Fifteen personnel fromthe DOLE Regional Coordinating Council came together on September 15, 2020, to discuss diverse issues and concerns relative to the conduct of business this pandemic.

Each of the seven representedagencies shared their programs and courses of action.  Director Manuela Peña of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration reported that assistance extended to 2,585 repatriated OFWs through the DOLE-AKAP program.  Sweeper buses and quarantine facilities were also provided and set up to cater to their needs.  Further, project EASE (Educational Assistance through the Scholarship in Emergencies) was offered to assist qualified college-level dependents of active OWWA member-OFWs whose employment was affected by the pandemic.

In her report, Director Estioco shared that the Branch has no pending case as of the period.  She also said that all the preventive mediation cases and requests for assistance handled have been settled withinthe process cycle time.

Meanwhile, Ms. Cezanne B. Panay of the Employees Compensation Commission introduced their cash assistance under the Quick Response Program. This scheme entitles a Covid-19 affected employee, domestic and seafarers, a cash aid of P10, 000.00 provided they contracted the virus while physically on duty.

Of the various programs under the Department of Labor and Employment, the Covid-19 Adjustment Measure Program (CAMP) took the bulk of the budget with P128,670,000.00 representing 2,977 establishmentsand benefited 25,734 workers. TUPAD (TulongPangkabuhayansaAtin Disadvantaged Program) benefitted workers fromthe informal sector with total fund assistance of P51,162, 300.00.  DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) expensed P16,244,102.00 for 1,546 recipients.

The National Conciliation and Mediation Board and National Labor Relations both aired their courses of action regarding Requests for Assistance.  The former opted to go for an online media platform while the latter went for the submission of the proposed settlementat the initial conference.

On the other hand, the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board expressed that there is no wage adjustment. Board Secretary Atty.Marvie Fulgencioshared that during the pandemic, personnel from the Board conducted Productivity Improvement Programs for several MSMEs.  The limited promotional activities enabled the Board to assist the Regional Office in the documentation of TUPAD and CAMP beneficiaries.

RCC Chairperson, DOLE Director Ezequiel, concluded the meeting by assuring the RCC members of the DOLE’s support in the promotion of their programs.

Ms. Lyla Jane Tacio