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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

DOLE YEARENDER: DOLE identifies priorities, employment promotion, speedy resolution of labor cases

Second part of a series

The DOLE again reaffirmed its thrusts in response to the global crisis and
sustain the gains in advancing its mandates on employment and human
resources development, workers welfare, and industrial peace.

Amidst the global economic crisis, the DOLE launched priority deliverables
that underscored its "More than Jobs" thrusts in employment promotion,
generation, and preservation as well as in the facilitation of labor case

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque, who fostered the
development of the priority projects, said the global crisis has challenged
the DOLE to pursue the projects to optimize resources while enhancing the
delivery of its programs and services.

The priority deliverables - Jobs Fit: The DOLE 2020 Vision; Project SpeED
(Speedy and Efficient Delivery of Labor Justice), Ready Tech-Go, Green
Workplace Advocacy, Kabuhayan Starter Kit, and Nego-Kart - are part of
the DOLE's efforts to improve its programs and services to the Filipino
workers, locally and overseas.

"This is in line with the national efforts to sustain the economy and
prepare the workers in taking advantage of the projected global rebound in
2010," the DOLE Chief said.

Project SpeED

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said all the agencies
involved in Project SpeED aims to substantially declog their case dockets
through salient and practical approaches.

He said the approaches include the adoption of an efficient quota system, as
well as sharing of resources and manpower wherein the DOLE Regional Offices
with less cases will assist and complement those that have current backlogs,
adding that strict monitoring and provision of performance-based incentives
and imposition of sanctions on non-performance will be observed to achieve
the expeditious resolution of the cases.

He added that under the project, labor cases docketed in the National Labor
Relations Commission (NLRC), National Conciliation and Mediation Board
(NCMB), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and other DOLE
offices and agencies would have to be on current status by March 2010.

The labor chief also reiterated that Project SpeED has complemented the DOLE'
thrust in reducing the incidence of debilitating work stoppages or strike
which has now reached its lowest record levels in the country's history.

The NCMB, and office attached to DOLE, reported that six (6) agencies and
offices of the DOLE which enrolled in the project, have relatively succeeded
in reducing the backlog of cases and have disposed of a great percentage of
the unresolved labor disputes.

The Board also enrolled in the SpeEd Project a total of 872 cases pending as
of April 30, 2009 comprising of two (2) actual strikes, 135 notices of
strike/lockout, 217 preventive mediation cases, 398 single entry approach
(SENA) cases and 120 voluntary arbitration cases. As of October 30, 2009,
the Board has disposed a total of 811 cases, or 93 % of the cases.

The resolution of the cases benefited a total of 17,269 workers who received
P 1.3 billion in monetary benefits comprising of awards in settled voluntary
arbitration (VA) cases, collective bargaining agreement (CBA) package, and
separation pay in notices of strike/lockout, preventive mediation and actual
strikes, and restitution benefits in SENA cases.

The Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) also enrolled in the project 115 pending
cases as of April 30, 2009, broken down as follows: 25 certification
election cases, 68 appealed cases, 15 original cases, 5 cases appealed to
the Office of the Secretary (OSEC) and 2 regional circuit cases. So far,
the Bureau has disposed a total of 48 cases or about 42% of the cases.

Meanwhile, NLRC enrolled 23,308 and disposed a total of 17,010 cases
comprising 73% of the total deliverable cases.

The Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) also enrolled 5,148 in the SpeEd
Project, broken down as follows: 4,349 Labor Standards (LS) cases and 799
Small Money Claims (SMC) cases. The Bureau disposed a total of 2,085 cases
or 40% of the total deliverables: 1,588 LS cases, and 497 SMC cases.

The DOLE's Legal Service on the other hand, enrolled 544 cases in the
project: 252 LS cases and 292 POEA cases. The Service has disposed a total
of 127 cases comprising 23% of the total deliverables.

The Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) likewise enrolled and
subsequently disposed all 95 cases under Project SpeED.

Projects Jobs Fit: A solution towards addressing job mismatch

The year 2009 has presented us with extra challenging situations. Natural
calamities, such as typhoons and floods wrought havoc to Metro Manila and
Northern Luzon. Multi-million dollar institutions were brought to their
knees by the global financial crisis and subsequently created chaos in the
financial industry all over the world.

Through tough reforms and sound economic measures, the government was able
to weather the deleterious effects of the financial crisis. But without
excuses, the DOLE admits that more have to be done.

"Project Jobs Fit: The DOLE's 2020 Vision" is seen to address the gaps
between the jobs available and the skills being required by these jobs. The
Jobs Fit project aims to identify by March 2010 the new and emerging
industries and preferred skills on key employment generators that must be
produced per region through review of current situation and consultation
with stakeholders.

Under the program, an action plan that will serve as the basis of the
academe and other concerned stakeholders will be put in place in order to
develop appropriate curricula and career materials, thereby guiding students
and jobseekers on what course and skills training to take in order for them
to immediately land a job and reduce, if not eliminate job mismatch and
unemployment in the country.

During the last quarter of this year, Labor and Employment Secretary
Marianito D. Roque directed the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), Maritime
Training Council (MTC), Professional Regulations Commission (PRC), Technical
Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and DOLE Regional Offices
to fast-track the consultations with stakeholders in order to identify the
preferred skills in priority industries.

At the same time, the Labor Chief also tasked the Philippine Overseas
Employment Administration (POEA) to determine the skills needed by foreign
employers and establish linkages with Philippine Embassies abroad for the
setting up of labor market intelligence in countries without Philippine
Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs).

In response to the said directive, the BLE, MTC, PRC, TESDA, DOLE Regional
Offices and other concerned agencies immediately rolled-out the first phase
of the program that involves the conduct of regional consultations with
industry partners and stakeholders all over the country, which ran from
August to the 2nd week of September 2009.

The final phase of the program, which involves consultations with industry
executives and business taipans are already on the way and by March 2010,
the full report of the process can already be made available to industries
and all stakeholders concerned.

K-ITO spawns youth volunteers

The Kabataan-ITO project has spawned a new breed of young volunteers tasked
to teach IT and Internet skills to out-of-school youth, indigenous peoples,
and other disadvantaged sectors especially in rural areas.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said the Kabataan-ITO or
K-ITO project of DOLE has, so far, identified 1,500 youth volunteers who
have already started conducting mentoring sessions to K-ITO beneficiaries on
how to use the computer and the Internet.

He said the project is the DOLE's contribution to the National Youth Service
Program of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that seeks to promote
volunteerism and community spirit especially among Filipino youth.

"The spirit of volunteerism is the core philosophy of K-ITO, " Roque said
noting that the "K-ITO volunteers have been tapped by the DOLE to instill or
raise the IT literacy of the disadvantaged sectors who have yet to set
their hands on a computer and want to find employment and livelihood
assistance and other government services online."

K-ITO aims to bring the government closer to the people through free,
supervised Internet access to online government programs and services. The
project is also part of the DOLE's efforts to help the beneficiaries
especially the youth to have a share in opportunities that are usually
available to those who are skilled in IT.

The DOLE regional offices had set up K-ITO corners in strategic places where
interested individuals could be taught IT and Internet skills. The K-ITO
corners are found mostly at the DOLE regional offices and their partners
which include local government units and educational institutions in the

The K-ITO volunteers teach an IT module consisting of preparatory lesson on
computer hardware familiarization, computer operation and MS Word processing
application, and a lesson on the Internet for search and communication.
The volunteers render part-time service of less than eight hours a day or
less than five days a week. They will be paid a stipend of P25.00 per
mentoring hour.

Project Ready Tech-Go to provide monitoring of labor cases through Internet

Developments or status of labor cases and complaints of workers including
OFWs may soon be monitored through the Internet with the Case Docket and
Monitoring System (CDMS) which will be implemented under the DOLE's
Internet-based "Project Ready Tech-Go."

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said the CDMS will enable
local workers and OFWs who have filed cases or complaints with the DOLE,
National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), National Conciliation and
Mediation Board (NCMB), and the POEA to view or track the status of their
complaints through the Internet.

He added that through the CDMS, workers as well as the concerned DOLE, NLRC,
and POEA personnel will be updated on hearing schedules and deadlines and
other events related to the prompt resolution of labor cases or complaints.

The system is part of the DOLE's efforts to facilitate the disposition of
cases, Roque said adding that the CDMS has been piloted in the National
Capital Region specifically at the DOLE's regional and satellite offices in
Manila, Quezon City, Makati, and CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas,

He said the system will be fully implemented next year.

Green jobs, Green workplaces

The DOLE has also urged labor and management to adjust work standards in
accordance with the demand of climate change to arrest its adverse effects
not only to workers but also on business and economy.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque advised labor and
management sectors to shift to greener ways to work and establish green
standards for the labor market that will promote green jobs and decent work.

He added that since climate change affects the world of work, DOLE is
working towards climate change adaptation programs at work through knowledge
building, organizational strategies and green jobs advocacy.

To help avert the adverse impact of climate change on employment, Roque said
the DOLE will lay the foundation that would provide for the collaboration
of the Department's social partners in developing green technologies and
green workplaces.

Roque further said that the prospects for generating green jobs are bright
as the government's new resiliency program in 2010 would include investments
in new industries such as renewable energy, and innovative technologies.

To drum up a multi-sectoral efforts towards green workplaces, Roque also
signed a Green Pact with the Federation of Free Workers and the Philippine
Green Building Council in taking steps to sustainable growth, greener jobs
and workplaces.

He added that more green jobs will be available to Filipinos as the
government continues to create and promote awareness of green workplaces.

"All work with environmental component is a green job," the Labor chief
said. "I know companies that invest in green jobs, implement green workplace
and promote green jobs.

In 2010, the DOLE will spearhead institutional capacity and knowledge
building on raising the awareness on climate change through the National
Green Jobs Conference which will address the concerns of seven sectors with
different types of exposure to climate change policy drivers. The seven
sectors are: energy generating sectors, renewable energy sectors,
alternative energy sectors, employment sensitive sectors, competition
intensive sectors, sectors vulnerable to climate policies and climate
sensitive sectors.


The Negosyo sa Kariton, also known as Nego-Kart, a financial assistance
program to help ambulant vendors in major cities of the country, was
launched by DOLE in line with poverty alleviation program of President
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to protect the welfare of workers. The Bureau of
Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) is responsible for the overall
management and supervision of the Nego-Kart project.

Many ambulant vendors who used to run away from the policemen chasing them
and had been patronizing "five-six" lending scheme now belongs to the list
of Nego-Kart beneficiaries. Most of them are workers from marginalized
informal sector, displaced and disadvantaged workers, returning overseas
Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families.

The Bureau of Rural Workers (BRW) reported that as of November 30, 2009 DOLE
distributed vending carts with accessory livelihood tools to qualified
beneficiaries in the National Capital Region (20), Cordillera Autonomous
Region (39), and Region 1 (10), Region 2 (26), Region 3 (10), Region IV-A
(1), Region IV-B (100), Region 6 (65). In Region 7 (65), Region 10 (20),
Region 11 (65), 12 (20) and 20 in CARAGA. On the other hand, Regions 5, 8
and 9 are still evaluating their lists of beneficiaries.

Under the program, each beneficiary is provided with total of P15,000
assistance including a Nego-Kart vending cart and accessory tools worth
P12,000 along with P 2,500 working capital and P500 worth of training
assistance. Assistance in securing business permit is also provided.

DK Starter Kit Project

Since most Filipinos prefer putting up businesses as an alternative sources
of their income, DOLE also launched the DK Starter Kit Project, a
Micro-Business Enterprise Development concept, to benefit the informal
sector workers and the OFWs and their families.

The DK Starter Kit is consist of a package of priorities and services that
will enable qualified beneficiaries to quickly start a livelihood
undertaking and become self-employed like simple house-to-house service
oriented skills; skills that can be enhanced/ improved through short period
training; as well as new skills that can be acquired through formal


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