS in this entry, 10 Simple Steps to Apply for the DOF’s Small Business Wage Subsidy Program last April 2020.

C. CAMP Bayanihan 2 (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 30-A, Series of 2020, 30 December 2020)  

COVID-19 Adjusted Measures Program under the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Also known as CAMP Bayanihan 2) benefited workers who have been affected by Alternative Work Schemes (AWS) and Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) after April 15, 2020. Freelancers whose work had been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic were also the target beneficiaries

D. CAMP Bayanihan 2 For the Tourism Sector (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 6, Series of 2021, 31 March 2021)

Those who applied must be working for companies who has a tourism seal. Hence, those working  in a fast food restaurant or factory need not apply.

 

7. If the Probationary Employee Did Not Work during the Community Quarantine, their Time Off is NOT Included on the 180 Days of Probationary Period (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 14 and No. 14-A, Series of 2020, 9 May 2020)

As ECQ was extended till over April 2020, there was uncertainty on how long the community quarantine would still last. Hence, DOLE issued DOLE Labor Advisory No. 14, Series of 2020 on April 1, 2020, and was quickly followed by DOLE Labor Advisory No. 14-A, Series of 2020 on May 9, 2020, clarifying that the time off probationary employees spent on time out during the community quarantine is NOT counted on the 180 days probationary period.

 

It was a painful advisory for probationary employees who had no way to determine their fates after the ECQ. Truth be told, as the advisory wrote in particular the words, “Community quarantine,” it gave employers the benefit of placing every probationary employee in limbo up until today.

There’s no escape in the words, “For the purpose of the six month probationary period, the period during which the enhanced or general community quarantine is enforced,” As we are now finishing up the community quarantines, there is no doubt that many employers placed their probationary employees on indefinite limbo up until today, until the probationary employees could not take it anymore and took it upon themselves to find new jobs.

Still on Community Quarantine 1 Year Later
Source: Manila Bulletin

8. DOLE was open to various methods to save jobs as much as possible. This included Work From Home (WFH), Flexible Work Arrangements (Again, FWA), and Temporary Reduction of Wages and Benefits (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 17, Series of 2020, 18 May 2020)

In preparation for the opening of the economy in May 2020, DOLE released DOLE Labor Advisory No. 17, Series of 2020 on May 18, 2020 specifying the following guidelines with a smart emphasis on employment preservation upon resumption of business operations:

  • Employers allowed to operate so long as they follow minimum health standards
  • Companies highly encouraged to adopt WFH; WFH shall be provided with adequate support
  • Flexible Work Arrangements
    • Transfer to another branch, same company
    • assignment to other functions/roles
    • Reduction of days in week
    • Job rotation alternately within week/month
    • Partial closure of some units
    • Other FWA
  • Wages: Can be reduced if agreed to voluntarily in writing for max 6 months. May renew.
  • Company must report WFH, FWA to DOLE in Establishment Report

Legal Source: DOLE Labor Advisory No. 17, Series of 2020

DOLE extensively explained the NINE Different Flexible Work Arrangement Options available for employers. You can read more about it in my entry below:

HR Talk: What are the 9 Legal and Valid Flexible Work Arrangements Available According to the DOLE Bureau of Working Conditions

Economic conditions were so bad that DOLE even allowed the possibility of temporarily reducing wages and benefits so long as both employer and employee mutually agreed.


Legal Source: DOLE Labor Advisory No. 17, Series of 2020

This was prone to abuse that they retracted this rule four months later by issuing DOLE Labor Advisory No. 17-B, Series of 2020 on September 9, 2020, which was pretty much the same as Labor Advisory No. 17, Series of 2020 except this powerful sentence which said you technically can’t reduce wages and benefits at whim, and such movement should still be governed by existing laws and regulations.

Legal Source: DOLE Labor Advisory No. 17-B, Series of 2020

Big whoops!

9. Employers CANNOT Charge any cost of the prevention of COVID-19 to the Employee (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 18, Series of 2020, 18 May 2020)

Again, this is non-negotiable — Employers CANNOT charge the cost of COVID-19 prevention to the employee.

These include the following, which should be at the expense of the EMPLOYER. If the employer is a manpower agency, such expense will be charged to the principal/client:

  • COVID-19 testing be it rapid test, antigen test, RT-PCRs, etc.
  • Face masks and face shields
  • Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Signages
  • Training of workers regarding COVID-19
  • Hand sanitizers and alcohol

If any company will charge, employees have the right to complain them to DOLE to get these charges reimbursed.

IMPORTANT: Note that the government is clear that current employees cannot be charged such expense. DOLE however did not prevent non-employees — este applicants — from being asked to pay for their own rapid or antigen tests.

10. Employers CANNOT Charge the Cost of COVID-19 Vaccine to the Employees. Employers Also Cannot Discriminate Against Employees Who Refuse to be Vaccinated (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 3, Series of 2021, 12 March 2021). Employers should Promote Workers to get Vaccinated at their LGUs (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 8, Series of 2021, 1 May 2021).

When COVID-19 vaccines started entering the country, DOLE Labor Advisory No. 3, Series of 2021 was very clear on the government’s stand regarding employment and COVID-19 vaccination — 1) Employers cannot charge employees the cost of the vaccine, and 2) Employers cannot force or discriminate employees if they choose to remain unvaccinated. Here’s the exact advisory for your reference:

To be honest, this was one of the few DOLE policies on COVID-19 I disagree on. If you wanted the entire population inoculated as much as possible, won’t it be better if government made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for people to report back to work? However, this just shows how democratic the Philippines still is. People were still given a choice to get COVID-19 vaccinated or not.

A health worker conducts mock vaccination during a simulation exercise for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination activities, at the Universidad de Manila, in Manila, Philippines, January 19, 2021. REUTERS/Lisa Marie David

On May 1, 2021, DOLE then issued DOLE Labor Advisory No. 8, Series of 2021 and I thought for a moment they would change course and finally force employees to be vaccinated. But no… they only instructed employers to PROMOTE COVID-19 vaccinations and to encourage workers to get vaccinated in the LGU.

Again, DOLE is clear on its mandate:

11. The Government has TWO Extra Documents that Specifies Guidelines on how to Prevent and Control COVID-19 in the Workplace — The DOLE and DTI Interim Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 (Published on 1 May 2020) and the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04-A, DTI and DOLE Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 (Published on 15 August 2020)

There are two very critical documents issued by DTI and DOLE that guided the Philippine labor force in going back to the new normal. They are:

a. The DOLE and DTI Interim Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 (Published on 1 May 2020)

DTI and DOLE’s Guidelines for COVID-19 Prevention and Control (PDF) was issued on Labor’d Day last year to guide employers as they return back to the new normal under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).

DTI and DOLE INTERIM GUIDELINES ON WORKPLACE PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF COVID-19

The document was just 8 pages but it was enough. Personally, I felt that the more important part of the document was to prevent those who are at the Most At Risk Profile such as those who are senior citizens, with co-morbidities and with high risk pregnancy to stay at home.

I wrote about the document in depth via the following blog post:

HR Talk: “Is the Company Required to Do COVID-19 Testing?” and 9 Other Confusing Questions Answered for Issues related to MECQ

b. Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04-A, DTI and DOLE Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 (Published on 15 August 2020)

The DOLE and DTI released the following Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04, Series of 2020 (DTI-DOLE Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04-A-3) last August 15 afternoon and created a big ruckus in the Philippine business and HR community for being non strategic, not friendly to businesses, and impracticality. Reading through 22 pages of it, I realized that many of what was written was pretty much similar to the previous version, the DOLE DTI Interim Guidelines on the Prevention of COVID-19.

You can read all about it on my previous blog post here.

HR Talk: 8 Questions from the DTI and DOLE Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 Answered so You Don’t Have to Read the 22-Page Document Dropped Last August 15

Awesome News: When the DOLE and DTI Listen to Feedback and Issue a Quick Clarification on COVID-19 Testing

 

Personally, the most important part of the document for me was what to do when a staff is suspected to be COVID-19 policy.

This is our Company Policy if a staff is suspected COVID-19 Positive

1. The staff with a positive rapid test will take a confirmatory COVID-19 RT-PCR test.

2. It will be the company who will book the appointment but it is the staff who is responsible to go to the clinic themselves. If the person is at the office, we will bring him/her to clinic, complete with PPE.

3. While waiting for the results, all staff who was exposed to the suspected COVID-19 patient are placed in home quarantine.

4. The office will be disinfected and UV lighted to kill bacteria and germs. Work can resume in 24 hours if another cluster is available.

5. If the swab test result turns out negative, then everyone comes back to work.

6. For the staff who is tested positive, it will be the hospital and clinic who will immediately notify the confirmed case to the Municipal Health Officer (MHO) or City Health Officer (CHO) for verification and initial investigation. The MHO/CHO shall then report to the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) using the Event-Based Surveillance System (ESR) system of the Epidemiology Bureau (EB) of DOH.

7. If needed, we will report to the barangays where the work location and the residence of the worker is located.

8. To return the work:

Those without symptoms can return to work after 14 days without testing. As mentioned in the Circular, RT-PCR or Antibody-based Tests is NOT required or recommended for ASYMPTOMATIC employees returning to work. A local health officer or OSH physician may clear asymptomatic employees before they physically return to work.

 

Those with symptoms shall undergo 14 days of quarantine.  It is the employee’s responsibility to get a Certificate of Quarantine Completion from the step-down facility or local health office, as per Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Disease (PSMID) Guidelines on Return-to-Work. A step-down care facility is any DOH or LGU identified facility such as the Temporary Treatment Mega Facility (TTMF) for recovering COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized but were not yet COVID-19 free and hence are transferred to TTMF.

Source: Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04, Series of 2020, DTI and Dole Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 

12. Reporting Obligations — DOLE is Asking Companies to Submit a A) WAIR Form Monthly (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 9, Series of 2021, 3 May 2020), and B) An Establishment Report When They Choose a FWA Option (DOLE Labor Advisory No. 17-A, Series of 2020, 11 June 2020)

To keep abreast of the COVID-19 infections in the workplace, DOLE asked employees to submit their Workplace COVID-19 Prevention and Control Compliance Report (WAIR COVID-19 Form) at the end of every month. You can do so via http://Reports.DOLE.gov.ph.

What’s more, to see how many jobs are being affected, DOLE reminded companies to submit their Establishment Report Form (RKS Form 5) when companies would commit the following: 

  • Flexible Work Arrangement
  • Temporary Closure
  • Retrenchment or Termination
  • Permanent Closure

Initially, the reports were to be submitted personally or online to the appropriate DOLE Field Offices which has jurisdiction on the workplace. However, this was later changed when DOLE improved their online services. So now, everyone should send their reports to http://Reports.DOLE.gov.ph.

 

In Summary

Truth be told, criticism towards the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the handling of COVID-19 is a bit unfair. They have disseminated labor advisories EVEN BEFORE the populace thought they were needed. They were generally thorough in their explanations.

In fact, as I have explained above, many of their advisories in hindsight had been strategic, timely and pretty intelligent. Not only did the labor advisories gave employers the guidance they needed to manage the pandemic BUT THEY ALSO PROTECTED employee’s rights especially with avoiding the charges of rapid tests, vaccinations and the likes, which employers like to abuse.

Of course, DOLE is not perfect. The government is not perfect. However, I cannot forget the time they managed the DOLE CAMP applications through standard gmail accounts. That was Easter weekend, and despite working on a skeletal force, DOLE worked overtime to ensure that Filipinos got the Php 5,000 they needed at the most critical time.

Once again, we help each other. We are all Filipinos and we should be united against the COVID-19 pandemic. Let us bicker next year during the elections, but not now. More than ever, the Philippine government, Filipino employers and workers need to stay united for the common good.

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