Press Releases

Baguio City – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Offices in the Cordillera Administrative Region  will unveil a social partnership accord to recognize the importance of a coordinated and inclusive approach among public and private stakeholders to succeed in the Covid-19 response, recovery and resilience effort as the region recharges its economy headed to the new and better normal.

DOLE-CAR Regional Director and RTWPB Chairman Exequiel Ronie Guzman has encouraged businesses and enterprises to try a work-from-home and telecommuting setup for employees in businesses and industries allowed to resume operations under the modified enhanced community quarantine or general community quarantine as stated in Labor Advisory 17, s. 2020.

“As Cordillera transitions into the new normal, the DOLE presented alternative work schemes that private companies can adopt in order to prevent further business reverses, while protecting jobs, averting closures and termination of workers at the same time.” Guzman said.

He added that these alternative work arrangements include transfer of employee to another branch; assignment of employee to another function or position in the same or another branch or outlet; reduction of normal workdays or work hours; job rotations; partial closure of an establishment while some department or unit is continued; and other schemes that are necessary or peculiar for the survival of a specific business or establishment.

RD Guzman advised employers to employ various wage and benefit schemes necessary for the continuance of business and employment in coordination with their workers and in conjunction with agreed company policies and their respective collective bargaining agreements (CBAs); provided that said adjustments in wage and benefits should not exceed six months or the period mandated in their CBAs.

In instances when termination of employment becomes unavoidable, the emoluments for workers removed for cause should follow the provisions of existing laws. Employers are also required to submit reports to the DOLE field offices on the adaption of any, or all, of the provisions of the Labor Advisory 17-20.

In a related development, Atty. Marvie Fulgencio disclosed that there will be a launching of a social partnership accord between DOLE-RTWPB-DTI and enterprises, business owners, industry associations, cooperatives, corporations and employers’ organizations and formal sector workers, employee groups, and individuals.

The social partnership accord roadmap between DOLE-RTWPB-DTI will be a collaboration in the fields of awareness and information campaign and dissemination of existing guidelines on workplace safety and health for micro, small, and medium enterprises and their employees.” Fulgencio added.

She also said that trainings, orientation and technical assistance will be provided for MSMEs in the region on labor advisories amid work disruptions, access to finance, productivity improvement programs, business continuity and resilience planning and adoption of productivity-based incentive schemes to ease business downturns caused by the pandemic and work disruptions.

Enterprises, business owners, industry associations, cooperatives, corporations and employers’ organizations, should ensure compliance with the guidelines on workplace prevention and control to reduce transmission of the Covid-19 at no cost to workers, specifically on physical and mental health, appropriate health and safety protocols, testing of at-risk workers manifesting Covid-19 symptoms, contact tracing, lockdown procedures and other improvement programs.” Fulgencio added.

Meanwhile, for formal sector workers, employee groups and individuals on the other hand, should strictly follow work safety and health instructions by the employer in compliance with government guidelines, cooperate with management in the implementation of occupational health and safety and business productivity improvement initiatives and programs and coordinate with management and government better working conditions in the workplace and also to participate in trainings, consultations, social dialogue through face-to-face interaction and online virtual platforms to enhance capacity building policy formulation and implementation of Covid-19 response in the workplace.

This agreement will ensure involvement of all parties in realizing a healthy and safe workplace, continuous enterprise productivity and employment preservation amidst the pandemic and work disruption, decent and productive work through business expansion and growth.

 END/Patrick Rillorta.

Dir.Exequiel Guzman
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