DOLE Revving up its Accomplishments this year
City of San Fernando (P) – This year has been one exciting ride for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as it marked its 77th Anniversary today, continuously driven as an organization in developing the competencies and competitiveness of the Filipino Workforce, paving the way for decent employment opportunities for jobseekers, and continuously fostering the maintenance of industrial peace based on social justice. “Tuwid na Daan sa Tapat na Serbisyo,” this year’s theme perfectly described what DOLE is all about, as Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz successfully led the remaining half of this year in the delivery of DOLE programs and services with a swift wind streamlined with President Benigno S. Aquino III’s 22pt- Agenda on Labor and Employment. On the same token, we cannot discount the valued efforts of former Labor Secretary Marianito D. Roque who successfully completed his stint with the DOLE for the first semester of the year as a champion in providing livelihood opportunities for the disadvantaged sector. DOLE offices all over the country today had their own respective ways in commemorating DOLE’s 77 years. The DOLE Regional Office 3, on its part, led by the gung-ho leadership of Regional Director Ernesto C. Bihis, will be communicating the DOLE Regional Coordinating Council 3’s, accomplishments’ today at the Conference Room of the Sugar Worker Training and Livelihood Center of the Regional Office via its “ULAT SA BAYAN” with its media partners. Here were the newsworthy highlights of the DOLE RCC 3’s Accomplishment for this year presented to the media: Gains in facilitating Employment: As of October 2010, around 89,343 jobseekers were placed in wage employment through its strong partnership and linkages with the Public Employment and Service Offices (PESOs) from the local government units (LGUs), the active participation of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Private Recruitment and Placement Agencies (PRPAs), and the DOLE-led regular facilitation of job fairs across the region. The conduct of Job Fairs alone for that matter has placed about 1,717 jobseekers for local and overseas employment. DOLE has likewise bridged employment opportunities for our youth through its Special Program for the Employment of Students or simply dubbed as the SPES Program, where some 6,791 poor deserving students were able to secure summer jobs in time for their enrollment in pursuing their college degree. On the area of Labor Market Information (LMI), DOLE conducted 82 Career Guidance Seminars to some 12,708 graduating students from the secondary level to motivate and inspire the youth in choosing the right career paths. To ensure the effectiveness of this program, DOLE, along with the PESOs, the Academe, and stakeholders took active lead in the establishment of seven (7) Career Guidance Counselors Networks for each province in the region. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) meanwhile provided training and retraining to some 110,000 out of school youths and unemployed adult persons in various trades to enhance their competitiveness and employability to address in-demand and emerging skills in the local and overseas market. Of the 110,000 mentioned, some 53,679 graduates were assessed, of which around 37,414 were certified. Moreover it provided scholarship opportunities to some 5,589 persons. Gains in Maintaining Industrial Peace: The DOLE, through the tireless efforts of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) has safe kept the industrial peace in the region by disposing 34 of 37 notices of strike and lockout cases from materializing into work stoppages, representing a disposition rate of 91.9 percent benefitting some 423 workers with monetary settlements amounting to some Php. 19,770,155.62. Meanwhile, the NCMB likewise resolved 39 of the 43 preventive mediation cases, representing a 90.7 percent disposition rate benefitting some 7,587 workers with monetary restitutions amounting to some Php. 4,662,263.23. Through its Single-Entry Approach system, the NCMB has resolved 59 of the 64 cases it handled during the year, benefitting 39 workers with settlements amounting to Php. 393,645.91. The NLRC on the other hand was able to dispose 1,294 or 70 percent of its case load in consonance with the platforms and pronouncements on labor and employment and the DOLE-wide implementation of Project Speed 1, 2, and 3. In other cases resulting from labor standards violations, the DOLE was able to resolve 92 cases or an 80 percent accomplishment of the 114 cases it handled for the year benefitting some 1,031 workers as of October of this year. DOLE, has kept pace with its Project Speed Program by resolving 100 percent of the 20 med-arbitration cases it handled this year. DOLE’s commitment in maintaining industrial peace is unmatched through its effective strategies in strengthening labor education and compliance assistance to workers in the areas of human relations, labor relations, and productivity resulting to the maturity of the social partners in resolving workplace conflicts benefitting some 6,271 employers and employees. Gains in Safeguarding Worker’s Rights and Welfare: The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board after going through a series of consultations involving labor and management representatives from different sectors, and other stakeholders, has issued Wage Order Number RBIII-15, a 14-peso increase in the minimum wage for the region, took effect last November 22 of this year in response to the petition for wage increase by the Mistumi Workers Union. Compliance of employers to their workers was strengthened through DOLE’s Labor Standards Enforcement Program which assisted 3,484 establishments in improving their compliance to labor standards through inspection, self-assessment and technical assistance visits (TAV) approaches. Social protection was likewise strengthened when DOLE facilitated the enrollment of 7,275 workers from the informal sector in SSS, PhilHealth and other social protection schemes. It terms of safety and health concern, DOLE has established the first Regional Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) Network in region 3 which aims to come up with pro active approaches in ensuring workers’ safe working conditions in the workplace. The incidence of child labor within the region is one of DOLE’s primary concerns thus DOLE providing livelihood assistance to parents of former child laborers amounting to some Php. 250,000.00. Moreover, some 600 children at risk were provided school supplies in partnership with UNICEF and other Non-government organizations (NGOs). Meanwhile, the OWWA has likewise provided assistance in terms of healthcare, disability, death benefit claims, and other social protection services benefiting some 334 overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs). Moreover, they have provided education and training to some 730 beneficiaries. The DOLE and POEA’s plight to stop illegal recruitment and any form of human trafficking has been strengthened through its strong advocacy and monitoring activities to ensure the protection for those seeking work abroad.
Gains in Capacity Building Services for Livelihood:
DOLE has been consistent as a livelihood champion, earning the respect of the numerous beneficiaries coming from the grass-root level. For the period in review, some Php. 13.7 million has already been provided to 22,610 disadvantaged workers under the regular DOLE Kabuhayan Program. Meanwhile, around 277 ambulant vendors from all over the region were likewise given livelihood and enhancement opportunities amounting to some Php. 3.3M via DOLE’s Negosyo sa Kariton (Nego Kart) Project wherein it vastly improved their livelihood means. Not only that, they too were provided with social protection services. On the other hand, 1,389 workers from the informal sector such as welders, manicurists, masseurs, and the likes were provided with livelihood assistances packages from the DOLE Starter KITS program amounting to some Php. 3.5M. A total of Php. 24.5 M was released to various beneficiaries of which Php. 8.7 M were funds from the Central Office. DOLE is 77 years in serving the Filipino workforce here and abroad, and will continue to be a driving force in ensuring workers to have decent work. (Jerry Borja)