Tag Archives: Department of Labor and Employment

Job hunting for Filipino PWDs

Persons with disabilities in the Philippines have been given a chance to prove their worth.

In Makati, its deaf-mute residents have been invited in a job fair held at the Activity Center of the Ayala Malls in Circuit Makati. Among of the 26 companies that have been “intent of hiring persons with disability (PWDs)” are the George Optical, China Bank, Regalong Pambahay, Nail-A-Holics, Group Perspective Incorporated, CNT, Guill-Berns, BFL Bookstore, Market Place Christian Church Transport & Multi-Purpose Coooperative, Philippine Survey Research Center, and Receivers and Liquidators. There were also food establishments such as the Samjin Amook, The Burgery, Torch Circuit Lane, Fox Box, Dunkin Donuts, Andok’s Lechon, Rackshaack Circuit, Serenitea, and Mesa Restaurant; shopping centers such as the Mi Department Store, Rustans Super Center, Uniqlo, and Bench; and recruitment agencies Mirof Resources Incorporated and More Than Jobs. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Home Mutual Development Fund (Pag-Ibig), and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) were in the job fair, too.

In Quezon City, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has partnered with the 30 Rotary Clubs of District 3830 to conduct a one-day job fair where private companies and government agencies in Metro Manila have participated. Job-seeking PWDs or employers just have to register at philjobnet.gov.ph. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will also provide livelihood and skills training during the event.

“The special activity will highlight compliance with the law mandating offices of government to set aside one percent of the positions to persons with disabilities. The same law, Republic Act 10524, encourages private enterprises with more than 100 employees to reserve one percent of their workforce to the disadvantaged persons,” the labor department stated in an article.

In Iloilo, seven PWDs have grabbed the chance for a possible employment in a two-day job fair facilitated by the Public Employment Service Office (PESO). A total of 124 companies offered more than around 60,000 job vacancies—most of which are for overseas employment—in malls as service crew and cashiers, in drug stores as sales clerk and pharmacy assistant, and in supermarkets as bagger and cashiers, among others. The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) also joined the event.

While this is a welcome event, The PWD Forum hopes that the private companies that joined the job fair haven’t done so to exempt themselves from labor law compliance inspection for one year. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has promised that immunity in an interview at the Jobs and Opportunities Fair for PWDs at the covered walk of Quezon City Hall.

“The law mandates that employer or business establishments to hire PWDs of at least 1 percent of their business compliment. If there’s a company that will hire more than one percent or will reach 10 percent, I will give immunity from inspection for one year.” ~ Silvestre Bello III

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the International Labour Organization

On Filipino Seafarers

Filipino seamen can get sick during the course of their work. They could acquire hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) from operating chipping machines, needle guns, and hand held grinders. They could develop cardiovascular diseases (CVD) from multitasking. They could suffer musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) from working nonstop, or they could have cancer from exposing themselves to beryllium, cadmium, lead, and other toxic substances.

Filipino seamen could also be infected with a sexually transmitted disease for unsafe sexual activities; pandemic and epidemic diseases for visiting ports currently plagued with malaria, cholera, yellow fever, and tuberculosis, among others; or hypertension for excessive stress, fatigue, loneliness, smoking, alcoholic consumption, and lack of physical activity.

The National Conciliation and Meditation Board (NCMB) could help Filipino seafarers be compensated, though. Former bosun Alexander Billones, for one, had figured in an accident when he was hired by the KGJS Fleet Management Manila, Inc. resulting in chronic degenerative disc. He was then repatriated amidst pain in his lower back, hips, and legs. He was just assisted by lawyer Christopher Rey Valmores and conciliator-mediator Gil Caragayan in claiming P3,206,250 for settlement.

Another case is Nestor Balbaboco Jr.’s. He was employed by the North Sea Marine Service Corporation but suffered a spinal injury while on board the M/V Albatross. He was awarded P2,215,720 through NCMB-NCR Chief Leo Ma. Delia Yu’s facilitation.

One more example is Joel Florande. He was sent by the Sea Power Shipping, Inc. to M/V Efstathios where he had a mild stroke. Valmores assisted him to receive P3,636,699 settlement from the Sea Power Shipping Enterprises.

Filipino seafarers are governed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Standard Employment Contract that intends to compensate a “work-related” illness, injury or death. Someone who died of cerebrovascular disease (stroke) 17 days after a contract’s end was not compensable. Another who had been on board for only one month cannot be benefited, too. Only a widower whose seafarer husband died due to colon cancer while on board could be entitled to the benefits that her deceased husband had signed.

“An Act Protecting Seafarers Against Ambulance Chasing and Imposition of Excessive Fees and Providing Penalties Therefor” was also enacted into law to prohibit a person from soliciting an amount in exchange of a legal service to seafarers. It is simply called the Seafarers Protection Act that lowers legal fees from 40%-50% to 10% only. Hopefully, these two regulations would be modified as necessary to protect those who make up more than one-third of all ship workers in the world.

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Harvey Cureg

Notes The global shipping industry, which carries 80 percent of international trade, employs about 1.2 million seafarers, the bulk of whom come from the Philippines. (Source: GMA News Online)

Association of Disabled Persons-Iloilo

Moved by the Second National Congress for the Disabled Persons, some residents in Jaro, Iloilo established the Association of Disabled Persons-Iloilo, Incorporated (ADP-II) in 1990.

Its members has grown to 800 since then to “integrate persons with disabilities (PWDs) into mainstream of society” in collaboration with local government units, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Health (DOH), private sectors, non-government organizations (NGOs), and other disabled persons organizations (DPOs) in municipalities.

ADP-II has been empowering the different PWD organizations in the 43 local government units (LGUs) in Iloilo. Its services aim to embolden even the children in the region in support of the Christian Blind Mission (CBM), Lilliane Stitching Funds (SLF), Association Soeur Emmanuelle (ASMAE), and Commission on Population (POPCOM).

The CBM, SLF, ASMAE, and POPCOM are NGOs in Germany, the Netherlands, France, and the Philippines respectively.

ADP-II has also initiated some income-generating programs such as the May ‘K’ Park, a restaurant that is the first and the longest running business of the association since 1993; comfort rooms and case-by-case cards, which is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); and prosthesis making.

In 2002, ADP-II has formed the ADPI Multi-purpose Cooperative (ADPIMPC), which provided livelihood and promoted technologies that facilitate mobility to its members. It has also assisted during the relief operations after the devastation of typhoons Frank and Yolanda as well in putting up the Aging and Disability Focal Point (ADFP) in Estancia and Concepcion.

Currently, ADP-II keeps the radio program “K-Forum,” which is aired in the GMA Network, a media company in the Philippines, every Sundays at 2:00-3:00 p.m. It also maintains a website, an email, and a social networking account.

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Tomotatsu Gima

Acknowledgments: Bob Flores and May