ILA Labor Law / OFW

FEBRUARY 2018

Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday urged both the Philippine and Kuwaiti governments to sign the pending bilateral agreement amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for a deployment ban of OFWs to the Gulf state.

Following the gruesome murder of domestic helper Joanna Demafelis, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has urged the government to deploy overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) only to countries that have guaranteed to protect their rights as provided under the amended Migrant Workers’ Act.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said on Thursday it is high time that the government should scrutinize the protection and labor laws in all countries where there are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) following the brutal death of a Filipina worker in Kuwait.

Labor officials on Monday reminded Filipinos seeking jobs abroad as household service workers that the government adheres to the no direct-hire policy.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has encouraged the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to also go after recruiters of other Filipino workers who were victims of abuses in Kuwait.

MARCH 2018

THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) is now considering preventing Filipinos from looking for job opportunities in other countries that also have rampant cases of maltreatment and abuse among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Malacañang said Saturday, March 3.

MARCH 2019

President Duterte has signed into law a measure that mandates the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to develop, disseminate and update a handbook on the rights and responsibilities of migrant workers.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is now accepting applications for nurses caregivers for deployment to Japan. They will be deployed under the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement’s Framework for the Movement of Natural Persons

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday warned the Philippines against letting in foreigners who could “disturb the political equations” after President Duterte’s Beijing pivot sparked an influx of Chinese workers.

Limiting the number of construction workers for deployment abroad, as planned by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), will only force workers to use backdoor means to leave the Philippines since they could get better salaries and benefits abroad.

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said it will sign an agreement with Japan on Tuesday that could result in at least 100,000 workers with specialized skills, including caregivers.

A labor group warned employers that those who will engage in discriminatory practices to avoid compliance with the Expanded Maternity Leave (EML) Law will face lawsuits.

Senator Joel Villanueva on Friday pushed for the passage of a measure that would require Filipino employers to ensure that at least 80 percent of their collective workforce are Filipinos.

YOUNG workers aged 15 to 24 dominate sectors of manufacturing, construction and services—the key drivers of the country’s 6.2 percent economic growth in 2018. The Labor Force Survey of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in 2013 indicated that the youth comprise 19.2 percent or 7.3 million of the total workforce. However, the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Manila said young workers in the Philippines are the most vulnerable to unsafe and unhealthy working conditions.

Conflict and crisis in the Middle East and North Africa has led to an increase in child labour across the region, including in children’s involvement in armed conflict and other illicit activities, a new report finds.

APRIL 2019

A media launch and public forum on Ending VAW and Discrimination, and Empowering Women OFWs: The Safe and Fair Program and Key Strategies of Philippine Stakeholders was held last 11 April 2019 at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City.

The Philippines declared 2019 as the ILO Centenary and reaffirmed its full support to, and cooperation with the ILO’s mandate of promoting peace and social justice.

MAY 2019

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait is working closely with authorities on the investigation into the death of Filipina household service worker Constancia Lago Dayag who was allegedly physically and sexually assaulted, the embassy said in a statement.

The labor department is finalizing arrangements for the formal signing of an accord at the end of discussions between a top level delegation of Kuwaiti officials and their Philippine counterparts on the provisions of the proposed document which will govern the deployment, employment and treatment of Filipino workers while staying in Kuwait.

Experts and global actors from Africa, Asia and South America gathered in Manila to address child labour and poor working conditions in artisanal and small-scale gold mines (ASGM).The first-ever Inter-regional Knowledge-Sharing Forum on Child Labour and Working Conditions in ASGM of the International Labour Organization (ILO) served as a platform for dialogue.

JUNE 2019

The Philippines has submitted to the International Labor Organization (ILO) a document signifying its ratification of Convention No. 187, a framework designed to promote a “preventive safety and health culture” at the national level.

The Philippines is among the countries that strongly batted for enhanced protection of workers from any threats at workplaces as it worked hard for the adoption of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention against Violence and Harassment.Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the adoption of the new ILO convention will ensure heightened protection of workers, especially for women and other sectors vulnerable to violence and discrimination at work.

The International Labour Conference adopts landmark instruments on violence and harassment and a Declaration on the future of work. The Conference concluded its two-week session, which marked the Centenary of the ILO.

JULY 2019

Job seekers today lack the skills needed to work in the digital economy, says a survey on digital skills in the workforce.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Thursday criticized the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Global Rights Index 2019 placing the Philippines “as among the top 10 worst countries in the world for working people,” defending the consistent efforts of the administration in protecting the Filipino workers and their families.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have joined forces to develop an online learning system for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in destination countries, starting in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China.

Act creating the Department of Overseas Filipino Workers

THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) on Monday denied a Laguna province-based publication’s claim that there are illegal Chinese workers in its economic zones.

EBC New Zealand correspondent Greg Basa reports about the consultations with overseas Filipino workers conducted by the Philippine embassy in New Zealand, with the help of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Australia.

Some 1,400 passports of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were confiscated by Hong Kong police from a lending company after they were used as collateral, a report on Unang Balita said Wednesday.

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will start collecting from foreign workers this month billions of pesos in unpaid income taxes, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said on Monday.

THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) said its new guidelines on granting temporary work permits to foreign nationals prioritizes 14 categories for the issue of Special Working Permits (SWPs), including athletes, performers, and persons with special abilities.

AUGUST 2019

Philippines and China will continue to cooperate to combat crimes surrounding Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) that involve Chinese nationals.

DOLE said it is pushing for interactive and youth-friendly approach of engaging young workers in advocating work safety and health culture.

A US UNION called for improved workers’ rights and benefits in the Philippine Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, saying that keeping Philippine compensation low affects work conditions of their US counterparts.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III ordered yesterday the investigation of officials in the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Hong Kong following the replacement of an online system for processing, credentialing, welfare protection and data storage for overseas placement.

SEPTEMBER 2019

Processing of Qatar visa applications will be free for overseas Filipino workers. The Qatar Visa Center will also serve as a place for Filipinos to review and sign employment contracts.

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has shut down a Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) service provider after failing to register with the tax agency.

THE DEPARTMENT of Labor and Employment (DoLE) on Wednesday said it had revoked the licenses of two recruitment agencies for deploying two minors overseas.

LGH International Services and Side International Manpower, Inc. will face cancellation of their licenses deploying a 17-year-old and 14-year-old, respectively for work abroad. The two minors were sent to the Middle East to work as domestic helpers.

 Foreign doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, and other professionals may soon be allowed to render their services in the Philippines. The House of Representatives approved Monday night two measures reforming the system of taxation on corporate earnings and financial transactions, and the grant of tax incentives or exemptions to businesses.

An International Labor Organization campaign to encourage countries to ratify international labour standards is bearing fruit.

The G20 Labour and Employment Ministers have adopted a Declaration committing to human-centred world of work policies. The ILO’s Director-General, who took part in the meeting in Japan, welcomed the statement.

OCTOBER 2019

Qatar has announced sweeping reforms to its labour market, with a view to ending the kafala system and marking a momentous step forward in upholding the rights of migrant workers

NOVEMBER 2019

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) reported to the House Committee on Ways and Means that it has managed to collect P1.79 billion from Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) in January to September. However, House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Joey Sarte Salceda said the amount is “a far cry” from the agency’s target of collecting P2 billion a month in withholding taxes from Pogo workers.

Philippine Consul General Raly Tejada said on Wednesday that Filipino migrant workers in Hong Kong have no plans on leaving the country despite escalating protests.

More than 300 Chinese nationals allegedly involved in telecommunications fraud are set to be deported today, Thursday, Nov. 13, according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

The House committee on ways and means approved the bill that would impose new taxes on the revenues generated by Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) and their service providers.

The Department of Labor & Employment (DOLE) is set to roll out a mobile application that offers various services and features for Filipino workers worldwide.

More than US$500 billion a year needs to be invested if countries are to meet a basic set of social protection measures – known as a social protection floor – by 2030, says a new ILO report

100 years ago the first International Labour Conference adopted the first International Labour Standard – on working time. As the ILO celebrates this landmark moment, ILO Working Time specialist, Jon Messenger, looks back at the history of the Convention and its impact.

DECEMBER 2019

The country’s largest labor group wants to put in jail and slap a fine on employers who will not give employees their 13th-month pay, a benefit that is required by law.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Monday said they were set to scale down “starting next year” the deployment of new hires to Saudi Arabia due to the Gulf state’s continued failure to address the violations committed against Filipino migrant workers, who to date have claims amounting to at least P4.6 billion.

JANUARY 2020

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday said it is closely monitoring the investigation in the death of another Filipino household service worker (HSW) in Kuwait, as labor revived calls for a partial deployment ban on the tiny oil-rich kingdom.

The Philippine government imposed a partial deployment ban to Kuwait following the recent death of another overseas Filipino worker.

In the wake of rising tension between the United States and Iran, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been ordered by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to prepare its air and naval assets which could be used in the evacuation of overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East should hostilities erupt in the region

The country’s special envoy to the Middle East has recommended the forced evacuation of Filipino workers in Iraq amid escalating tensions between the United States and Iran.

Philippine trade deals that grant access to health workers in partner countries represent a “substantive commitment” to allow a measure of worker mobility in the health care sector, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said in a working paper.

The first batch of Filipinos being moved out of Iraq will depart on Monday night for Qatar, where they will await their flight back home, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Monday.

The Philippine government yesterday (Jan 15) began enforcing a ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait following a local autopsy report which found household service worker (HSW) Jeanalyn Villavende had been sexually abused and tortured before she died.

Unlike the US-China trade tiff, a prolonged US-Iran conflict would prove to be more challenging for the Philippines, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

Filipinos who have returned home after fleeing oppressive work conditions in the Middle East face an uphill battle to claim a rehabilitation cash grant offered by the government and start a new life to make up for lost foreign currency earnings.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Libya may now cite humanitarian grounds to be given exemption from the existing deployment ban in the African state.

Unable or unwilling to invest in technological advances that would automate production and ease workloads, many factories across Southeast Asia are filled with migrant workers who have appeared in the news for all the wrong reasons

FEBRUARY 2020

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is considering the partial lifting of the ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait following a meeting between the Philippine labor delegation and Kuwaiti officials.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is preparing to accept a high-level mission from the International Labour Organization (ILO), which is expected to probe the alleged mass killing of local trade unionists.

Hundreds of Chinese nationals in the Philippines have had their passports cancelled by Beijing and been deported, and thousands more face the same fate, the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) has said.

MARCH 2020

As the 2019 novel coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, an increasing number of Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong have lost their jobs after employers fired them over mounting concerns spurred by the global health crisis.