HR TALK: “I was terminated during ECQ! What now?!” and 11 Other Questions Answered About Getting Fired in the Philippines

First of all, I’m sorry that you got terminated during ECQ. Losing one’s job is no joke. I know you are angry, and you want to hit back. But before you complain, let’s find out first if what your employer did to you is constitutional or not.

Mahirap din kasi to complain and then finding out that they actually followed due process and there was a valid reason to terminate you. So before you complain, here are

12 COMMON QUESTIONS ANSWERED ABOUT TERMINATION IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

1. “Is it legal to terminate during ECQ just because I didn’t report?”

Labor Advisory No. 01, Series of 2020 issued last January 13 answers this question.

Labor Advisory No. 01

Under Section 3, there should be No Liability in case of Failure or Refusal to Work — “Employees who fail or refuse to work by reason of imminent danger resulting from natural or man-made calamity shall not be exposed to or subject to any administrative sanction.”

Labor Advisory No. 01 Sec 3

Employees CANNOT be fired just because they failed to go to work due to fears of COVID-19. The company cannot penalize or fire them just because they didn’t report to work.

However, the company has the right NOT to pay them for days unworked, based on the same Labor Advisory, Sec. 2:

Section 2

2. “If there’s no termination, why did I get fired during ECQ? Is it illegal for the company to fire me during ECQ?”

People misread the Labor Advisory by saying that they are protected from being fired during ECQ. So they can be an ass, do whatever they want, and still be protected by DOLE.

This is a very WRONG misconception — A company CAN and SHOULD terminate your employment for any Just and Authorized Causes as prescribed by the Labor Code so long as there’s really an offense and the company follows due process in firing you. Here are the difference between Just and Authorized Causes:

Just or Authorized Cause for Termination

In Tagalog:

Ngunit alam

You need to know WHY you were terminated. Both Just and Authorized Causes are allowed during ECQ under the following conditions:

  • Just Causes: There must be a valid offense, Twin notice rule and proper due process are followed.
  • Authorized Causes: Company has reported to DOLE that they will cut people, 30 days notice, and payment of severance pay.  Severance pay as follows:

Separation Pay

If you are terminated using the Just and Authorized Causes, wala kang laban sa DOLE.

3. Can Probationary Employees Be Terminated During ECQ?

If the probationary employee was terminated for Just and Authorized causes, follow Question #2.

If the probationary employee was terminated for failing the standards set by the company for regularization at the start of her probationary employment, please read on. To answer the question, YES, you CAN BE terminated if you failed to qualify for reasonable standards made known to you at the time of engagement.

The IRR of the Labor Code states:

IRR

From the Department of Labor itself:

  1. If you are entering a probationary employment, your employer must clearly communicate to you the reasonable standards expected from you during your probationary period. You know you are under probation.
  2. Since you are under probationary employment, you the employee knows from the very start that you will be under close observation and your performance of your assigned duties and functions would be under continuous scrutiny by your superiors.

probationary

  1. Your employer will appraise your performance to the standards they have communicated to you at the start of the employment.
  2. You can dismiss a probationary employee without notice or hearing because this is a trial period; If the work of your probationary employee is found to be unsatisfactory, you’ll need to serve him a written notice.
  3. The two notice rule does NOT apply if a probationary employee is dismissed for poor work quality. If it’s under Just Causes, the twin notice rules should be followed.
  4. Under Article 281 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, probationary employment shall NOT exceed six (6) months from the date the employee started working, unless it is covered by an apprenticeship agreement stipulating a longer period. An employee who is allowed to work after a probationary period shall be considered a regular employee. I use this helpful date calculator to count 180 days.

Date Calculator

As enunciated by the Supreme Court in the case of Carvajal vs. Luzon Development Bank and/or Ramirez (GR No. 186169, August 1, 2012, Ponente: Associate Justice Jose Portugal Perez)

“x x x Unlike under the first ground for the valid termination of probationary employment which is for just cause, the second ground failure to qualify in accordance with the standards prescribed by employer does not require notice and hearing. Due process of law for this second ground consists of making the reasonable standards expected of the employee during his probationary period known to him at the time of his probationary employment.

I have always tried to file a complete documentation by giving the probationary employee a written evaluation so that it’s documented that the company reminded her of the standards she needed to pass and she is failing it. The written evaluation is a call for improvement. This is filed to her 201.

As an HR, we always document offenses and job performance failures so that when they go to NLRC, you have a lot of documentation on why the probationary employee failed the standards for regularization. This is most prudent.

However, the law is clear — the Employer do not need a notice or hearing to terminate a probationary employee who has failed due to poor work quality. 

In a 2015 ruling, Enchanted Kingdom Inc vs. Verzo, GR No. 209559, December 9, 2015, the probationary employee was terminated on the 180th day. Emphasizing that notice and hearing are not required in case a probationary is not retained for failure to comply with the reasonable standards set by his employer, the Supreme Court outright said:

” Whether or not Verzo was afforded the opportunity to explain his side is of no consequence.”

This later case allowed termination of a probationary at the very last day of his probation period. 

Followup Question# 1: Do we still need to prepare a written warning, memo, or notice to explain regarding the probationary employee’s poor performance before delivering to him the notice of early termination of his/her probationary contract with the company? Is it required?

Lesson Learned: If you’re given a chance to be a probationary employee, WORK HARD and PROVE YOUR WORTH. Come early, be focused, do the work and be someone the team wants to have. Because once you received the notice of poor performance, that’s it. You had 6 months to prove your work, but didn’t.

Followup Question #3: What about the Labor Advisory No. 14, Series of 2020 re: the Non-Inclusion of the ECQ on the 6 month Probationary Period?

As explained in Labor Advisory No. 14, Series of 2020:

Series

This means, the ECQ period is NOT counted in the probationary period of 6 months if you have temporarily stopped working. So if you started in January 2 2020 and you were supposed to be regularized 180 days later, the ECQ period from March 17 to May 16 (2 months) for example is NOT counted IF you are at home resting. It’s a different story if you’re WFH or still coming to work during ECQ.

If you are working during ECQ, ignore this memo. Counted ang lahat ng pinasok mo.

But the non-inclusion of the ECQ to the probationary period is irrelevant in this case.

4. How much do I get for Separation Pay?

It’s very clear in Article 298, Authorized Causes of Termination —- For termination due to retrenchment or closure/cessation of operation its one month pay or 1/2 month pay for every year of service whichever is higher.

This is also mentioned in DO 174 series of 2015. The separation pay should never be less than 1 month pay which means 30 working days pay. Lastly, the same is stated in Workers Statutory Financial Benefits Handbook released by DOLE-BLC.

The half month pay per year of service (minimum of 1 month) if the Termination is caused by:

  • Retrenchment to prevent losses
  • Closure of an Establishment not due to Serious Losses (In other words, sinarado lang ang company), or
  • If the Employee is suffering from a disease not curable within the 6 month period.

Half month lang po yan. Hindi full month.

Separation pay may NOT be as big as you think.

So Sir Richard DeDios gave this calculation of the severance of a 22-month tenured employee:

“Ang 22 months is equivalent to 2 years tenure by virtue of the provision that a fraction of 6 months or more is considered 1 year.

Then said employee is only entitled to 1 month separation pay (1/2 per year of service x 2 years). The minimum 1 month applies to those with less than 1.5 years of tenure since they will only be entitled to 1/2 month pay if the entitlement is 1/2 month per year of service”

In short:

1 mo – 2 yrs 5 mos = 1 month pay

2 yrs 6 mos – 3 yrs 5 mos = 1.5 months pay

3 yrs 6 mos – 4 yrs 5 mos = 2 months pay

4 yrs 6 mos – 5 yrs 5 mos = 2.5 months pay

Thank you Sir Richard! ❤️

Full month per year of service naman if pinalitan ka ng machine, or they cut your position, or they can’t reinstate you to your previous position and it’s not the fault of you employer. Once again, here’s the table from NLRC:

Separation Pay

Under the Tax Code of the Philippines, separation fees and benefits in the Philippines are exempted from income tax, and consequently, withholding taxes on compensation for separations from employment because of death, sickness or other physical disability or any other causes beyond employee’s control.

While Retrenchment is a company prerogative, the addendum here is that The losses have to be PROVEN, and there is compliance with the Legal Procedure for Retrenchment:

Compliance with the Legal Procedure for Retrenchment

In order to legally retrench employees, the following must be followed:

(1) Retrenchment is undertaken to prevent losses, which are not merely de minimis, but substantial, serious, actual, and real, or if only expected, are reasonably imminent as perceived objectively and in good faith by the employer;

(2) The employer serves written notices both to the employees and the DOLE at least one month prior to the intended date of retrenchment;

(3) The employer pays the retrenched employees separation pay equivalent to one month pay or at least ½ month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher;

(4) The employer must use fair and reasonable criteria in ascertaining who would be dismissed and retained among the employees; and

(5) The retrenchment must be undertaken in good faith [Ariola v. Philex Mining Corporation (G.R. No. 147756, 09 August  2005)].

5. Do you get separation pay if you voluntarily resigned?

Unless your boss is super nice, you get ZERO separation pay if the resignation was voluntary. Even if you worked for 25 years, if you resign, your employer is NOT obliged to give you any separation pay UNLESS there was a prior agreement that they would give you one.

resignation

“Thus, the elementary rule is that an employee who voluntarily resigns from employment is not entitled to separation pay, except when it is stipulated in the employment contract or Collective Bargaining Agreement or based on established employer practice in the company.”

You cannot also avail of the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) if you resigned. They are NOT eligible and if they get SBWS, they cannot resign during the ECQ period. See points:

SBWS

6. I resigned at the heat of the moment. Pero when I found out that there’s SBWS, gusto kong bawiin ang resignation ko. Pero ayaw nila! Illegal termination yon diba?

Once you voluntarily resign — complete with WRITTEN resignation letter — it’s company discretion to accept it or not. There is a 30-day notice period for turnover. However, if the company decides to forgo the notice period, they can accept your resignation and have you end your employment before the expiration of the 30 day notice.

resignat

Here’s more info about Resignations, but it a nutshell:

It was explained by the Supreme Court in Hechanova vs. Matorre (G.R. No. 198261, 16 October 2013) that the 30-day notice requirement for an employee’s resignation is for the benefit of the employer in order to afford the him enough time to hire another employee if needed and to see to it that there is proper turn-over of the tasks which the resigning employee may be handling.

Since the 30-day notice is for the employer’s benefit, he may waive such period. Thus, in Paredes vs. Feed the Children Philippines, Inc. (G.R. No. 184397, 9 September 2015), the Supreme Court elucidated that the rule requiring an employee to stay or complete the 30-day period prior to the effectivity of his resignation becomes discretionary on the part of management as an employee who intends to resign may be allowed a shorter period before his resignation becomes effective. Hence, as part of management prerogative, an employer has the right to move the effectivity date to an earlier date.

Take heed that if an employee does not give the 30-day notice, he can be held liable for damages to the employer. An aggrieved employer may file a civil case for damages and breach of contractual obligation with the regular courts.”

A resignation letter — once accepted — is valid and final. An employee cannot blame the employer for accepting his/her resignation letter that was willingly given just because it was made “on the heat of the moment.”

If the employer accepts it, walang bawian na yan. May this be a lesson to you NOT to resign when you’re mad. Just remember:

Resignation letter

7. “My company fired me. I have been working there for 7 years. They told me to report back to my agency. My agency said I have to await my assignment. Did I not get terminated? I want my separation pay!”

The agency is your employer, not the company. The company is just a client and they can replace you at any time.

If you get re-assigned from the company and returned back to the agency, your agency has the right to keep you on floating status for 6 months as they find you another assignment. If they cannot find you another assignment within 6 months, they have to pay your separation pay.

And yes, this is legal. You are a regular employee of the agency, not the Principal.

8. They just gave me a letter saying I was fired due to Redundancy. I’ve been working there for X Years. Is this Legal?

redundancies_shutterstock
Photo Credit to Shutterstock

In such cases, the Supreme Court held that the employer has no legal obligation to keep in its payroll more employees than are necessary for the operation of its business. (Wiltshire File Co., Inc. v. NLRC, 193 SCRA 672).

Let me repeat — YES, so long as they follow the proper processes of terminating you, which are: 

  1. A written notice served on the employees
  2. A written notice to the Department of Labor and Employment at least thirty (30) days prior to the intended date of redundancy. Specifically, the purpose of such previous notice to DOLE must be to enable it to ascertain the verity of the cause for termination of employment. Form is here.
  3. Payment of Separation Pay along with the final pay

It must be stressed, however, that if the employee consented to or voluntarily applied for retrenchment with the employer due to redundancy, the required previous notice to the DOLE is not necessary as the employee thereby acknowledged the existence of a valid cause for termination of his employment.

9. They told me that I’m on Floating Status. No work, no pay daw. Is this legal?

Unfortunately YES for the below conditions:

floating-e1578047659835

Under Article 286 of the Labor Code it is provided as follows:

ART. 286. When employment not deemed terminated. — The bonafide suspension of the operation of a business or undertaking for a period not exceeding six months, or the fulfillment by the employee of a military or civic duty shall not terminate employment.

In all such cases, the employer shall reinstate the employee to his former position without loss of seniority rights if he indicates his desire to resume his work not later than one month from the resumption of operations of his employer or from his relief from the military or civic duty. If there’s no work to be returned after max of 6 months floating status, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year.

SHOULD YOU GET PAID WHILE ON FLOATING STATUS?

Sad truth is the company has no obligation to pay you basic salary under the rule no work, no pay. Although there are companies who give basic pay to their employees who are on floating status, they are rare. If you’re in one, stay there. I had a friend who was earning while he was sitting at home waiting to be called and report back to work as soon as there’s an opening. Because he was placed on floating status.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN 6 MONTHS HAVE LAPSED?

Your employer will pay you separation and everything due to you. Unless of course they’re able to find a new campaign for you. Provided that the campaign will accept you and that you’re a fit for the opening.

Floating Staff

WARNING: Floating Status is TRICKY. Three months floating is a sure ball. No problems with labor.

You do need to have the right reason to put a staff on floating status if you plan to do so for more than 3 months. Read the fine print to proceed:

Travel agency closed due to government orders regarding ECQ and GCQ — Legal for 6 months max.

Lack of contract awarded to the business for that team to do their work — Legal for 6 months max.

Mall closed due to fire — Legal to float for 6 months max.

I’m angry at you and company wants you to force resign so they place you on floating status for over 3 months — ILLEGAL.

This article by Charles Anderson, Suspension of Business Operations: Floating Status, Temporary Lay-off gives a well balanced view on the subject and is a gold mine of information. Please READ this article before floating a staff. Long but super interesting to read.

10. How much do I get when I’m Fired?

If you resigned or was terminated for Just Causes: Final Pay = Unpaid Wages + Pro-Rata 13th Month Pay

If you were terminated for Authorized Causes: Final Pay + Separation or Severance Pay.

The money will be paid to you after clearance and release of final pay, which is 30 days from your last working day.

Sa Madaling Salita

For me, if you get what is due you, leave gracefully and quietly. Basta, the company paid you what they are obliged to give you as per labor law.

And yes, you can ask for your Certificate of Employee (COE) to help you in your job hunting.

11. I was put on Flexible Work Agreement (FWA) after ECQ. Instead of 6 work days, my days had been reduced. Pwede ba yon?

Yes according to Department Advisory No. 2, Series of 2009.

Flexible Work Arrangements

To adopt FWA, company just have to provide notice to DOLE:

Notice Requirement

This is the form you need to submit to DOLE — This arrangement can only be implemented maximum 6 months:

Report on the Implementation of Schemes Adopted during Periods of Economic Difficulty

12. “I want to complain to DOLE about my company for Illegal Termination! #raffytulfoinaction

Before you complain, find out first if your employer did anything wrong. Galit ka ng galit, pero hindi naman illegal yung ginawa sa iyo. Sayang lang ang oras ng pagpunta mo sa DOLE.

angry

Actually, I think this will be the line in DOLE pag lift ng ECQ — pila pila na lang kay DOLE ha.

long line

“I am the breadwinner and I have my family to feed. Obligado ng company na papapasukin ako! Kawawa naman kami!”

Your employer is not a charity. The Employer just needs to properly employ you, pay you proper wages, and treat you right. If there’s a valid reason for them to terminate you, they can. How many families you have to feed is not really the concern of the company.

Filipino couple feed their children in Quezon City

You cannot DOLE a company just because your family will starve. You can only DOLE them if there’s a clear abuse to your employment.

Look, it does not mean that if you complain, you are in the right. Sometimes, you are in the wrong too. A very wise HR Guru, Jun Mendoza wrote about the “Stimulus-Respose Theory” in response to this termination letter:

Termination

This is all Sir Jun Mendoza’s words, not mine:

“We watch a Korean drama series (stimulus), we cry (response). We quarantine ourselves at home for over a month and suddenly we see violators outside our homes not wearing masks (stimulus), we get frustrated (response). We read a post of someone who shares she was seemingly aggrieved by her employer (stimulus), we get angry (response). Make no mistake–it is a natural HUMAN reaction.

cry korean

But why do we have varied responses? Let’s go through some of them (and now, I intersperse the legalities). As in always, you will find the trigger-happy comments like “Bawal ma-terminate sa ECQ!” or “Ipa-DOLE mo na yan!”. Mind you, these comments create a second level of stimulus that complements the original post, which in itself is already emotionally-packed.

So who said it is legally prohibited to dismiss employees during the Covid crisis? Did you hear this on TV? From your co-worker? From those posts on FB, where you can hardly tell the difference between authentic and fake news? Well, the only clear reference is, and will always be, the law.

Oh, but one said termination of employment is now prohibited per Republic Act No. 11469, otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act“. Baloney! I went through all 14 pages of the law from Section 1 to Section 9, and there is NOTHING even close to that statement. In fact, subsequent Labor Advisories (e.g. Flexible Work Arrangement) suggested alternatives to termination,. The term “suggested” (and not “mandated”) clearly states that an employer has the legal right to terminate employment even during this Covid Crisis.

So Tatagalugin ko para mas maliwanag: Hindi po bawal ang mag-terminate ng employment kahit ngayon na ECQ basta susundin ng Management lahat ng alituntunin na nakasaad sa Art. 298 (Termination of Employment Due to Authorized Cause) ng Labor Code.

And now we have comments that strongly suggested to file a labor complaint at DOLE/NLRC. Oh, that is your constitutional right! And if all facts given by the original post are complete and accurate, you will probably win.

But based on my experience, in all probability, this is what you might hear from the arbiter/mediator: “Ang kasalanan lang naman ng employer ninyo ay hindi sinunod ang due process na 30 days. Kung bayaran nila yung sweldo ninyo para sa period na May 16-30, kasama yung legally mandated na separation pay, okay na ba sa inyo yun?” They will do everything to prevent the case from escalating, and that is for the benefit of all parties–the employee, the employer and DOLE/NLRC. Sure they may penalize the employer for violating the 30-day notice, but you’re out of that discussion. That will be between DOLE and the employer.

And now for the “psychological phenomenon” finale. Why were there so many adverse and negative reactions that were generated from the post? Well, for one, any termination issue is sensitive. We don’t want to lose our jobs ourselves, especially in the midst of the Covid crisis. So our reaction to the stimulus is empathy. When an employer that has a history of not remitting government contributions gets rid of half of it employees without giving due notice by sending a curt and/or vague letter of termination that has no explicit statement that it would give our separation pay and yet demanding the employee returns any company asset in his possession (not to mention that our favorite HR Department was bypassed), it surely looks like a prime candidate for “The Employer from Hell Award“.

In reality, it did nothing illegal in the letter, save for the 30-day notice violation. The letter is silent in terms of the separation pay. So we don’t really know if it will pay or not pay. If eventually it does not, then and only then did the company do something illegal. For all we know, once the employee clears himself with Accounting, they might get their checks immediately. WE DON’T KNOW.

Some said the letter did not state the reason for the termination. Hello? Isn’t that what the first paragraph says? Okay, fine, you’re probably looking for the words “authorized cause” or “retrenchment”. But the absence of those words doesn’t constitute an illegal act. Sure, it probably gives doubts that the employer may have ill intentions (or is an amateur in these types of things), but it is NOT illegal. As long as the employer pays you half month for every year of service if you are retrenched, they complied with the law.

Let them justify retrenchment by submitting the company’s financial statements to DOLE. But as of now, we are not even sure if the company will provide separation pay. And yet, most were quick to react. Why? Stimulus-Response! We were presented a stimulus that made our brains perceive an aggrieved employee who lost her job, initiated by an unjust employer. And our response was mostly dictated by the right portion of our brain, the one that controls the levers of anxiety, fear, despair, anger and hatred.”

My response to the same stimulus is: A sincere hope that this employee and her colleagues will be given their separation pay and be compensated for the balance of the 30-day notice. Only time (as in the next few days leading to May 16) will tell.

My advice is for you to go to your employer directly and clarify things peacefully. That is your right and there is nothing wrong in asking what is due you. Draft an official letter (if you are not unionized) representing the group of employees who lost their jobs. In that way, you have something in writing that clearly states what you want. That should be the first step, even before speculating that you won’t get any separation pay and certainly before you file a labor complaint.”

But nobody can stop me from going to DOLE. I’m still angry. I still want to complain!

Go ahead.

Line up.

Join the circus and exercise your constitutional right to complain.

complain

Eto lang sa akin ha.

After COVID-19, the job market will be extra tough. Many companies are freeze hiring and people are getting laid off. If you think you’re the only one being laid off, that’s not true. So many companies are firing people left and right.  Unemployment WILL increase. It’s just a matter of how bad.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, unemployment will rise up 8% this second quarter. That’s bad.

gen9-job-fair-unemployed-michael-varcas_2019-01-01_22-57-57

If you still have a job, treasure it. If you don’t have a job anymore, MAKE SURE YOU GET PAID PROPERLY, and then use your effort to find a new job. Do not waste a lot of time getting mad at an employer who do not want you. Find a new job ASAP so that your family can eat.

I need a job

If you want to fall in line in DOLE, do so. it’s not easy to complain about an employer But note that may proseso yan. You have to attend several mediation meetings and talk face to face with your employer. Payment is not immediate. And besides, why complain if you are going to get paid what’s properly due you? Pareho lang ang bayad. Hindi naman dadagdag because you complained.

Two, if future employers find out that you are the mareklamo type and you filed a case against your employer in DOLE, they will shy from hiring you anymore. Gone are the days na magrereklamo ka and then you can still find a job. It’s post COVID-19 season now. Everyone’s job is on thin ice. Coupled with the fact that you complained to DOLE, it will be slightly harder for you to find a job.

Job hunt instead. This is better than staying angry in the past if anyway, you are being paid your severance. Once you find a new job, you will feel better. And chances are, you will find a new employer who will treat you better than your old one.

jobhunting-june-4-2019_437F089686F84446A7D4D741BBCBB5BC

Thanks for Reading!

Hope this helps in a nutshell. If there’s any error, please PM me so I can update the post accordingly with the correct information.

If you have been terminated during this sensitive period, I’m sorry. And I wish you all the best in looking for new work. Have a great week ahead!

Disclaimer

Posted in Advice, Business, covid-19, Current Events, Education, Employee Relations, entrepreneurship, Filipino Men/Women, Human Resources (HR), Lists, Personal opinion, Philippines, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Mommy Hacks: 8 Reasons Why Home Schooling and Online Learning is Not for Us

Trumpets Playshop texted me today about the possibility of enrolling into an online workshop. The workshop fee would be lowered and there will be no additional fees for recital, costumes and script. The price will be around 2/3 of the regular price. Classes will be available live via an online app.

I texted them that I would like to refund the deposit I made before COVID-19. While I was interested in putting my child in theatre classes, I was not interested in doing it online.  Logistically, how hard is it to teach a child to sing, dance and act online? No way, it’s just a waste of money. I’d rather wait until COVID-19 is over, and enroll her into a proper class.

My daughter’s kindergarten has also announced that they will be conducting online classes for the School Year 2020 to 2021. The first semester will begin late July till the end of October. The second semester will start November till the end of March 2021.

online learning for kids

I told him that we are okay with online classes. However, we will fully support the school if they decided to allow physical classes back inside the physical classroom. For me, it was important to communicate that I still preferred doing classes inside the four corners of a classroom instead of online. I don’t think it would be as effective, than if a live teacher conducts her class in front of the computer.

Obviously, I fully trust that the school will look into the overall health situation of the Philippines, and will open the doors when it’s safe for all to do so. The school’s not stupid and would knowingly endanger the health of the kids. However, I still prefer that our daughter go back to school, so she can play with her classmates face to face, and be taught by the teacher. I honestly do not think that online schooling will be as effective as a face-to-face interaction:

classroom

Like what can beat that?

There’s many reasons why online learning is not for us.

Here are Eight (8) Reasons Why I’m not that gungho about Online Learning:

1. Statistically, I don’t think children are at risk if they go to school. Statistically, it’s the senior citizens and not the kids that are most vulnerable to dying of COVID-19.

I have been very vocal about keeping the seniors at home because they are at most risk of dying from COVID-19, given their weakened immune systems or long-term conditions. Even though they may be strong, once you get hit by COVID-19, it’s a draw of luck if your immune system can take the toll. Everyone would agree with me that they are the most valuable group of society in terms of knowledge, experience and contributions. That’s why, senior citizens cannot and should not die. Too many people are counting on them for them to leave this earth so early.

save

On the flip side, children are the least vulnerable group of dying form COVID-19. Globally, kids who do test positive of COVID-19, specifically children aged 0 to 10 years old, do NOT die of COVID-19. In Italy, zero deaths at this age:

See the age of Coronavirus deaths below. It might befuddle scientists, but COVID-19 is just not a disease kids die form.

Age of Coronavirus Deaths
Source: Worldometer

Then what about the two infants who reportedly died of COVID-19?

baby

A Philippine DOH representative has already debunked the claim by saying that these two infants from the Philippines who reportedly died and tested positive for COVID-19,  most likely died due to an immature immune system. They would have died anyway because their bodies was weak.

How about that 27 day old baby? Same story. That 27-day old baby from Batangas who was said to be the first child GLOBALLY who died of COVID-19 was a bit weak to begin with. He was diagnosed with pneumonia before dying of sepsis caused by a respiratory infection. 

There had been 240,391 people who died of COVID-19 as of today. One or three babies is still statistically too small for me to get worried to keep my daughter stuck at home. 

The truth is, even if the babies contract Coronavirus, the babies recover very well. In the UK, babies born from COVID-19 positive mothers recover very fast. In a separate paper published in Jama Pediatrics, the three Wuhan babies who were studied were found to have recovered well despite likely contracting Coronavirus from their mother. As for their mothers, there are zero pregnant women who have died from Coronavirus at the moment. While many can test positive, they do not die of the disease.

So why should I be too worried about my daughter? She’s not the target of COVID-19. She will live. Guardian angels are protecting the little children from COVID-19. Most importantly, if the school says the coast is clear for the kids to physically attend classes, then most likely it would be safe for them to do so.

2. You can’t beat the learning environment created by studying in a physical school alongside classmates. 

My daughter’s a bit spoiled, being the only child and the first apo. She usually gets her way with my husband and her lola, and is allowed to run amok in the house. When she needs to study, it’s hard for us to get her to sit down and do her homework. Usually, such exercise ends in tears. It’s not easy to teach a child when she’s in a relaxed environment at home. For her, School is “Work,” while home is “Play and sleep.”

It’s the same as us — When we go to work, we act differently. When we are at home, we are relaxed as well. In the same way, my daughter categorizes work and home differently. And I strongly believe that it’s because her studying beside her classmates create a healthy herd mentality that pushes the kids to study and excel together.

work from home

How does the herd mentality work? 

When they are at school, each child push each other to excel and behave.

My daughter sits because her classmates are eating. She falls in line because her classmates are falling in line. She studies because she loves the feeling of being outstanding.

herd mentality

You can only get this when she’s with her classmates and teacher at school. She looks at her classmates and follows their cue. She looks at the teacher and sits up a bit straighter.

A teacher is like her boss. In a classroom of 17 kids, the teacher treats her the same way as everybody else. If you are lax with children, they get a bit spoiled. But if you monitor them carefully and stomps out any feeling of entitlement, this keeps them in line.

When they are in school, everyone follow the same class schedule. They line up. They eat together. Everyone listens to the teacher. When they misbehave, they are punished accordingly. My daughter had her star removed for a day for misbehaving. This simple act did wonders in improving her class conduct.

Consequently, my daughter is more behaved in school than she is here at home. It’s hard to create such conducive learning environment when all you can see is a screen and moving photos, especially when it’s at 8:00am in the morning. How easy do you think it is to get them to learn? They’ll be very sabog. And the mornings will look like this:

Little girl crying

3. You need training, skill and a lot of patience to be a good teacher. All of which they have a lot of, and I have none. 

Homeschooling is tough. Kids are kids. Given a choice, none of them would like to go to school. None of the kids would want to study and do their homework. The great thing about teachers and schools is that they understand that children don’t naturally like to study, so they make it fun for them.

Even if the kids aren’t focusing, the teachers keep up their upbeat tone and don’t let the kids know that they’re bored as well. Teachers don’t really have a lot of bad days. If they have a bad day, you won’t have a lot of energy left to teach. And you need energy to teach.

sleepy

I sincerely believe that educators believe that teaching is their calling, which is why they do the things they do. They are wonderful and patient with children even if our kids are little brats. They still talk and persuade the children to behave even if the kids don’t feel like behaving.  Bar none, many teachers are just very wonderful, patient and understanding to their students. What my daughter is today is a result of a combined effort of her school, her teachers and her classmates. I sincerely believe that teachers have the magic touch. Honestly, teachers deserve every penny they get and more.

That’s why I outsource this job to them. They do this very well. I don’t think that I can teach my child better than Mother Goose teachers can teach her. It takes trust for me to leave my child in the hands of educators the entire morning. And I trust the school a 100%. Why would I want to remove that job from them if they do it so well?

4. I can’t work full time if I home school or my daughter does online learning.

You can’t put your kids in front of the PC and tell them to study on their own. Parents who make the decision to homeschool or prescribe to online learning must be prepared in monitoring the child the entire morning to ensure they follow the curriculum. If possible, you have to do it beside them so that they can get maximum results.

teach

Homeworks need to be printed out and answered. You need to buy and provide materials for projects. You need to watch them so that they don’t fall asleep in class. You need to wake them up if they fall asleep.

Online learning is more work for the parents than it is for the student. Those who believe that it’s as simple as opening a laptop is dreaming. Online learning is more work for the parents, not less. Homeschool, even more so. Kudos to all mommies who try to homeschool their kids on their own and do it wonderfully. But if anyone is truly being honest with themselves after trying their hand in homeschooling, it’s okay to admit to ourselves that teaching kids is hard.

homeschool memes

The reality is, it’s hard to work full time if you’re home schooling your child or if your child is enrolled in an online class.

Even at the ECQ, I’m working on a project right now, and I can only do this when my daughter’s asleep. When she’s awake, it’s hard to finish anything. Do you have a 4-year old? She’s the Energizer bunny the entire day she’s awake and calls me, “Mommy! Mommy! Look at me!” all the time. You can’t work as efficiently if she’s calling you all the time. It’s just fair. Kids are clingy. They want to play with you, have you pay attention to her, and want you to answer all her “Why? ” questions. They are kids. They are naturally curious.

So I view school as the iPad that’s healthy for her. All you need to do is to drop her and go, and you have the entire morning free to do your stuff.

Do I feel guilty I see the school this way?

Sometimes, but it’s the truth. I can’t work if she’s bothering me. And school is the best time to keep her occupied where she learns at the same time.

5. Teaching takes a lot of effort and sap your energy. 

Teaching takes a lot of effort. You can’t teach and daydream. You need to be PRESENT all the time. People who are working know you can’t teach your kid and be focused on something else. You can’t tutor them and be on a conference call. If If you teach them, your focus should be on your child and the content at hand. You have to put your heart into it, otherwise, it won’t really work.

The problem is, you can’t tell your kids to pause and stop bothering you. When the baby’s crying, you can’t finish the conference call first before you attend to her. If you are taking care of more than one kid full time and do not have a helper, it’s almost impossible to work from home and be a proper mom and make sure that the kids don’t burn down the house:

work from home in suit

Kids are a time snapper. Once they’re up, they’re full of energy until they sleep. And if you’re waking them up early, get them fed, brush their teeth, ready them for online schooling, cook lunch, work a little bit, make sure they don’t kill themselves…. before you know it, you have to cook dinner because it’s dinner time already.

work from home memes

You can’t do it all.

You just can’t.

I don’t know how other mommies but this is me if I work from home and have to take care of the kids. What’s more if you need to manage your business?

You can’t 50/50 your people, nor can you 50/50 your kid. And there’s so many things you can do in a 16-hour day. A good solution?

Have somebody else teach her. Pick a great school and let them do their magic.

Problem solved.

6. I want to keep learning fun for my child(ren). 

Look, I admit it. My daughter don’t want me to teach her. When I tutor her, I sit beside her and I don’t let her rest until she finishes her lessons.

I’m like Hitler Mom. I would teach her a concept and demand that she gets it already. When she doesn’t, I repeat what I just said, but only with a loud voice. It’s really not conducive for mother-daughter bonding when I shout at her because she didn’t get something.

When I teach her, our sessions inevitably end up like this —- Her crying:

crying child

I don’t know how the other mothers do it.

I don’t know how they can get their kids to sit down, pay attention and study intently.

Some do it so well. They’re picture perfect moms.

Good for them.

But I can’t do it. My daughter is too much of a firecracker to just follow just because her mommy said so. This is why I don’t do home schooling or online learning — I don’t want them to hate learning. 

Learning is supposed to be fun. She’s 4. She loves school. It’s like an expensive babysitter that teaches her a few things. When in school, she really loves studying with her classmates. Me teaching her? Well, she cries, and crying does not help her in fanning the fire for her to love learning.

Kids learn from each other. In the classroom, when they see students listening, they listen too. Discipline is easier in a group than on one on one. It’s a healthy herd effect.

I don’t want to waste her time and my time in teaching her, and result with her HATING school.

IHateSchool-March09-istock

I would rather wait for school to resume than to waste time in teaching them when they don’t want to be taught. Anyway, it’s “summer” so there’s around 2-3 months of no schooling. This for me is her summer period.

Learning is supposed to be fun.

Crying is not fun.

Forcing a kid to learn is not fun.

Sitting until you’re done is not fun.

I don’t want to make learning not fun for them that they won’t like to go to school anymore.

7. There are many ways to teach without homeschooling and online learning.

Kids learn more when you’re not consciously teaching them. Sometimes, the best learning happens when it’s more natural. During the ECQ, we have baked brownies. Sure, we used the Maya Decadent Brownie Mix, but we used the oven so that’s baking. Daughter was hanging around the oven waiting for it to go “Ding!” It was cute.

Another example is drawing and coloring, plus a lesson on patience. 

This is actually my daughter’s drawing. I would give her instructions like, “Draw a big circle. Then draw a smaller circle here, and here. Put a line from Point A to Point B.”  

Following my step-by-step instructions, she was able to pencil the outline, of which I traced with a pentel pen. Afterwards, I erased the pencil lines and my daughter colored everything herself. She’s very proud of her work. We did it only when she was ready, and we finished it so she has something to show her grandmother. Here’s her drawing of a girl:

Drawing 1

And a lion — all this is her drawing with my very specific instructions:

Drawing 2

End result:

Drawing 3

The outcome was a sweet surprise, and well done by my daughter. I don’t think we would have created such a lovely moment if it was pilit (Forced).

8. There is a time to study, and a time to rest. Now is the time to rest.

My daughter has been studying since she was 11 months old. That’s how crazy I am. She started at a great Infant Development Program in a nursery inside North Greenhills. To their defense, they have a good IDP program. She enjoyed it.

Afterwards, we started her at Mother Goose. She started when she was 22 months old. Now, she’s almost 4.5 years old and she’s still at it. She’s not even in Nursery yet and she’s had almost four years of studying. During summer, we enroll her to classes. Last summer, she took reading, math and swimming lessons. That’s like her finishing college. And she’s only 4.

I have no regrets in starting her early. She’s grown up to be an intelligent girl. She communicates well, speaks in full sentences, have an amazing vocabulary, and can read and write. All that is credited to her excellent school’s effort. 

This season of COVID-19 is a great time for her to stop, relax and enjoy a bit of her youth. She’s worked hard and is growing up very well. Now’s a great time for her to smell the roses.

stop and smell the roses

Anyway, there’s a time for school, and a time for play. Her missing out 3 months of school will not kill her. That’s how long a summer period is anyway.  For all her hard work, she deserves a break.

ECQ is quality time with parents and for play. She’s been studying almost all her life. Let her make happy memories with us first.

The kids are smart. A handful of months of stopping school is nothing to them. Let them rest. They will catch up. And when that happens, then that’s the right time for them to do so.

Update as of May 3, 5:38 pm.

Another mommy indicated that while she agreed with all the points, she said that there’s a likelihood that our children are CARRIERS of COVID-19 and will bring the disease into the household, infecting both adults and senior citizens.

This is a VALID point.

Care must be done to ensure that the children wear masks, wash their hands often, and follow social distancing measures. Everyone is responsible for their own selves. Proper assessment should be made on calculating the risk versus the reward. My assumption in making this post is that the child stays at home until the time when the coast is clear. When this happens, I will be one of the first to put my child back in the physical classroom. Hope this helps.

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COVID-19 Update: Seniors, Please Stay at Home!

Senior citizens are protesting the government’s movement to stay at home.

They said they want to go out, shop, buy medicines. They say it is unconstitutional to stay home, saying it feels like house arrest.

The well-respected businessman and blogger, Mr. John Gaisano, wrote the following statement today in support of Yafuibanag’s statement (below):

John Gaisano

While I’m sure Mr. Gaisano meant well, I think his call for freedom is dangerous.

Seniors are Complaining about the “House Arrest”

The problem is that many seniors do not believe that they are at risk.

senior2

They claim that they are HEALTHY seniors. It doesn’t matter how healthy you are, a high percentage of seniors die.

While nobody would argue that seniors are from the “high risk” group, many still believe that they are immune from getting infected, and even dying from the disease. Some have even complained that “Protection NOT isolation” and calls the quarantine of healthy seniors similar to a mandatory house arrest. Here is the post by YAFUIBANAG that is circulating around the Internet.

Seniors

My Concern for the Seniors:

WHAT’S THE POINT OF BEING THE BREADWINNER IF YOU ARE DEAD?

Our family friend, a President of a Top 100 Philippine company, died of COVID-19. He was 65 years old.

It does not matter if he heads a billion dollar company. It does not matter if he hired thousands of people. It does not matter if he has grandkids.

When he died, he left them all behind. It is a disservice to everyone when he passed away. He cannot be a breadwinner if he died. He cannot pass his knowledge of operations after he died. His family was not comforted when he died.

I know a lot of COVID-19 who died who were great and respectable contributors of society. One is my daughter’s kindergarten principal who heads a 50-year institution. She changed the life of so many students.

It didn’t change the fact that it only took 2 weeks after they got COVID-19 that they died.

Can’t we wait until the coast is clear? COVID-19 will not be here forever. What’s a few more weeks of quarantine to ensure that the virus has gone away and can’t hit our seniors?

COVID-19 is no joke. It does NOT excuse the wealthy. It does NOT excuse the good. It does NOT excuse your contributions in life.

Once you die, it’s over. Please take quarantining your seniors seriously.

COVID-19 Kills More Seniors than any other Age Group

COVID-19 has killed more senior citizens than any other demographic.

In Italy, 24,600 of their dead are aged 60 years old and above. That’s a whopping 87.4% of their deaths, all aged 60 years old and above!

In the USA, the deaths are heavily skewed towards those 65 years old and above. In the USA, a whopping 72.3% of those who died were aged 65 year old and above:

Age of Coronavirus DeathsSource: Worldometer, Death Statistics

It seems that the older you are, the probability of you dying significantly goes up when you’re aged 65 years old and above:

death rate 2
Source: Worldometer, Death Statistics

This is most likely due to seniors possessing more pre-existing illnesses that put patients at higher risk of dying from a COVID-19 infection. These include the following common diseases:

disease

The numbers are consisted with those released by the Philippine Department of Health. While those younger who get the virus recover, many of those who die are from the critical age group of 60 years old and above.

DOHSource: Department of Health, Updates on Novel Coronavirus Disease

Ironically, children are of zero danger here. To my knowledge, there’s only one baby with COVID-19 who has died, a 29 day old baby from Batagas. While I think the baby died of other means, the baby still tested positive of COVID-19 at the time of death.

After May 15, ECQ will be lifted on most of the sectors (The complete list can be found here). This means that most people can go back to work so long as they wear face masks and practice social distancing rules.

ECQ vs GCQ

However,the government issued the follow up mandate, and asked the Seniors and the Children to stay at home, even after ECQ is lifted on May 16:

Children (0 to 20 years old), elderly (60 years old and above), and people with high-risk health issues are not allowed to go out of their homes

Senior-citizens-SSS_4

This has elicited a lot of complaints by the seniors aged 60 years old and above. They called such move as unconstitutional and unfair. Many insist that they still need to get out of the house to buy essential goods, go to the bank and buy their medicines. I know many seniors who still prefer to go to the bank themselves and deposit their money.

The problem with being lax with seniors going out is that:

1. If they get sick, chances are, mortality rate is higher and they will die.

2. If they get sick, they will need to be hospitalized. And our hospitals have limited capacities. 

If their their conditions become critical, they would have to be intubated and placed in the ICU. ICU beds are limited, and they will take up invaluable space, just because they refused to stay home.

intubated

3. If they get sick and are confined, their bills will skyrocket regardless on whether they die or not. 

44 days

For example, at 44 days, how much do you think his family should pay? The hospital bill is not free. This patient was billed Php 1.3 million for their hospital stay. Even if the patient died, the hospital still has the right to bill the family, otherwise, they would not release the body.

Please note that Philhealth will only cover the maximum bills per patient from April 16, 2020. Anything more than that should be shouldered by the family of the patient:

smartCourtesy: Smart Parenting Philippines.

4. The life of senior citizens in our life are PRICELESS.

How can you put a price tag to the life of a loved one?

DEATH

One friend we know only went to the bank and then went straight home. He caught the disease, was hospitalized for almost a month, in ICU for 2 weeks, and then died due to symptoms complicated with COVID-19. His wife was also infected and hospitalized, but survived.

Another friend went to the mall, got COVID-19 and then died too.

What’s the point of going out and risk catching a disease that would enable us not to have a tomorrow to enjoy with? Will it kill us to just stay home for a little while until the coast is clear? Yes, it’s tough to stay at home. But at least you do not deprive a grandchild of more time with his/her lolo or lola.

grandparents_kids_family

That’s an even bigger loss than not going out for a few weeks for groceries.

Seniors, please stay at home.

Do it for us, the ones you will leave behind if in case you die. I know that God is in control of our destiny and has already set who lives or who dies. But this is not the time to be foolish and say, “Bahala na si God.” 

COVID-19 does not spare the religious and the Born Again. Pastors who shouted that this is only a hysteria have died after contracting COVID-19. 

Bishop Gerald Glenn, the pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Virginia, has died and was tested positive for coronavirus.

pastor

Glenn said in a sermon on March 22, “I firmly believe that God is larger than this dreaded virus,” and announced he was not afraid to die. Well, he died with COVID-19. The church made announcement of his demise on Easter Sunday.

InSouth Korea, members of the Shincheonji Church amassed a total of 5,212 coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, accounting for about 48.5 percent of all infections.

No matter which country, the statistics are the same — For COVID-19, age and sex appear to be strong predictors of who lives and who dies.

Once again, let’s not play Russian Roulette with our lives. Everyone should take care and practice their own social distancing. Let us not repeat the same mistake of the Spanish Flu in 1918:

same mistake

Another post concurs:

Protect our seniors!

save

Please please please stay home!

 

Posted in Conflicts, covid-19, Current Events, Family, Family Drama, Filipino Men/Women, Lists, Personal opinion, Philippines, Reflections, Relationships | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Current Events: “Sorry, Pare!” and the Dasma Makati Story

A foreigner, Javier Salvador Parra who lived in Dasmarinas Village Makati sparked a Netizen row after he came half dressed out of his house to defend his helper, Cherelyn, who was spotted without a face mask watering plants in his property.

Actually, the only thing the police officer wanted was for the Parra to pay the php1,000 fine, as per violation of Makati Ordinance 2020-89 declared from last April 14, which state that Makati residents must wear a face mask while outdoors or in public places during the ECQ.

As an arrogant jerk who thinks being rich entitles him to look down on authority, Mr. Parra started spewing profanities against the policemen. But to be fair:

1. The police officer, Roland Madrona, calmly and nicely asked Mr. Parra that they can go to the barangay to settle the issue (0:01)

2. Madrona warned Mr. Parra three times that he’s shouting at them and there’s no need to shout (0:14).

3. Mr. Parra tells the wife to get out of there please and go take care of the kids (0:17).

4. Madrona correctly pointed out that Mr. Parra is under the influence of alcohol to which he admitted (0:26).

5. Madrona reminded Mr. Parra that he was not in his house wearing a mask and shouting at the police (0:59), which Mr. Parra admitted. So he returned back to his property.

6. Mr. Parra then claims, “What the fuck is wrong with you?” (1:06)

7. Mr. Parra keeps on shouting, “Get the fuck out of my house!” (1:32),

8. “Fuck off!” (1:38). “What the fuck is wrong with you?!” (1:50). “Fuck off!” (1:53, 1:57, 2:01, and it just gets really painful to listen with all the profanities).

9. After the 13th and last “Fuck you,” that’s the time that Madrona reacted. I know the police has to be calm and all that, but how much insult and curses should the police take with this prick?

See the complete video:

A statement released by Brgy. Dasmariñas to Philstar.com revealed that the police officer “was not fining anyone” but only “reprimanding” Parra.

Here is the complete statement of the Brgy Captain, who ironically is also a resident of Brgy. Dasmarinas:

OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF BRGY. DASMARINAS

Since ECQ started last March 5, 2020, the barangay sought assistance from PNP to implement with barangay tanods, Operation Bandillo. Operation Bandillo is conducted to educate and eliminate violators such as loitering in the streets, walking and jogging and recently wearing masks.

Yesterday’s incident was just one of those days where police together with Tanod patrolled the streets and reminded people of wearing masks. PSMS Madrona reminded the staff of the resident to wear mask or she will be fined.

The maid went inside the house. All of a sudden, the resident came out of the house without a mask and began cussing PSMS Madrona. PSMS Madrona was unfazed and cool and tried to explain that he was reminding them to follow the law. The Resident even pointed a dirty finger at PSMS Madrona and told him to go to Tondo and get out of his house. All the time PSMS Madrona was standing in the street.

Then when he wouldn’t stop, PSMS Madrona said, “I will arrest you”. The resident resisted arrest and when he was about to handcuff him, the wife said he had spinal injury.

PSMS Madrona let go of him out of humanitarian reasons. In the meantime, backup arrived. The superior of PSMS Madrona, Major Anthony Bagsik, decided to just blotter the incident because the wife was pleading with him. Major Bagsik discussed with me to summon them and have the lupon mediate between PSMS Madrona and the resident to not blow up the matter. PSMS Madrona had to follow his superior’s decision.

So they thought all is well that ends well. Late last night, we were surprised that he posted his one sided incident in social media and even wrote Rappler. I had a meeting with PSMS Madrona this morning. And he requested the barangay to help clear his name.

Makati has an ordinace requiring face masks in public places. This resident was on the street and sidewalk which belongs to DVA common area, therefore a public place. He was committing a crime in the presence of the officer and could be arrested even if he retreated to his property, barangay was advised.

Barangay was also advised that aside from Verbal Assault and Unjust Vexation, this is Violation of Art 151 of RPC for Simple Disobedience in relation to Local Ordinance requiring the wearing of face mask, and for being intoxicated outside the house. He can also be charged with violation of R.A. 11332, sec 9e for failure to follow guidelines set by DOH.

— Brgy Capt Rossana Hwang of Barangay Dasmariñas.

Now, the issue’s blown way out of proportion

Just imagine, all this for a face mask?

The whole thing started because the maid was caught not wearing her face mask while watering the plants. In all sense and purposes, her offense was a petty issue. She could have easily been left off by saying, “Sorry,” and asking for paumanhin.

But no, she did not.

Instead of saying sorry, she told her boss.

In anger, he charged outside half naked to confront the police. And instead of apologizing, he launches this curse heavy tirade which was caught on video.

Just imagine, if he simply said, “Sorry, pare,” all this would have blown over. “Hindi na mauulit

Instead, he launched a few curse words here and there saying “Fuck you!” And “Get out of my fucking house!” All the while standing in the street.

The video was painful, and is definitely R-18. Parra was also not in his private property. The road is owned by the Dasmarinas Village Association (DVA) but is still governed by Philippine law. The ordinance is clear — wear masks when outside.

This is an invaluable lesson for all.

First, it doesn’t matter where you live or how rich you are. If you are in the wrong, say sorry.

We live in a pakiusap filled world. Why wouldn’t this be different?

Two, don’t puff your ego just because you’re wealthy and live in Dasmarinas. Even how wealthy you are, if you are wrong, please respect the police who are just doing their job. Don’t lose your temper and shout profanities at him just because.

Three, if you can settle the issue amicably, do so. I believe the issue has been settled on the day itself. However, for some reason, Mr. Parra chose to escalate the issue by emailing a prominent news source with this alleged email:

Dear […]

I am contacting you about the Makati Police inflicting a physically assault and physical injury on me.

At around 6pm my staff Cherelyn was watering the front yard of my house which is within my property at XXXX Dasmarinas Ave, of the Dasmarinas Village subdivision.

I chose this residence for the safety and privacy of my family….

Suddenly, Cherelyn came inside the house to tell me that the makati police had entered the subdivision and was in front of our house right now and wants to fine me 1000 Pesos for not wearing a face mask, despite being on our private property.

I wasn’t aware that there is a law saying that inside your own property you must wear a face mask.

I went outside to inquire why the police man would want to collect 1000 pesos. I told him frankly that a fine isn’t necessary as it occurred on a private property. It escalated with the police man charging at me and trespassing my private property without a valid search warrant and wanting to arrest me for no valid reason.

My wife, who took the video, advised the policeman that he has no valid warrant of arrest and is not in the right to arrest me. Despite of this, on my own lawn, the policeman grabbed my hands and brutally threw me to the ground and caused me physical injury and abrasions as pictured.

He continued to scuffle and keep me on the ground to put handcuffs on me. His name tag is clearly visible in the video.

Finally the guy let go of me and my wife was able to tell him he can’t arrest my husband without an arrest warrant.

I had bloodied elbows and hands at this point as can be seen on the photos.

Finally I was able to evade the gone havoc policeman by entering my front door, while he was still trespassing my property by standing on my front lawn.

I asked my friend […], who also lives in Dasmarinas Village, to contact you immediately minutes after above transpired.

I am shocked that Makati police has entered my private lawn and property to arrest me because my staff Cherelyn watered the plants on my property without wearing face mask.

Does Makati police not have better things to do, like stop real criminals? If there was no camera running, would he perhaps have shot me, like the police man did with the mentally challenged man few days ago?

[…]. My concern is mainly that this police officer and Makati police does this also to the poor, who are not as defensive as me. Filipinos are all in a dire situation with the lockdown, the last thing they need is Makati policemen going havoc on Makati citizens.

Do remember that Makati police arrested Dasmariñas Village security guard for not letting pass Mayor Junjun Binay. They were arrested and put into a jail cell. I am glad to having been able to evade this illegal arrest.

Here is the video which you can upload to your YouTube account and of which I fully transfer to you the rigs to publish. It was taken by my wife.

Attached are also photos of my bloodied door and injuries.

I also suffer of a spinal injury which causes me immense pain in my lower back and legs. Having been thrown on the floor and brutalized and attempted to be illegally arrested, has caused me immense physical pain.

If you have further questions, please contact me at WhatsApp […] or via this email. You can also visit me at my home address XXX Dasmarinas Village.

There were a total of 7 police cars from Makati police station, which were Mitsubishi Monteros with flashi. Blue lights before my house, which my friend […], whom I called for help during this transpiration, has also witnessed. His WhatsApp is […].

Best regards,

Javier Salvador Parra

The media agency wrote the following headline, which blew up the Internet:

With this photo highlighted on the article:

In light of the news article, the police was forced to release the video and the barangay issued a defense of the police. Unfortunately, a more objective video showed Mr. Parra on a bad light.

How will this end?

The Department of Interior and Local Government said that subdivisions should respect the rules.

Mr. Parra said he will sue the police.

The police said he has filed a formal complaint against Mr. Parra.

And in a funny twist of fate, this happened:

Mr. Parra is most likely overstaying his visa.

Checkmate.

All this ruckus because someone was too proud to say, “Sorry, pare.”

And this is just one of the stories that Filipinos bother about during the Expanded Community Quarantine (ECQ).

Posted in Conflicts, covid-19, Current Events, Filipino Men/Women, How to Manage People, Personal opinion, Philippines, Polarizing Opinion, Viral Videos I Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Simple Steps to Apply for the DoF’s Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) Program

The Department of Finance’s Small Business Wage Subsidy Php 51 billion program offers employees cash subsidies to formal workers of small businesses affected by COVID-19. The subsidy is quite generous reaching up to Php 8,000 for NCR, payable in two tranches:

Wage

This is a great help to many employees especially those whose companies are closed during the Expanded Community Quarantine (ECQ) and are receiving no work given no pay.  If you have already availed of the DOLE CAMP (worth Php 5,000), you can only avail of one tranche.

DOLE tranch

To be eligible, your company must possess the following qualities:

Eligible - Business

To be eligible, your employees must possess the following qualities. Please take note that they should NOT get paid by the employer for at least two weeks during the temporary closure or suspension of work:

Eligible - Employee

It is important to note that the staff is NOT allowed to resign during the ECQ to avail of this subsidy. The company cannot also fire the staff during ECQ:

Eligible - Employee2

WARNING: If the staff resigned, or you know will resign, do NOT apply for the SBWS for him/her!

Please note that it’s critical that staff must have the three to be qualified:

a. A Tax Identification Number (TIN)
b. SSS Number and the company has paid SSS contributions until January 2020
c. Bank account details under the staff name (Note: SSS has added an Mhlullier Pera Padala option)

If you have no TIN number, you are automatically disqualified:

The SSS reiterated this warning as of May 5:

Please follow the rules — Do not lie on the employer undertaking as this is a sworn statement.

STEPS ON HOW TO APPLY FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS WAGE SUBSIDY (SBWS)

1. To check if your company is pre-qualified, please go to the BIR SBWS site. Click here and input your company’s TIN number:

SBWS Program

If you are qualified, they will say Congratulations! and will offer you a passcode that you can use in the SSS site to proceed with your application.

Congrats

If you are not qualified or there’s issues with the TIN, the window will ask you to email SBWS_BIRquery@bir.gov.ph with  the following information:
– TIN
– REGISTERED NAME
– BUSINESS NAME
– RDO where registered
– Reason why you are eligible

Check if prequalified

2. Go to the Philippine Social Security Site (https://www.sss.gov.ph/) where you will be asked to put in your SSS Employer Username and Password.

Employer Username

If you forgot your User ID or have not registered to SSS, you can click on the following buttons and follow the instructions.

Forgot

SSS has made it easier that your Employer can apply for qualified employees. A few days ago, this was not possible yet. Today, you can now upload your employee TIN and bank account details manually.

3. Once you log in, click on the Small Business Wage Subsidy Button.

SBWS Button

4. If you’re like most companies, you will see that your Qualified Employees are empty. Don’t worry as they are in the Lacking Credentials tab.

qualified

5. Click on the Lacking Credentials and they are all there. Click on the little box on the left if your employee is still with you and is eligible for the SBWS program. If the staff has resigned or left the company, do NOT apply for them anymore.

lacking

6. Clicking on the little box will open this box where you can manually input your staff’s TIN number and bank details.

SBWS - Can Input Credentials

7. If your staff does not have a bank account, you can pick the DBP Cash Padala Thru M Lhullier option. After inputting, click Save. Do this for all your staff.

SBWS - Pera Padala MLhullier Option

8. After inputting all the details, click the I have read and agreed on the Employer’s Undertaking, and the Proceed button. Please note that while the announcement said that those who availed of CAMP will only be rewarded one tranche, the site does say we were denied because of CAMP.

Proceed

Please read the content of the Employer’s Undertaking which says:

Employer

9. Once you press both, all the employees you requested for are now in the Confirmed Tab. You just have to be patient. Sometimes, the SSS site is down so you have to be patient and to do it over and over till you’re done.

Confirmed

10. To complete the process, it is important that you complete and email to SBWSCertifications@sss.gov.ph and SBWSQueries@sss.gov.ph the following completed and signed documents:

a. Certification Attesting to the Work and Pay Status of Employee (Click here). For simplicity, I just sent the same COVID-19 Establishment we used for CAMP
b. Employer Undertaking You can find the files at the Employer Certification Template tab or you can click here for the SBWS_ERCertTemp (1) in PDF, or click SBWS_ERCertTemp (5) in Excel.

Employer Certification Templ

It will look like this:

Certification

11. And then you’re done. Please click Logout for your security and wait for them to assess your eligibility. Payments will be made via the following mode of payments, and the following tranches:

Mode of Payment

Please note that deadline for the SBWS has been moved to May 8, 2020 due to some hiccups on the SSS site. The site has been down consistently for a few days, but when I logged on the wee hours of the morning, it was quite stable and I was able to accomplish everything quickly. Just time your application properly.

Extended

That’s all folks! Good luck! For more details via the Department of Finance, click HERE.

Update on our SBWS APPLICATION on May 1st, 6 Days Later:

We got our SBWS approved and it’s now for crediting. Yehey!!!

 

Posted in Business, covid-19, Downloadable Forms, Employee Relations, entrepreneurship, money, Money Issues, Philippines, Practical Tips, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

10 Invaluable Lessons for Employees During the ECQ (And Things to Prepare so We Don’t Panic Again)

Hindsight is the greatest teacher.

While people are suffering due to the no work no pay policy during the ECQ, I cannot help but think that there’s invaluable lessons for employees from this ECQ experience. Not everyone goes through the same ECQ experience. Some people suffer than most.

While many complain about not having any money, others are surprisingly calm and are simply enjoying their quality time with family.

So I wonder, what makes those who are anxious vs. those who are calm different? As I reflect on this question, I realized that this ECQ experience is teaching us so many invaluable lessons regarding our career, the way we spend money, and the way we think about the future.

Here are 10 critical lessons I think we can glean from being in ECQ, and how we can do better the next time there’s a rainy day.

1. We must have an Emergency Fund set aside for downtimes like this.

You don’t need to be rich or earn a high income to have an emergency fund. Some of the people I know with the highest salaries are those who are in debt. Maybe because they earn more than average, their spending is higher too.

Crisis

To have an emergency fund, set aside 10% of your income into a separate bank account, and only spend the money for REAL emergencies. Sickness and hospitalization is an emergency. ECQ is an emergency. Tuition fee is not an emergency, as these expenses should be planned ahead of time.

It’s all about financial management — I have two types of staff when it comes to how they spend their annual bonuses:

  • Staff 1: Buys a TV, a new washing machine, an iPad for the kids and a new phone for herself when she gets her bonus.
  • Staff 2: Buys one little thing for herself and saves the rest.

Who do you think is suffering most during the ECQ?

2. Cut your spending to what you need, not what you want.

It’s no secret that I love branded bags and shoes. However, a Ferregamo shoe costs Php 30,000, which is a whole lot of money. A pair of  Valentino cost Php 55,000. I also love to go online and buy stuff for my daughter, many of which she doesn’t even like to wear because there’s so uncomfortable.

Why Do Women Love Shopping So Much(1)

I noticed that our family expenses was drastically cut during the ECQ. Maybe because we don’t go out and don’t go shopping all the time, we only buy the essentials like food and toiletries, so you can really see that what we spend on a lot of frivolous things because we want to impress other people.

If you don’t go out, you don’t need to buy clothes, shoes and makeup. Your kids will still be okay with the toys they have at home. If there’s not a lot of deliveries, you don’t shop a lot online. Come to think of it, a lot of things are unnecessary.

3. Avoid being in debt. Debt is doubly bad especially in times of crisis.

The ECQ teaches us to only buy things we need, and only if we have the money to afford it. This is because if we over purchase, we usually take out a mortgage (for the house), a car loan (for the car), or an installment payment (for the credit card bill).

easy-ways-to-get-auto-loans

The problem with debt is that you still have to pay for the interest, even if you’re not working and have no income during thee ECQ. So this is double trouble for any regular employee. You no longer have any money for your daily needs, you still have to pay for your interest payments because it’s your obligation.

What’s worse, you cannot even use your car too much during the ECQ.

4. If you make a big purchase item, use cash.

Using cash ensures that you will only buy things you can afford.

My family has never bought a brand new car. The rule of thumb is, once you drive your car out from the dealer, the price is already depreciated by 10 to 30 percent. There is no point to buy a new car unless it’s for our ego of smelling the brand new interiors. No matter how shiny a car is, it will lose its sheen after a few weeks — definitely NOT worth the price you paid for the car.

A brand new Toyota Innova 2.5L Diesel in 2015 cost Php 1 million. We bought a well maintained second-hand Innova for Php 450,000. The owner was a diplomat and took good care of his car. We paid in cash.

innova

It was a good buy and the dieseled car saves us Php 1,000 per filling of gas tank. But we also got a very good deal on the car because we paid via cash and didn’t go in debt.

If you don’t pay in cash, lending companies make an arm and a leg off you. Our driver bought a motorcycle for Php 70,000, payable over 5 years at Php 3,500 per month. While Php 3,500 looks reasonable, Php 3,500 x 12 x 5 years is a freaking Php 210,000 in total!

honda

That means, he is paying 3x the price of the motorcycle because he chose to buy it in installment instead of paying it in full. Instead of doing installment, why not save up for the motorcycle and pay for it in whole. You can just spend your Php 140,000 elsewhere.

5. Pick the correct company to work for.

It is this time of ECQ that you can see if your company demonstrates compassion to its people or not. From my involvement with the Philippine HR Group, I saw that a lot of companies were strictly enforcing their No-Work-No-Pay policy. Even if the staff has been there for ten years, the company still did NOT offer any financial assistance or salary loan option whatsoever, and practically left their staff at the mercy of the government. And when the government dragged its feet, the company still didn’t step up to help, screaming that they have no money to help.

That’s why I wrote that companies should somewhat help their staff and make a plan on how to support them during the lockdown. Even if it’s just an allowance, every little bit helps. I believe that businesses should have the heart for their employees and put them first. When some businesses demanded their share, I was so angry that I wrote that Workers should be first instead of Businesses.

The irony is, I know for a fact that many of these businesses do have cash. You cannot operate a business if your cash reserve is only a month worth of wages. Many of my friends who own large businesses enjoy lavish vacations, have mansions for houses, own several cars, and only wear expensive luxury items. And yet, despite their great wealth, they still choose to pay their people not a single cent during the ECQ, not even as a salary loan.

This pisses me off. It clearly shows that the employees made the wrong choice of working for such employer. It is the employer who got rich over the employees’ efforts. But when it’s time for the employer to give back and offer some assistance during the staffs’ time of need, the employer hides behind the cloak of, “The company has no money!” even though it’s NOT true.

bad business

I don’t think anyone should be fully paid for days unworked, and I think it’s awesome when a company is so generous to offer such help. However, I think that a company should still show some compassion and initiative to take care of their employees, and offer a bit of assistance if not to release their pro-rated 13th month pay, salary loan or financial assistance if they can.

So during the ECQ, you can truly see what type of company you are working for. Reflect on whether they truly care for you, and if they don’t, find out if this is really the company you want to invest your time, effort and talents in. Dito mo talaga makikita kung may pakialam sa iyo ang employer mo, kung kahit papaano, tinulungan ka during the ECQ.

lemons

6. Stop changing your jobs so frequently. 

Since December was our peak month, we have a lot of employees who come and join us because they make a lot of money on commissions during this seasonal period.

The irony is, after the peak season, a lot of employees choose to resign and rest despite our efforts to persuade them to stay. But they can’t be convinced. For them, they’re fine with the money they made short-term and so, they would choose to rest and then apply again after a certain period. Some employees however chose to resign because there were better offers elsewhere post the peak season.

new job

Whatever the reason, the joke is on them. ECQ started on March 17 and is still ongoing. During the ECQ, employees of the company was able to receive the Php 5,000 from DOLE CAMP, and some financial assistance from the company every payroll. What’s more, thoes who have been with the company longer are given higher financial assistance than those who were new. It truly pays to stay long in a single company.

Those who left before ECQ found themselves jobless, with depleted savings account, and no assistance whatsoever from the government or the company.  Those who resigned for another job found themselves laid off from such jobs, and are now scrambling for new employment.  And those who chose to rest for a month or so found finding a new job so challenging as nobody is really hiring right now.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the most expensive employees are those who have stayed with you longest. They’re the ones whom you give extra bonuses, salary increases, and better treatment. The longer they are, the more you give them to incentive them to stay. When they get older, you need to reward them with Retirement Pay for years of great service.

loyalty-pano_20169

The newest employees are the cheapest. All you need to do is pay their wages.

7. Make sure all your records are updated.

The government has launched the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) program recently. The program promises a generous subsidy of Php 8,000 for two tranches, totalling to Php 16,000 government assistance for those who are qualified.

Here’s the clincher. To be qualified, you need to have:

a. A Tax Identification Number (TIN)
b. Paid your SSS contributions up to January 2020
c. Have a personal bank account that’s under the employee’s name. It cannot be a payroll account since third parties cannot deposit to this account.
d. This bank account should be registered online at MySSS, and you can only do so if you have registered in the SSS office before the ECQ. If you haven’t registered, the minimum you need is a UMID ID, which you should have gotten when you first started working.

UMID

Actually, the requirements are easy to get. All you need to go is to the BIR RDO and the Social Security System office and you’re done.

The problem is, most employees did not bother to procure many of the above-mentioned requirements even though the government has repeatedly reminded us to do so. Consequently, we might find ourselves disqualified from the SBWS program, just because we didn’t do what we were told to.

Through our own negligence, we disqualified ourselves. And we cannot blame anyone else but ourselves for not fixing these administrative issues when we had the chance.

8. Live in the correct neighborhood. Who rules your barangay matters, so you better choose wisely.

My staff in Tondo, Manila has gotten relief goods every week from their local barangay.  My other staff in Laguna only received relief goods once last week. Our family in Pasig City has NOT received a single relief good from the government (Note: Mind you, I’m not complaining as we have what we need. But I do hope that they’re actually giving relief goods to other people because we ain’t getting any ourselves).

The type of assistance, relief good, execution of the Social Amelioration Program largely depends on where you live, and who manages your area.

Quezon City enhance community quarantine

Some barangay captains and their people are corrupt and steal a bit from the money that’s given by the National Government. If your community leader is corrupt, there’s numerous chances for him and his team to enrich himself during the ECQ. In times like these, you can really see which mayor or government official truly love their constituents and ensure that help that’s for the people is received by the people.

Or you can see how evil they are that in times of crises, they still can’t help but dip their dirty hands on the moneyt hat’s intended for the people.

You know who they are. Don’t ever vote for them again.

9. Leave and Cleave and only support your own immediate family

It is cheaper if you support your own family, instead of supporting an extended family. If you get married, make sure that you don’t have to support every Tom, Dick and Harry of your signficant other, which would put you in personal bankruptcy no matter how much you make.

Take for example our family driver who was already earning 50% above minimum wage, but is still suffering during the ECQ. Despite his higher income, 13th month pay and annual bonus, this driver is still crying that he doesn’t have enough money to feed his family.

big family

At first glance, you may feel bad for this family driver. However, when you see his family’s structure, you can understand why he’s always out of money.

For one, he lives with his girlfriend’s family, which comprises of her parents, her brother, her brother’s wife and their kid. So a lot of his income is spent on his girlfriend’s family, many of whom should already be self-sufficient. Two, they don’t really live a prudent lifestyle as per his earnings. Their room has an aircon and their house has a rent. So you can see, it’s not as if they’re living a cheap lifestyle.

Leave and cleave — It’s far cheaper to live on your own and pay what you consume, instead of paying for two families and a gazillion mouths to feed.

10. Marry the Right Person

During the ECQ, you will spend a lot of time at home. Hence, it matters if your spouse is compatible to you or not. The joke is, ECQ will bring either more child births, or more separation. In short, ECQ can either bring you together with your spouse, or break you apart.

divorce

If your husband or wife is a terrible person and COVID-19 forces you to spend your time with them, COVID-19 will open your eyes as to what type of person you actually married.

I enjoy spending time with my husband and my daughter since I work 6 days a week, at least 8 hours a day. I know that I would never have this type of quality time with them otherwise. My husband love to converse with me on social, political and every day issues, and enjoys his time with me.

Other husbands find their wives insufferable and annoying, and can’t wait to go back to work. They’re not particularly fond of their wives, and use their jobs as a way to escape.

Summary

The ECQ is an eye-opener for all of us. I feel that there’s a lot of “Should have, Could Have” things we should have done before the ECQ to make us more ready for this emergency. It is my hope that we take our experience during ECQ seriously so that we can better prepare ourselves for the next crisis.

How about you? What are the things you learned during the ECQ? Lessons that will better prepare you for your future? Please share in the comments below.

Posted in Advice, Business, covid-19, Current Events, Employee Relations, entrepreneurship, Filipino Men/Women, Finance, Highly Recommended, How to Manage People, Human Resources (HR), Husband, Interests, Life lessons, Lists, Marriage, money, Money Issues, Personal opinion, Philippines, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HR Hacks: How to Support Staff During the ECQ Lockdown

HOW TO SUPPORT STAFF DURING LOCKDOWN

It’s all about money disbursement.

money
Management can get money from the four ways:

1. Pro-rated 13th month pay
2. Salary loan with or without interest
3. Financial aid or “free” money. This is also what no work with pay is all about. Or gifting an allowance.
4. Leaves if you have a lot. For us, we only have 5 day SIL so I left this untouched.

I am NOT in favor of giving money that’s not being earned yet like bonus for the next year. Bad idea yan. What if the staff goes AWOL? Staff also hates to be deducted later on. Bad move yan for management if staff AWOLs. The boss will blame the HR because the HR made the call to disburse the money, and the staff no longer showed up to work.

It’s better to give something they’ve already earned, or free money from the hearts of the company. Pag kusang bigay, mas sweet.

THINK IN TERMS OF PAYROLL PERIODS

Now, think about how many payroll periods to assist employees for. I personally like to split the budget I have based on the payroll periods. In our company, it was:

March 31
April 15
April 30
May 15
May 30

Yes, we are already thinking about extension beyond April 15 and 30 from the first week of ECQ.

If you got CAMP, it subsidizes one payroll period.

I suggest giving money in tranches than a one time big time thing. If you give the money to a staff one time big time, most employees will finish the money immediately. Tapos utang na naman! This is not a solution.

No way. I’m splitting the money so every payroll period, mayroon sila.

For our company, we have divided help by:

March 31: Pro-rated 13th month pay + php3,000 help
April 15: CAMP – php5,000
April 30: Free financial assistance depending on tenure
May 15: Possible free money again
May 30: Definitely salary loan

Our salary loan is zero interest. Pero need to be paid within 3 or 6 months depending on the amount. If tinakbuhan or nag AWOL ang staff, the free money will turn into a salary loan. We will then charge interest per month if you run away.

The terms are clearly written on the promissory note: The financial assistance is FREE, but is conditional to them reporting back to work once the ECQ is lifted. Hassle kasi mag labas ng money para tatakbuhan ka lang. May ganyang klaseng tao. So iwas problema lang.

Our budget kasi cannot pay for no work with full pay. We are a small company. I think that’s also unfair and will put the company in debt afterwards. Sayang din if people go AWOL or immediately resign post ECQ. So for me, “allowance” is best lalo na if money is given freely. Gracia yan.

Allowance = food and grocery money + basic needs for ECQ period lang

Anyway, no need to pay for rent, electricity or utility bills now due to the Bayanihan as One. So just food is most important for workers.

This means a reasonable payout of php2,500-5,000 per cut off only. Anything more is bonus and pang milk tea.

Pag mayaman ka and you want to give over this amount, go. Pero sa akin, save the money for more cut-offs in case the lockdown extends. Anyway, my assumption is my staff is AT HOME, not going out (no pamasahe needed), and only buying basic needs and food. If they have other expenses, bahala na sila. I just don’t want them to go hungry.

Pag bago pa lang, as in wala pang 2 months, huwag muna magbigay ng malaki. I prefer to give more help to those who have been with us longer. Hindi pantay pantay lahat. If you have more budget, give more to those who have been with you longer.

After our announcement, our staff appreciated our pro-active effort. It’s better than no work and talagang zero pay. They know we are not spoiling them and we are not putting them in debt, but they also know we are concerned for their basic needs, which is most important. Lessens the worry too especially if the lockdown gets extended.

If you’re HR, baka pwede mo I-suggest kay boss to. Hindi naman malaki ang hingi. Kahit konti lang, para at least may food ang pamilya and hindi sila mag alala pang araw araw.

Hope this helps.

Disclaimer: We are temporarily closed from March 17 due to the ECQ.

Posted in Advice, Business, covid-19, Employee Relations, entrepreneurship, How to Manage People, Human Resources (HR), Money Issues, Work | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

COVID-19 Update: To See if We are Doing Well, Look at Population Density

ALWAYS LOOK IN TERMS OF POPULATION

People have been hawking how bad the Philippines is to be #1 of confirmed cases in Southeast Asia. We have the most confirmed cases so we must be #1:

But I think this is misleading.

We have to look at the numbers taking population in consideration. then we see a clearer picture.

If that’s the case, we are #4 in Southeast Asia. Lord help us that we are doing way better than many other countries including Italy, USA, UK and Singapore.

Admittedly, we need to do better in deaths though. We are the highest in SEA but still, by not that much. Everybody has similar ratios in SEA of less than 1.0 vs. the other more developed countries. Our recoveries need to be better too, probably indicating that our healthcare system requires improvement.

But compare it to the USA —- USA alone had 1,867 people who died yesterday, way more than our 409 deaths in total for the entire ECQ period.

With better testing, USA had 29,057 new confirmed in the same day vs. Philippines’ additional 209 cases last April 18.

No matter how the Philippine government fudges the numbers, there’s no way we could beat the USA, UK and Italy in terms of confirmed and deaths.

TO OPEN OR NOT TO OPEN? THAT IS THE QUESTION.

As to whether to extend the lockdown or not, wow, that’s a difficult choice. The choice is basically, do you value money or human lives?

There is zero comfort if one of those who die is your child or your parent. At a 5% death rate, at a 12.8 Million Metro Manila population, 640,000 people may possibly die. People say in every war, people will die. We are at war with COVID-19. But that in mind, how callously do we throw around the word “casualties in war” if those who die are people we know?

The president is speaking the truth.

Looking at the citizenry, how desperate should you be? Ang ayuda, sinasabong. They use it to buy drugs. How ungrateful the Filipinos are. We are like the Israelites who complained day and night even if there was manna. Stubborn, mareklamo, maingay pero walang tulong. I pity the president. I don’t want to be in his position.

The real solution is to respect this government and to follow. The lockdown will not work if people keep on going out. It will not work if you want to change captains in the middle of the battle. And it will not work if we think we can make better decisions. Madaling magsalita, mahirap gumawa.

I pity the president. I hate to be in this position. People will die. The fact that we are in lockdown shows he values Filipino lives over money. I disagree but I can admire him for wanting more people to live than die.

Money can be made again. But if my child dies or my mom dies in my pursuit of money, then what the heck am I still working for? I only have one mother, and I only have one child.

I personally know 6 who died already. Most are males, fathers and grandfathers. They leave behind crying kids. It’s painful to lose a loved one. I understand the president’s predicament and I pity him. But personally, I don’t want to play Russian Roulette with Pinoy lives.

If the President decides to open, we will open. Bahala na ang Diyos. The Lord will decide if we live or die.

I just don’t want to be the president who pulls the trigger.

Posted in Business, covid-19, Filipino Men/Women, Philippines, Reflections, Updates | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Love Hacks: The Choice is Simple — Forgive or to Leave

A lot of women complain about their significant others. Specifically, in the aspect of infidelity. “My husband cheated,” they would ask. “But he said he’s sorry. Do cheaters change?”

Obviously, every single woman would shout, “NO, Are you freaking nuts?! Don’t be a martyr!” This shout of indignation is followed by, “LEAVE HIS ASS!”

angry

Why is it when our sensibilities are offended, women will immediately say, “LEAVE HIS ASS!” As if this is so easy to do especially when you’re legally married and have children together.

A friend of mine cannot get over the fact her boyfriend cheated on her. During lulls on their relationship, she would bring up the infidelity issue over and over despite the fact that the infidelity happened six months ago. This has caused the boyfriend to constantly ask for forgiveness, promised that he will change, and so far, has not done anything again that constitutes cheating.

The same with our driver’s wife. Every time he cheats, his wife threatens to leave him and to bring their two children along with him. The third time he was caught, she kicked him out of the house. So for a few months, he was living at his mother’s. The two children lived with her.

Then I learned that they are now living together during the ECQ.

eye roll

When men piss us off, we always have a choice to leave. If you think his infidelity is unacceptable, then you can always leave.

If you stay, you have to learn to forgive. Picking fights with him over and over on the same issue six months ago does NOTHING for the marriage. If you can’t forgive him and can’t forget the incident, then LEAVE. 

Because it’s so hard if you stay, and then fight continuously about the same issue over and over again. If he cheats on you, right then and there, you decide whether you want to leave or stay. If you stay, stay. If you want to leave, LEAVE.

Personally, I’ve already told husband that if he ever cheats on me, I’d chop his thing to a million pieces and feed it to the dogs. I will also ensure that he will never see his daughter ever again. That’s my threat.

So if he cheats on me, what choice do I have but to make good on my threat? Does he have to cheat on me over and over before I really go?

If he sticks his thing on somebody else’s hole, I’d just go.

bye

No more posting of rants on Facebook.

No more fighting and crying.

No more throwing pots and pans at him.

He’s made his choice. He chose somebody else but me. So this is the consequence of his actions.

Bye happily married life. Bye stupid husband. Husband say bye to your daughter.

Women should only have one word lang, or as they say, isang salita. If you threaten and he still does it, you make good on your threat. Men are not kids that you give chances over and over, and every time you give a chance, you still hurt inside.

It’s really that simple — If he cheats. FORGIVE.

If you can’t forgive, just LEAVE.

How about you? Do you agree with this?

Posted in Advice, Conflicts, Family, Family Drama, Filipino Men/Women, Husband, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

10 Things That Kept Me Busy During the ECQ

Over the last month, our family has spent a lot of quality time with each other as we generally followed through the government mandated Expanded Community Quarantine (ECQ).

1. I worked…

The first two weeks, I closed the 2019 ledgers which are long overdue. I never got the chance to do this before since I’ve been so busy with work. So now’s my chance to finish. Yehey!

2. I cooked….

I discovered that expenses drastically drop when you’re stuck at home. The grocery I bought was enough to feed our family. Thanks to google, I discovered delicious recipes you’d otherwise won’t try because of the hustle and bustle of life. Here’s the kani salad and gyudon I cooked yesterday:

3. I cleaned…

I learned to do some spring cleaning and to get rid of some trash. Here are some of the things I had to clean up — My daughter’s toys.

Yes, that’s a lot of plastic as she’s terribly spoiled by her grandmother. We plan to donate most of it to an orphanage.

I’ll continue to clean over the next few days. It’s long overdue anyway.

4. I made new friends…

So many people added me as a friend on Facebook during this ECQ. Maybe there’s something about being confined at home thay make people friendlier.

I’m not complaining. There’s a few people I would never have met otherwise. One is the owner of a popular hair salon. It’s amazing to see just a different viewpoint on how to handle cash flow and employees during the ECQ. As if our common problem bonds us together.

To those who freely exchanged their ideas and from whom I learned from, thank you for PM’ing me. I’m glad you exist and the world is so much better that you’re there.

To those who PM’d me to sell something, thanks din. I’m not really looking for a passive income opportunity but hey, I know you need to make a living so shoot everywhere tayo.

5. I binge watched several amazing shows…

Here’s the Netflix shows I enjoyed during the ECQ:

And the following Amazon shows — highly recommended!

6. I’m writing a book…

It’s gonna be juicy and it will piss my mom off. My husband loves the idea of it, and it will help so many people with their relationships.

I’m already in page 50 and I still need to proofread and edit it. It’s not easy pala!

I rambled and wrote, and read back and tried to edit. Anyone who’s finished a book is a winner, and it’s true that you need a lot of faith to go on. Even up until now, I don’t know if anyone will read it and I’m scared if people will lambast it. But hey, you’ll never know till you try.

7. I became a fan of several people online…

I realized how many people were so clouded by their dislike for the administration that they would downplay every small thing and make mountains out of molehills of every small thing. ABS-CBN made boo boo after boo boo, and kept on headlining misleading news to create confusion and discontent among Netizens.

But I am glad to see some silver linings. Take for example Leni Robredo, whose OVP was actively donating medical supplies to hospitals especially during the first few weeks of the ECQ.

Her free shuttle bus, dorm for frontliners and donation helped a lot of people. For that, I give her credit.

I also became a big fan of The Thinking Pinoy. His analysis made a lot of sense, and he wasn’t completely for or against the government.:

After hearing both the Dilawan and DDS sides, The Thinking Pinoy is a breath of fresh air. He is not blindly part of any party, but rather sides with the correct side, regardless on whether it’s right or left.

What people do not understand is that you can’t always be Dilawan or a diehard Duterte supporter. Either side is not always correct. Government or running a country is never black or white, and everyone’s just doing the best they can with the given resources.

If you want to criticize the government, do so with facts and objectivity. Make sure that your news is verified and unclouded with an unfair bias. You have to give credit when credit is due, and I think Thinking Pinoy does it intelligently, coherently and logically most of the time. So thank you for being there to balance the scales.

8. I became my true unkept self.

Yes, I let myself go this ECQ.

I didn’t really wear makeup or dressed up or went out.

I didn’t wash my hair as often.

I slept late.

I woke up late.

And I did what I wanted to do to pass the time.

I will never be this consistently lazy again.

It’s glorious.

9. I feel blessed and grateful and thank God every day.

I feel very protected and blessed during the ECQ. The Lord has been good to us. Within my company, nobody has Coronavirus yet and their immediate family is safe.

My staff said that she just looks out her window and sees this:

The air is fresh. Her time with her mother precious. Her daughter is safe with her.

I realize that this is a moment we can never take back. God has given us a month or so to stay at home, relax, recharge and focus on what’s really important in our life—our selves, our health and our family. And all it took was one little virus to force us to go back to the essentials.

Ever since before, I’ve never really had this moment of rest. I would flit from one activity to the next and even though I was on vacation, my mind was still on the stores and my people. As my father-in-law said, “We will only rest if SM sleeps.”

FYI — SM Supermalls only close two days a year.

So I tell my people to enjoy and make the most of this time. Because once the ECQ lifts, we have to go back to work and fight for our lives. So while we are in this state of rest, to enjoy it, because we will never have this possibly again.

10. And I said a little prayer for those who lost a loved one.

I know that this time of ECQ is awful for those who have lost a loved one to COVID-19, or was placed in ICU for a few weeks. Nagkasakit ka na and gotten the scare of your life. After you got well, you still have to contend with the ludicrous hospital bill.

A 5% death rate for COVID-19 is no comfort to someone who lost a father, brother or friend to the virus. There’s no words that can communicate the sadness of losing a loved one so suddenly. I just hope that they passed peacefully, and that it’s a time when the Master has called them home.

Posted in covid-19, Family, First Experiences, Updates | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love Hacks: Who is the King Stefan in our Lives?

We are watching Maleficent and King Stefan’s betrayal really struck me.

King Stefan was Maleficent’s childhood friend and later betrayed her by sawing off her wings as proof of her death so he can be the king’s successor.

I realize that we have a lot of King Stefans in our life. People who are so close to us, but secretly try to harm us, belittle us, and give us awful advice. Sometimes, the people who delight in our misery are those who are closest to us.

A friend of mine is having relationship issues at the moment. She shares a beautiful daughter with her boyfriend and their relationship is plagued by trust issues.

To be fair, it’s the fault of the boyfriend as he did slip, and there was cheating involved. But even after he’s resolved to stop cheating and is trying to repair the relationship, people around her had been whispering that it’s time to bid adieu to the relationship.

Come home! Leave that jerk!” The father told her. The irony is he has cheated on her mother many times in the past.

Her friends tell her to leave him as well. They tell her he doesn’t love her since they’re not yet married even though they already have a kid.

All these ugly whispers has turned her into a paranoid, angry and unreasonable, which has caused her to fight unfairly and bitchily, causing them to have even more fights.

When they fight, she brings up the past over and over. All these King Stefans who talk to her and give her advice keep on reminding what a jerk he is, and why does she have no self respect in remaining with him all this time.

The truth is, she is in better hands with him than she is with her friends or her father.

Yes, he did cheat.

But if he has resolved to fix the cheating and vows not repeat it again. He is actually a pleasant and good man who entered into an insta-relationship with her after she got pregnant, and only got scared when the immense responsibility of being a insta-father became too big.

If she stuck with him, her and her baby will have a good life. He will provide for them and make sure that their daughter would be fed and clothed and studied well.

I think that sticking with him — provided that he will not cheat ever again — is the best decision for her and her daughter.

But so many whisperers in the midst.

So many people saying she should leave, but will actually not catch her when she falls. Sure, they will always be there for shoulder to cry on, but when push comes to shove, when money and constant support are needed, I’m sure they will fly away like flies dispersed.

Beware of the King Stefans in your life

It may seem as if they are there for your benefit. And will seem to be your pillar of support.

But they are only laway (saliva) friends.

They are there for you because of your misery but many do not have your long-term well being in mind. You are there for their guilty pleasure. At night, they wish to hear from you and wait for your latest Korean telenovela story. But such is the level of support you will get from them.

They will be happy when you are single. Because they too are single and miserable. They think all men are evil, and self sabotage their relationships even before they start.

The father wants you to come back to prove that you can’t keep a relationship just like he did. In an insane way, her failure in love makes him feel better that he’s protecting her, even though he too was a culprit to her pain.

Sometimes the friends whom we believe are true, are actually the biggest betrayers of all.

That’s why it’s important to always think for ourselves.

Yes, we should listen to friends’ advice. Sometimes they are wise but many times they are not. We should look at our own circumstances and make our decisions depending on the facts in front of us.

As they say, it’s our life. It’s our decisions that pave the way on what will our life be.

So since we are accountable to ourselves alone, and whatever we decide determines our lives, we have to think carefully before succumbing to the advice of the King Stefans in our life.

Because in the end, it’s our decision that will make and break us.

Not King Stefan. Not our father. But our own selves.

So it’s important we make the right decisions for ourselves.

Good luck, my friend. And I hope you make the right decisions in life and love.

Posted in Advice, Filipino Men/Women, lovelife, Reflections, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love Hacks: Talk about Cheating BEFORE it Happens

A woman is mad because she discovered her husband was talking to a recently separated officemate and offering her words of comfort as she goes through her separation. “Honestly, I felt jealous on how he comforts her,” she complained. “He already did this before when we were living together. He would still message his ex, chat with girls he used to date before me. I don’t know if you call that cheating?”

She wonders if she’s in the right or is she only becoming sensitive. She asked other mommies if it’s okay to still talk to someone you used to flirt with. 

I applaud women who have the courage to ask whether they are right or wrong before they go bazooka on the husband. In every fight, there’s two sides of every story, and despite thinking that she should be right all the time being the woman of his dreams and the mother of his child, I honestly don’t think that the woman is right all the time.

Whether or not this is cheating depends on the couple—Have they talked about about this before? Was cheating ever defined? Is kissing on the cheek cheating? Is texting about non-sexual issues cheating? If you’ve not discussed cheating and set the limits early in the relationship, how can you clearly say that he was cheating when he was just comforting a woman through her separation?

fight

It is only cheating if you’ve told him that this specific action made you uncomfortable, and both of you resolved not to do this action again. And then, without telling you, he still did it. Now that’s cheating.

But without any discussion or agreement to stop such action, how can you throw the word “cheating” to his face?

MEN ARE NOT MIND READERS.

We need to tell him what bothers us, and be very specific and thorough about it. But a big problem for us women is that we hate discussing sensitive issues. We don’t get our resolutions before it happens. Then, when shit hits the fan, we react explosively.

A friend of mine pissed his girlfriend off because he chatted with an ex on Facebook. They resolved for him to cut off all his exes. A few months later, we had a group lunch and one of the attendants was a girl whom he pursued before and he got basted. She got pissed about that as well. The girl wasn’t an ex, and it was a group lunch. Who knew?

If you want to stop fighting, have the courage to sit down and talk about rules and regulations re: talking to other women. Define what’s cheating and what’s just being friendly? Where do you draw the line? What’s ok and not okay?

TALK

Take this opportunity to also discuss consequences if your guy crosses the line. Will you leave him? Should there be a penalty? My friend was a repeat offender so I suggested a penalty of Php 100,000 if caught cheating. Hey, it’s money she didn’t have before. If you’re unmarried, this is a good time to discuss child support and put the agreement on paper.

The simple act of sitting down and discussing this issue like two mature adults does wonders in clearing things out for both parties so this won’t happen again.

Talking to him and settling this issue directly is better than complaining about him. Talk calmly and discuss what both of you expect in terms of behavior, decorum and logic. Make it clear what will happen to him and to you if each person does not follow the rules. If you do this, maiiwasan ang mga labuan and maiwasan na mabigyan siya ng lusot dahil hindi kasi maayos ang pinagusapan ninyong dalawa. 

Now, that’s a win win.

 

Posted in Ask Tina in Manila, Boyfriend, Husband, Life lessons, lovelife, Marriage, Men, Philippines, Relationships, Updates | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments