The ASK Project ASKSonnie.INFO 2020-11-14T10:11:42Z https://asksonnie.info/feed/atom/ WordPress https://i1.wp.com/asksonnie.info/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/ASK..jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[Work Suspension During Calamities]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=27112 2020-11-14T10:11:42Z 2020-11-13T02:20:25Z When work is suspended because of a natural or man-made calamity, should employer pay employees for the man-days lost?

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The Philippines is prone to natural disasters. When it occurs and work is suspended, are companies obliged to pay its employees?

 

Floods that can cause work suspension

 
 

When a deadly typhoon or volcanic eruption is forecasted or when an earthquake occurs, the government can declare work suspension for public offices. But DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) can’t do the same for the private sector, companies may have their own guidelines in consideration to OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) law and LGU (Local Government Unit) regulations.

 

In the absence of advice, work is assumed normal. Employees, however, who can’t go to work for safety reasons are handled in accordance with industry or company practice.

 

Likewise, there are companies that have a business continuity plan in place to prevent work stoppage, in times of natural or man-made calamities.

 
 

Should employers compensate employees during work suspension?

 

The rule of thumb is no work no pay unless there is a more favorable policy or practice, or CBA. This is in accordance with LA 01 s.2020. In cases when an employee reported for work but management decided to suspend work, only the actual work hours will be paid. Employees, however, can use their service incentive leave (SIL) or vacation/ emergency leave (EL/VL) credits to cover the man-hour lost. 

However, some management are generous during work suspensions. They either do any or combination of the following:

  • Employees who reported for work will be paid in full even though business hours were shortened.
  • The administrative effect of man-days lost (tardiness and absence) is waived
  • Absent employees are still paid, and those who reported for work are given risk allowance

 
 

Should companies extend assistance to employees who are affected by a calamity?

 

Company assistance in times of calamity is also based on generosity. It can be part of company benefits or employee engagement initiatives.

 

The usual assistance a company extends is food and/or cash assistance, or cash advance (loan). But the more proactive companies have a program in place not only for business continuity but also contingency plans for employees and its family in times of man-made or natural calamity.

 
 

Should the employer send home its employees in the middle of a typhoon?

 

This is one of the Qs I often received. And during my HR operations stint, the clamor of employees is to be sent home because they are worried for their families.

My suggestion is to let employees stay on the premises until the typhoon subsidies whether they will shorten business hours or not.  And if the company would consider work suspension, they might as well do it as early as possible when commuting is still safe. The human right of employee to life and safety should be considered

 
 

What is your company’s practice during calamities? Feel free to share it in the comments section.

 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[State of Calamity Due to COVID-19 and Employee Right to Refuse On-Site Work]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=26869 2020-09-23T05:25:37Z 2020-09-19T04:38:36Z The state of calamity due to COVID-19 was extended for one year in the Philippines. Can employees still invoke the right to refuse work?

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The state of calamity due to COVID-19 in the Philippines was extended, can employees still invoke the right to refuse on-site work?

 
 
Yesterday, PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) extended the state of calamity in the Philippines by virtue of the Proclamation 1021 series of 2020. The media usually highlights the empowerment of LGUs to access funds and address the crisis urgently.
 
describing state of calamity
 
However, the declaration of a state of calamity also affects business operations because of DOLEs LA 01 s, 2020. It gave employees a reason to refuse (on-site) work because of imminent danger brought by man-made or natural calamity.
 



 
The legal definition of  “imminent danger” in the context of work can be found in DO 198-18
 
definition of imminent danger
 
But this definition is confined inside the workplace, whereas, a state of calamity is larger in scope because it considers a geographic location. Therefore, there is a possibility that a specific workplace is compliant with the occupational health and safety guidelines but the city where the business is located is under a state of calamity. With that, the possibility of a threat to physical or mental wellness.
 
Refusing on-site work for safety reasons is a basic human right– the right to life.
 
This is where the problem lies. A clash between employees’ right to refuse onsite work because of COVID-19 and employers prerogative to discipline employees who refuse a lawful order.
 

When employers gave a lawful order to return to work, but employees invoke LA 01 s. 2020 sec. 3, what will happen next?

 
Employees can invoke the right to refuse on-site work for safety reasons, but the employer can disagree and give a return to work order. An employer can discipline or terminate an employee for insubordination, and/or absence w/o leave leading to the abandonment of work. But the employee can question this and demand compensation for illegal sanction before DOLE or its affiliate agencies.
 
 

In the middle of a pandemic and economic crisis, can we afford the hassle of a labor conflict? Is it worth the time and resources just to determine who is right and demand retribution to the party who is wrong?

 
 
While I leave it to the wisdom of the employers and HR pros to determine their best course of action when their employee refused on-site work, I will share a simple checklist that may help both parties to determine whether going thru a labor relations issue is a value-adding choice.
 
 

Employers’ Checklist Before Issuing A Return to Work Order (or Employees Checklist before Invoking the right to refuse on-site work)

 
❑  The company is compliant with the occupational health and safety standards, and DO 198-18/ RA 11058.
❑  The company is updated in remitting payment for the mandatory benefits
❑  The company is still practicing work from home arrangements to jobs that can be done remotely.
❑  The company is compliant with Labor Advisories 17, 17a, 17b; DTI and DOLE Interim Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19, May 1, 2020; Department Order No. 35, Series of 2020: Construction Safety Guidelines for the Implementation of All DPWH Infrastructure Projects During the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis (May 4, 2020); DOH Department Memorandum No. 2020-0220: Interim Guidelines on the Return-to-Work issued by the DOH (May 11, 2020); Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04-A, Series of 2020 (DTI and DOLE Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19, August 15, 2020)

❑ Public transportation is already available in the place where the employee resides or there is an available company shuttle (company shuttle need not be paid alone by employers)
❑ The employee is not comorbid or do not belong to the high-risk group
❑ The employee is not living with comorbid and high-risk individuals
❑ The employee is not living in a barangay where hard lockdown is being implemented
❑ Employees are consulted and agreed to an arrangement wherein employees who are ✓ on item 8 will be required for on-site work.
 
 
For employers:
 
The 1st 5 items is a must because employees who will question your return to work order and/or disciplinary action will likely raise those issues against the company, and give the employer a hard time before regulatory bodies. Add to that, additional expenses for penalties and alike.
 
The last 5 items are discretionary but helpful when deciding if you will run after employees.
 
Likewise, before issuing a notice to explain, please be reminded that substantive due process comes first before procedural. It is kinda awkward if you cannot proceed with disciplinary or retributive action for a case you pursued but cannot substantiate.
 
Or, assuming the company proceeded with the disciplinary and retributive actions that are questioned before DOLE and lost the case. Time and resources were wasted instead of using the same for value-adding initiatives.
 
 
For employees:
 
The last 4 items are discretionary, and will not necessarily hold water if you will use this as an argument. If the employer has done its part to safeguard your health, then your argument before regulatory bodies may fall apart.
 
If a complaint or case will be filed before regulatory bodies, please note that this contentious issue can go either way, it will depend on the regulatory bodies’ appreciation of the context, and facts of the case. Add to that, the Department of Labor and Employment is “pro” labor by default. So employers need to calibrate their strategy.
 
 
Can an employee still refuse work?
 
Yes, as I said at the beginning, the right to life is a basic human life. If an employee believed it is still unsafe to work, it should be respected. What management can do is (over) comply with the regulatory requirements to alleviate the fear of employees. These will also serve as proof of good faith and due diligence when a complaint is filed against the company.
 
 
Open communication is the key
 
Because of the inconvenience that will result from the conflict arising from employees refusal to work, it is better to have open communication, to negotiate for a win-win solution, and to look for alternative ways to deal with the issue at hand. Disciplining employees (or terminating them) is the last course of action.
 
 

Do you have a different strategy in mind? Care to share your thoughts?

 
 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[The 1st eHRKamustahan Conference: Transitioning to a New Business Order]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=26807 2020-09-08T03:54:44Z 2020-09-05T08:56:51Z The eHRKamustahan, which started as mental wellness support for HR practitioners at the start of the pandemic, transitioned to become a community of peer mentors, and one of the regular online learning events provider for HR pros

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The eHRKamustahan, which started as mental wellness support for HR practitioners at the start of the pandemic, transitioned to become a regular online learning events provider for HR professionals.

 
 
If you are availing the eHRKamustahan discount for regulars, please sign-up HERE
 

 
If for whatever reason, the registration form below is not loading, please scan the QR code above, or go to this eHRKamustahan GForm
 
 
As a consequence of the regular eHRKamustahan learning event, a vibrant new community of HR professionals now thrive, providing peer mentoring as we navigate and figure out the new normal.
 
As a major milestone of its existence, the community will be holding its first e-conference, in partnership with JobStreet Philippines on Sept. 21-25, 2020.
 
Rationale:
 
To provide answers or solutions to the common issues facing business owners and HR professionals in this pandemic
 
Objectives:
 
At the end of the conference, pax should be able to:
 
1. Tweak their operations to adapt to the present environment and manage productivity
2. Comply with the health, regulatory and reportorial requirements when operating a business
3. Spur innovative thinking to make the business viable
4. Introduce an intervention that will promote mental wellness of employees
 
 

The sessions for the first two days will be COMPLIMENTARY

 
 

 

 
 

Sign-up now to reserve a slot!

 
 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[When HR Sabotages Itself]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=26485 2020-08-22T09:20:42Z 2020-08-14T16:00:50Z HR work is devalued when the framework allow misuse of generosity and affection for our job.

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The key for a more value-adding HR work is when your C-suite and line managers are on the same page with you.

 
 
industrial peace is a result of well trained managers
 
 
But the question is, are we an authority in HR work, and can we assert the HR page?
 
One of the many reasons why HR is not given the value it deserves is because of HR itself. We shoot our foot and unaware of the pain we are inflicting to ourselves. This affects the value of HR in the eyes of its stakeholders. Let me explain how we are unwittingly doing it.
 
 

We created the expectation that HR work is about more sacrifice and less remuneration

 
We love to share posts about HR as a calling. We display our affection for our work, we defer our resignation because we are concerned about the employees we will leave behind. We pat ourselves on the back every time we felt our energy is draining, reminding ourselves of our vocation. Don’t get me wrong, when we love our job, that might be a calling. But if we are overemphasizing it, just remember, a calling implies more sacrifice but less remuneration.
 
Does this explain why a one-man HR is not given an additional headcount despite the growing load? Is it the reason why HR is classified in lower salary grade, and its entry-level is just a notch higher from, if not grouped with minimum wage earners?
 
A tale of the volunteer HR
 

During the first lockdown, this HR was asked to work from home, but management told her that she will not be compensated for reasons I find lacking but she nevertheless agreed because she loved her job. When on-site work was allowed, but public transportation was still suspended, management advised her to report on-site. When she can’t, she received an RTW order otherwise, she will lose her job. She is living in Antipolo and work is in Metro

 
 

We created the impression that we can figure our way around without training support from management

 
When we are somehow lost, we have our dependable FB groups, HR peers, and senior mentors to go to. Besides, free webinars abound during the pandemic. We feel good about our feat and made this obvious to management. Hey! we can get things done thru ‘diskarte’. This is not necessarily wrong, but some management uses this as an excuse to defer the funding of your professional development.
 
Add to that, if management noticed that we are unwilling to fund our professional development, they interpret this as a preference to keep the status quo. Ergo, we are not leaving the company anytime soon. Those who fund their professional growth are perceived to be preparing for greener pasture elsewhere.
 
A blast from the past

When I was still starting in HR, I find it disturbing when those who have no plans of leaving the company get minimal movement in their salary. But those who broadcast their intent to resign, ‘umiikot agad ang pwet’ ng mga bosses. In most cases, resigning employees get the salary they wanted. When I asked my manager about this, the response I got was ‘welcome to life’.

 
So when I became a manager, I made a working agreement with management that when an employee formalizes its intent to leave, it will be irrevocable. Edi natigil ang pananakot.
 
 

Providing free mentoring or learning sessions because we wanted to pay forward.

 
There is nothing wrong with this, but it can be abused. Some companies figured that their young HR can still deliver despite their lack of support for training. These bosses gave tasks that are beyond the training and payscale of their HR, believing their boy (or girl) can find support elsewhere. If an experienced HR who is paying forward is generous and unmindful, once approached by the young hr learners, s/he will help them. As a result, the company had saved money from hiring experienced HR or consultants but still able to tap them thru their young HR.
 
If paying forward is not anchored on sound guidelines and learners take advantage of the generosity of seasoned HRs, it can devalue HR work, HR training, and HR compensation.
 
If we wanted to elevate the game of HR, we need to tweak our mindset, recalibrate our message, and professionalize the image of our profession. HR is a brand, and we are the brand ambassadors. We can master the HR work, champion the process, and own the page, with or without the support of management.
 
 

In your opinion, how do we create a better response from the impressions we created?

 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[Constructive Feedback to Recalibrate COVID-19 Battle Plan]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=26470 2020-08-15T12:43:06Z 2020-08-13T03:58:24Z Giving feedback and helping the government in our fight against COVID 19 is more value-adding to the greater majority of Filipinos than complaining

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Giving feedback and helping the government in our fight against COVID 19 is more value-adding to the majority of Filipinos

 
 
Since I became involved in leadership discourses back in college, it has been my custom to give direct feedback and only use words that I myself can, and willing to say in front of the concerned person or organization. If there are no other means to get the message across, publicly calling people is my last recourse. Embarrassing people is not only disrespectful, but it affects future collaboration (I will dedicate a full-length article about this framework in another post).
 
Having said that, let me share with you the gist of the issues I presented to the Department of Health (DOH) in our initial meeting.
 
 

 
 
I mentioned that this consultation is best done after the 1st case of COVID-19 was recorded. Nevertheless, better late than never.  I also suggested, and they agreed, to have two more meetings, (1) Consultative meeting with HR leaders, (2) Townhall meeting with HR communities
 
 

Criticism against government

 
1. The Philippine government doesn’t have or appears not to have a “collective” and “collaborative” strategy.

  • Most Filipinos are stuck on the 1st level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (food and money for “Judith”). Thus, they cannot appreciate the lockdown (2nd level which is safety), and this is the reason for the quarantine violations.
  • Proponents of the 2nd level are those who can survive a longer lockdown. A collective and collaborative strategy could have been formulated for those stuck on the 1st level so they don’t have to fear hunger or Judith
  • Ex. Since we have a limited budget for Ayuda, gov’t could have coordinated with the private sector so large organizations who can afford to adopt a barangay, and/or pre-identify employers who will be giving assistance to their employees. In this case, the budget will be focused mainly on those who badly needed it.

 
2. The government issue policy directions or courses of action even without implementing guidelines, or proper coordination. This resulted in confusion or inconsistent implementation

  • CAMP, SBWS, SAP, food supplies from the province that are being prevented to enter NCR
  • Workplaces were opened but public transport is suspended. Since employers are only encouraged to provide shuttle service, employees end up walking or spending more on transportation
  • DOLE  issued an advisory about forced leave but SOLE Bello’s pronouncement seems to contradict

 
3. Minimal consultation from the people on the ground

  • Policy directions do not reflect the sentiments and suggestions from the people who have the know-how
  • If collaboration was made, fewer issues would have happened

 
4. Being insensitive or lack of professionalism and courtesy

  • Stop operations in gov’t offices are being done for as long as 2 weeks, affecting public service in the process. But government employees are “allegedly” still being paid (from the taxes of the people) in full.
  • BUT taxpayers are not receiving adequate assistance from the people they are paying. We are not only talking about Ayuda, though temporary relief is good. People need protection from creditors, banks, etc.
  • Those sending emails to government agencies do not receive an adequate response. Or gov’t will give a website (ex. SSS) to submit an application but the website crashes because it is not ready for additional traffic.

 
5. Lack of clear and “all-inclusive” guidelines for employers and HR on the how-tos’ in the workplace.

HR ends up hopping from one website to another or calling one govt’ agency to another for COVID related concerns (SSS, DOLE, DOH, PhilHealth, LGUs, DTI).

 
6. Leadership is not felt

Actions are perceived as reactive and not properly thought of. And if there is a plan, this plan is not properly communicated and coordinated.

 
 

Lapses observed in our fight against COVID-19

 

  • Violations of health protocol likely happen in public transportation, karinderia, public market, and small establishments
  • Lack of enforcement on the barangay level
  • LGU employees are common violators (traffic enforcers mass gathering and chatting in certain places, not following 50% capacity on government vehicles

 
 

Suggestions presented to get wider support and cooperation

 

  • Filipinos would be willing to follow (with few exceptions) if their buy-in were sought, and their concerns were heard, appreciated, and acted upon.
  • Regular consultation on all stakeholders (not only to the leaders, but also to those on the ground), and more inclusive involvement of different sectors.
  • e-townhall for different communities
  • One website or repository for all COVID related issues and FAQs. Issuances are harmonized with the different LGUs and government agencies to help HR professionals and employers.

 
 

A director acquaintance from PCOO left a comment in my FB post and relayed that there is a central depository of COVID-19 issuances and FAQs. The website is Laging Handa and the url is https://covid19.gov.ph

 
 

If you have other observations that you want to convey to help PH fight against COVID 19, or if you want to be part of an eTownhall meeting with DOH, let us know in the comments section below.

 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[Menstrual Leaves To Bring Discrimination to Women Employees?]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=26438 2020-08-15T12:52:37Z 2020-08-10T00:46:45Z Period leaves for women became a debatable issue among leaders, some believed it's a step towards inclusivity, others saw it as drawback.

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Zomato is now giving 10 day ‘period leaves’ for women employees

 
 
The late Sen. Miriam Santiago filed Senate Bill 1687 in 2004 to extend 1 day leave every month with 50% remuneration for women employees who are experiencing premenstrual or menstrual tensions in the Philippines. For whatever reason, the bill did not take off.
 
 
On the other hand, Zomato hit the headlines with its bold move to promote inclusivity and women welfare. Founder & CEO Deepinder Goyal, on August 8, 2020, sent a note to his employees announcing the new benefit.
 
 

At Zomato, we want to foster a culture of trust, truth, and acceptance. Starting today, all women (including transgender people) at Zomato can avail up to 10 days of period leaves in a year.
 

  • Why 10? Most women have ~14 menstrual cycles in a year. Adjusting for the probability of you having your periods on a weekend, you can now rightfully avail 10 extra leaves compared to men
  • You can only take one-period leave for each menstrual cycle
  • Zomato understands that men and women are born with different biological realities. It is our job to make sure that we make room for our biological needs, while not lowering the bar for the quality of our work and the impact that we create
  • There shouldn’t be any shame or stigma attached to applying for a period leave. You should feel free to tell people on internal groups, or emails that you are on your period leave for the day
  • In case you face any unnecessary harassment, or distasteful comments from men or women about the fact that you applied for a period leave, or that you are vocal about it, please report them – our prevention of sexual harassment (POSH) team will quickly spring into action

 
Menstrual or period leaves as an additional benefit for women is not new. There are similar laws in South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, and Taiwan. Likewise, some companies also allow the use of its sick leave benefits for menstrual cases.
 
 
Advocates of inclusivity laud this initiative because it removes the taboo associated with menstrual periods and a step towards accepting diversity in the workplace. But some female corporate leaders felt conflicted about period leaves and saw this as a drawback.
 
 

 

 
 

Do you think this will benefit female employees or it’ll only bring a different form of discrimination?

 
 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[How Human Is Human Resource Management?]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=26349 2020-08-09T06:06:41Z 2020-07-18T13:31:48Z How to measure the 'human' in people management. Should the issues escalated by employees for hr action a fair indication?

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How ‘human’ is people management in the Philippines, is there a science to measure it?

 
 

 
 
So much has been discussed about being humane in HR. I myself raised this in my human centered management article
 
The human in people management is the basis of either praise or complaint against HR. Let’s be honest, the opinion about HR is mixed. In some instances,  people managers are hailed for their contributions to business and human development. Likewise, in different forums, HR is at the center of wrath by both employers and employees.
 
In this article, I will share the result of a survey conducted by Zety on how human is hr. Since HR practice in the Philippines is closely knitted to the west, the survey results may represent a semblance of reality in PH context.
 
My opinion though,  the Qs used is kinda leading, but nevertheless will reflect the sentiment of employees towards HR- a consequence of the human connection or the lack of it,  to the people in the organization.
 
 

THE SURVEY

 
926 Americans were asked about:
 

  • Their opinions on how well HR professionals do their job.
  • Whether they’d seek HR’s advice about a range of problems at work.
  • To tell us the most unusual situation they’ve had to report to HR.

 
Respondents consisted of 57% females and 43% males. 12% of respondents were 24 or younger, 46% aged 25–38, 29% aged 40–55, and 13% 56 or older.
 
This self-report study investigated American employees’ opinions about HR. Respondents were asked 14 scale-based questions about specific qualities attributed to people management departments.
 
 

THE RESULT

 
 
On personal issues
 

 
 
On work issues
 

 
 
On criminal issues
 

 
 
In this section the most commonly cited criticisms towards people managers were used, survey administrators asked the respondents if they agree.
 

  • HR is trustworthy: 50%
  • HR gets too involved in office politics56%
  • HR is consistent in their decision making: 50%
  • HR has the info you need readily available: 58%
  • HR staff lack experience in working with actual humans: 45%
  • HR focuses on procedures rather than people: 48%
  • HR provides effective career planning advice: 56%
  • It’s hard to get a straight/timely answer from HR: 40%
  • HR puts their own department above regular employees: 46%
  • HR takes the side of the employee: 31%
  • HR staff lack experience with the business side of things: 44%

 
 

MY TAKE

 
The result on the ‘personal issues’ section is a serious blow to HR
 
Based on experience, when tragedy struck on employees, the 1st person to know is either me or my staff. And we make our presence felt during this dark episode of our employees life.
 
The result on ‘co-workers issues’ is kinda understandable. The culture of ‘to each on his own’ in the workplace  is also true in the Philippines. Filipinos would rather escalate this to their middle managers, rather than HR, or resolve it on their own. It is the middle managers who will raise these to HR if they need assistance to deal with the situation.
 
However, the results on the ‘criminal issues’ is also disturbing.
 
Why wouldn’t employees report such situations to the people management department? The administrators of the survey pointed to the HR Acuity’s 2019 Employee Experience Survey to explain the likely reasons
 

  • Fear of retaliation. 46% of the respondents said they feared retaliation if they reported their problems.
  • Lack of objectivity. 39% feared their complaint wouldn’t be dealt with fairly.
  • Gender. Issues reported by men were 26% more likely to be investigated. Women’s complaints are more likely to be ignored.

 
I had an incident in the past when a female employee, after her contract ended, planned to pursue a case against her manager for sexual harassment. She is just awaiting the release of her final pay, and from there go to Tulfo to seek help.
 
I got hold of this matter in the course of a quiet investigation against the same manager for a similar complaint. I am hoping to substantiate the case by getting a collaborative statement from former employees. I took time to meet briefly those who are getting their final pay and sought feedback on how we can further improve HR services. Thus, this former employee opened up. When I asked why she did not report the incident, her reason was the manager was powerful and close to the VP.
 
 

CONCLUSION

 
To operationalize a ‘human-centered’ people management, pursuing these KRAs will help human resource professionals.
 
Be trustworthy
 

  • Learn how to keep confidence
    One person who sought my advice disclosed that he don’t feel comfortable on the coaching program of the company. When I asked why, he said the coach from HR discusses the issues of employees to her colleagues.
  • Implement in your department what you want other departments to follow
  • Clean your own house first

  • Be consistent with your decisions and follow the process
  • Disengage from value negating office politics

 
Be competent
 

  • Be good on your job
  • Improve your business acumen
  • Be immersed on analytics
    Know your numbers, inside and out. With this, you can answer anyone at anytime when asked about your department
  • Be aware of the trends outside your organization; best practices and alike
  • Speak your mind in areas of leadership and employment. Always correlate your insights on productivity, peso value consequence of behavior and actions
  • Communicate with confidence
  • Be adaptive to change

 
Be a people champion
 

  • Hear employees out, don’t just listen
    Understand and empathize
  • Be aware of people issues outside your organization.
  • Integrate human rights in human resources in your
    company’s strategic framework
  • Tweak your policies to put employee welfare over process
  • Develop a culture geared towards professional humility, courtesy and community service.
  • Introduce a program that will make an intrapreneur out of the employees. This program can spin-off to an entrepreneurship off-boarding program

 
 

Do you find the survey result reflective of the Philippine HR landscape? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[Blended Learning: How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=26342 2020-10-07T03:10:43Z 2020-07-16T12:49:19Z Blended learning is the fusion of traditional and non-traditional methods of learning. Maximizing the use of technology, telecommunications and the internet

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Blended learning is the fusion of traditional and non-traditional methods of learning. Maximizing the use of technology, telecommunications and the cyberspace.

 
 
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine’s Department of Education moved the school opening to August and is pushing for blended learning. At the moment, the gov’t are preparing its teachers to adapt to the demand of the present situation.
 

 
As schools prepare for blended learning to capitalize on the digital landscape, parents as well need to embrace distance learning and assume new roles for their child’s schooling.
 
 
With more people spends time on the cyber space, cyber criminals find plenty of opportunities to take advantage. If parents will ignore the risks and online safety framework, kids will likely be exposed to things that they are not supposed to, and may unnecessarily have a negative online experience.
 
 
With the risks in mind, Kaspersky suggested these five things parents must know to keep their kinds safe while they navigate the internet.
 
1. Communicate.
 
The Internet is like a  limitless library, where information just seems to be endless. While it can be beneficial for a child, dangers also lurk.
 
In a recent survey conducted by the internet safety company, 58% of parents  spent less than 30 minutes talking to their children about online risks and safety.
 
As parents you lay down clear-cut rules and discussing these with your child in the beginning is a good start. Have a heart-to-heart talk with your kids to explain the family guidelines on behaving online and engaging in online activities such as signing up on websites, sites, making online purchases, downloading music or video files, or joining chat or messaging rooms.
 
According to Kaspersky Security Network data from January 2020 to May 2020, Filipino children users of devices installed with Kaspersky solutions have been engaging in buying and selling of items online which peaked in April 2020 at 6.04% during the pandemic period from only 3.42% in January 2020. In the same period, Fiipino kids were also seen to have been downloading a bit more software, audio and video content from 32.67% in January 2020 to 38.7% in March 2020.
 
Such activities pose security risks if children are not made aware of possible dangerous outcomes — confidential login details or financial data used in online shopping may be used fraudulently. Children may also unknowingly download materials from torrent sites which may come with free malware that can wreak havoc on one’s device.
 
2. Surf together.
 
One of the key findings of the survey showed that 50% of parents manually check their children’s devices to look through browsing history, after use. Parents may think that doing so is alright but children may feel otherwise.
 
Building mutual trust is possible when parents spend time online with their children, particularly during blended learning sessions. This is important as parents teach their kids how to explore the Internet safely and how to use this platform for studying online and socializing with friends, classmates, and teachers.
 
It’s also advisable to keep the devices out in the open, placed in communal spaces around the house to help parents stay on top of any potential issues. Doing so also prompts children to self-check because of an adult’s presence within the space.
 
3. Limit online time.
 
The Web is so named because it’s like a web. Or a maze. And anyone can get lost in it. Kids can get distracted from schoolwork or they can have extended screen time past their school hours at home. They can be endlessly glued on to their devices if they are unmonitored.
 
Set boundaries by scheduling their time on their screen and going offline. One good way is to set off the alarm to alert you and your child.
 
The  survey results show that a quarter (26%) of children experienced being addicted to the internet. This has often led to kids clamming up emotionally and socially, displaying irritability or signs of depression when not online. Other children even sacrifice sleep to spend an extra hour online.

 

4. Debrief daily.
 
Oftentimes, search results for study purposes don’t exactly lead to the kind of information one is looking for. A child might make an innocent search for a school topic but may find mature content intended for adults.
 
Children seeing harmful content online (27%) is the top online threat that families have reported experiencing, based on a the survey released in Q4 of 2019. Among the dangerous things that kids encounter on social media are sexting and cyberbullying. In a previous international survey from Global Kids Online, a third of children in the Philippines have been reported to have seen sexual images throughout the year of 2018.
 
The recent KSN data showed Filipino kids’ interest in weapons also went up from 0.12% in January 2020 to 0.53% in April 2020.
 
Spending a few minutes with your child before bed each day, talking about their good and bad encounters, including their online activities, will help normalize the conversation. Over time, such a conversation will feel less like making a special effort for parents to “check in” and will contribute to a family’s cybersmart approach to safety.
 
5. Educate yourself.
 
Parents need to be one step ahead, or at least at par with their kids knowledge of the cyber space.
 
“Use the resources available around you. As parents, we want the best for our kids and we are learning as we go. Our own approach will be different from the next parent and it’s totally fine. We have the technology, up-to-date information provided by organizations and companies and we have our fellow parents to ask for help. We found that when parents pool their wisdom and provide their kids with specific, practical and timely advice delivered in a way that is useful and memorable, that’s how they become effective in raising their kids safer in a digital world,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Kaspersky Southeast Asia.
 
Kaspersky Total Security 2020 is one of the many options to help parents look after their children when online.
 
Some of the features include adult site blocker, screen time manager, app use controls and social network tracker (because kids now have their own Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts!). With the GPS child-locator, parents can even check their kid’s location and find out if the child steps beyond the safe area specified.
 
“In one of the surveys in the past where children were asked globally, 75% of the kids said they’d feel safer if they could speak with their parents about online dangers. Again, we start by educating ourselves and choosing the correct tools to help us and kids each to stay safe online,” Yeo added.

 
 
As we gear towards blended learning, parents and teachers need to be educated as well on the general cyber wellness framework as we navigate the new normal in education.
 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[#FaceAppChallenge A Privacy Risk?]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=26123 2020-10-07T03:10:57Z 2020-06-19T16:37:38Z FaceApp does not contain any malicious elements. But facial recognition is a tech used for authentication says a security expert.

The post #FaceAppChallenge A Privacy Risk? appeared first on The ASK Project.

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The FaceApp application has started to circulate again on social networks after the free launch of the “gender swap” filter. The new craze has generated the hashtag “faceapp challenge” and received hundreds of thousands of shares on Facebook and Instagram. As a result, concerns about the security of the facial recognition application and the risks of sharing this information for privacy reasons have also been raised.
 
“Being isolated and stuck at home during the pandemic has prompted people to spend more time on social media than ever before. Keeping themselves updated with news and connecting with friends and families are among the top reasons. But people have also been turning to social media to deal with stress and anxiety. Sharing photos and videos using apps that add filters either by swapping genders and looking older are now back in vogue. Again, we say there’s no harm in using these apps.
 
 

But we urge social media users to pay strict attention to how much of their private information will be used and shared by such apps to avoid any risk” – Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

 
 
Fabio Assolini, senior security analyst at Kaspersky, assures that the FaceApp does not contain any malicious elements. However, since facial recognition is a technology used mainly for password authentication, the user must be very careful when sharing their image with third parties. “We have to treat these new forms of authentication as passwords, as any widely available facial recognition system can end up being used for both good and bad,” warns the Kaspersky expert.
 
According to Assolini, companies that own such apps could potentially facilitate or sell these images to entities that use Artificial Intelligence to make facial recognition modifications. “In addition, it must be taken into account that this data is stored on third-party servers, and that it can also be stolen by cyber criminals and used to impersonate identities,” he adds.
 
From the news desk of Kaspersky
 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[JobStreet Philippines and #HRinHR advocate Sonnie Santos collaborates for the local HR community]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=26015 2020-08-09T06:07:11Z 2020-06-15T20:14:20Z The strategic partnership of JobStreet.com and #HRinHR advocate Sonnie Santos will help spread awareness of business and human rights.

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This post was 1st published at Jobstreet.com.ph
 
 
partnership announcemen by Jobstreet
 
 
Behind every strong organization is an equally strong Human Resources group. The HR professionals are no longer just a “hire and fire” department, as they are crucial in shaping and maintaining an organization’s culture. As this group is responsible from talent recruitment to employee wellbeing, HR is the beating heart of any company.
 
 
JobStreet is inspired by the growing community of HR professionals who are determined to elevate their expertise and understanding of what the modern Filipino employee needs. Through the strategic partnership of JobStreet.com and #HRinHR (Human Rights in Human Resources) advocate Sonnie Santos, both will continue to help spread awareness of business and human rights, candidate preferences and employment trends, and promote meaningful discussions of best practices for the HR industry.
 
 
Sonnie Santos said: “The partnership provides access to the vast knowledge database of Jobstreet Philippines. This can make our interventions and programs timely, relevant and value-adding to both the talent market and employers.”
 
 
Sonnie Santos is the HR professional behind “The ASK Project” initiative. He is also the founder of the Learning and Organization Development Institute, Inc. (LODI, Inc.), the co-founder of Blogwatch and the expert partner of Australia for cyber wellness. He is a twice awardee for his advocacies and is always at the forefront in developing future and corporate leaders through the HR Mentoring program.
 
 
More than just a job board, JobStreet is the most trusted talent source for Filipinos and multiple countries around the world. For more than 20 years, JobStreet have always connected and matched businesses to the right talent, and utilizing deep local employment insights for companies. JobStreet.com provides in-depth, actionable insights that empower hirers to make the right decisions for their workforce.
 
 
Filipino HR professionals can expect articles and webinars that focus on improving and elevating the industry. Together, Sonnie Santos and JobStreet Philippines will bring valuable, customized, and targeted content to the local Human Resources community.
 
 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[How to Terminate Employment When Saving Job is No Longer Feasible]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=25927 2020-08-15T12:41:25Z 2020-05-25T10:13:53Z When you can no longer prevent job loss, what is the ideal approach to terminate employment in times of COVID-19

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When you can no longer prevent job loss, what is the ideal approach to terminate employment in times of COVID-19

 
Read: 13 Steps to Handle “Employee Refused Work” Because of COVID-19 Situation
 
In my previous article, we discussed the options available in LA 09-2020, LA 17-2020, DO 174, RA 11165, Labor Code of PH to manage talent oversupply, these are:
 

terminate employment
 

After COVID-19 Lockdown, What to Do with Oversupply of Employees?

 

By exhausting all the options above, it can be used as basis for good faith. When your company decides to downsize due to the economic slowdown, you can present your compliance to the reportorial requirements of DOLE.
 
 

How to terminate employment in the midst of pandemic

 

 

  1. Your options
     
    Art. 298. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel.

    The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of termination due to the installation of labor-saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year.

  2.  

     

  3. SBWS Requirement: You cannot terminate employment during the community quarantine period
  4.  

  5. Substantive Requirements for Redundancy
     
    – The positions that will be made redundant is more than the actual requirements to efficiently deliver result.
    – Fair and reasonable criteria consistently implemented
    – Approved new planitilla based on time motion and feasibility studies, new workflow and job description
  6.  

  7. Substantive Requirements for Retrenchment
     
    – Expected or actual losses must be convincing (audited financial statement)
    – Fair and reasonable criteria consistently implemented
  8.  

  9. Procedural Requirements
     
    – 1 month notice to both DOLE and Employee
  10.  

  11. Separation Pay for Redundancy
     
    – 6 months to 1 year: equivalent to 1 month pay
    – 2 years and more (fraction of 6 months is equivalent to 1 year): 1 month pay for every year of service
  12.  

  13. Separation Pay for Retrenchment
     
    – 6 months to 2 years: equivalent to 1 month pay (because of the whichever is higher clause)
    – 3 years and more (fraction of 6 months is equivalent to 1 year): 1/2 month pay for every year of service
  14.  

  15. Other Monetary Obligations Per LA 06-2020 (If applicable)
     
    – Unpaid salary
    – Cash conversion of accrued and earned SIL/VL/SL
    – Pro rated 13th month pay
    – Tax refund
    – Cash bonds and alike
    – Or whatever is stipulated in CBA
  16.  

  17. When to Release Monetary Oligations per LA 06-2020
     
    Company have 1 month to release all monetary obligations to employee. However, for humanitarian reason, this is my suggested pay-out schedule, based on best practices of some companies:
     
    – Separation pay due to authorized causes: Given on the day when employee receives his/her notice of termination
    – Additional 30 days worth of payment to cover the 30 days notice, so employee need not report physically for work, and begin looking for another job (employee is still employed until after 30 days).
    – Final pay: Given a month after separation. The one month period is for clearance processing

 
 

Can We Terminate Employment of Probationary, Project Based, Contractual Employees for Authorized Causes?

 
Why not? The same substantive, procedural, documentary and monetary obligations apply.
 
 

Compassionate Off-Boarding

 
This is an intermediate program, putting another layer of humane touch, wherein employers are collaborating with other organizations to prepare and transition employees who are candidates for discplacement.
 
Affected employees will be trained for in-demand skills, and deploy them to industries where they may have new means of income.
 
One of the groups that facilitate compassionate off-boarding is IGNITE. You can ask your displaced employee to sign-up HERE.
 
https://ignitehouse.vc/bidaboss/reg-track/ 
 
 

Disclaimer: The articles found in this blog do not constitute legal advise, and engagement/discussion don’t signify professional client relationship. Due diligence is advised. Likewise, subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to, or repeal of, laws, rules and regulations may have rendered the whole or part of this article inaccurate or obsolete.

 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[What To Do When Employee Refuse Work Because of COVID-19]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=25888 2020-09-28T05:15:22Z 2020-05-17T10:04:09Z Management is cautiously excited to re-open business after the lockdown. But an employee refuse work for fear of COVID-19 infection. What can be done?

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Management is cautiously excited to re-open business after the lockdown. But an employee refuses work for fear of COVID-19 infection. What can be done?

 
Related: 5.25.2020- How to Humanely Terminate Employment in Times of COVID-19
 
Not too long ago, I wrote about employees right to refuse work because of COVID-19. It was not a biggie then because everyone is locked down in their homes. But since there is easing of the quarantine measures and businesses are now allowed to slowly re-open, there is heated debate both in open and closed spaces of social media about employee refusal to return to work.
 
Before I share a practical management approach to deal with the problem, let’s review my previous article.
 
There are two prevailing schools of thought about the issue, (1) is Labor Advisory 01 Section 3 and (2) DO 198-18 Chapter III Section 6. So which one applies in a pandemic situation?
 
 

The context

 

  • LA 01-  The existence of imminent danger resulting from man-made or natural calamity
  • DO 198-18 – Imminent danger is confined inside company premises but may or may not be due to a calamity. Likely due to non compliance to international health and safety standards. Employer have reasonable control to create a safe environment ‘inside’ company premises but cannot guarantee the same outside the controlled spaces of work. An Imminent danger, in this issuance, needs to be determined by DOLE.

 
 

Applicability

 

  • Is the COVID-19 pandemic a natural calamity?
  • Do we have an imminent danger situation?
  • The declaration extention of  state of calamity placing the nation under various quarantine categories and restricting movement of people, by the President, an acknowledgement of imminent danger?
  • Assuming the company and its safety officers over complied with the minimum health and safety standards set by IATF, can they guarantee safety outside the work premises?

So between the two Government issuances, which one will likely be believed or embraced by employees?
 
The ‘imminent danger’ definition is the point of debate and I will leave it at that.
 
 

Going back to the purpose of this article, what can an employer or HR do, when an employee refuses work?

 

 
Here are my suggestions
 

  1. Comply with the minimum health and safety standards. The company is compliant with Labor Advisories 17, 17a, 17b; DTI and DOLE Interim Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19, May 1, 2020; Department Order No. 35, Series of 2020: Construction Safety Guidelines for the Implementation of All DPWH Infrastructure Projects During the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis (May 4, 2020); DOH Department Memorandum No. 2020-0220: Interim Guidelines on the Return-to-Work issued by the DOH (May 11, 2020); Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04-A, Series of 2020 (DTI and DOLE Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19, August 15, 2020). And even with the ‘return to work guidelines’ being issued by various LGUs, when applicable.
  2.  

  3. Ensure that you are updated in your obligation to remit SSS, EC, Philhealth, and related statutory benefits. Add to that, you are compliant to the existing Occupational Health and Safety Standards and DO 198-18/ RA 11058
  4.  

  5. If the company is able, give more. Provide shuttle service, temporary accommodation, provide testings, give multi-vitamins, enroll employees to HMO/insurances, give hazard pay, etc. Please emphasize though that when extending these, it is only in response to the present situation, and this is NOT a permanent benefit.
  6.  
    The FIRST two is a must, though the 3rd is optional but a HUGE ‘pogi’ point in establishing ‘due diligence’ and ‘good faith’
     

  7. Acknowledge the prevailing ’employee belief’ that it is his/her right to refuse work on-site because of the present COVID-19 danger, and s/he cannot be given administrative discipline for it. By recognizing this, it does not mean you agree (remember the debate)
  8.  

  9. Determine among your roster, who can continue WFH, and who will need to report onsite.
  10.  

  11. And among those needed to report onsite, assess (using the health checklist/survey form) each employee based on the guidelines issued by the government and/or best health practices, to determine who are eligible for on-site work.
  12.  

  13. Using the first three items (points 1 to 3) as assurance, formally advise employees ‘who passed the assessment’ for on-site work (based on item 5), to return to work.
  14.  

  15. If employees refuse work, revert back to WFH, or explore other options. Negotiate for a win-win solution (LA 17-2020).
  16.  

  17. If the job is not doable in WFH set-up, or the employee is not cooperative, advise the employee that s/he will be placed in a no work no pay status, for a minimum of 6 months (or request employee to file LWOP). Likewise, ensure that there is a clear policy about moonlighting during this period. Proper documentation is a must. Put in writing that the employer has exercised due diligence for the safety and over-all welfare of employees, all options have been explored but in the end, employee invokes his right to refuse work.
     
    Pursuing an administrative case against the employee for insubordination and/or abandonment is always on the table. If it is the wisest and value-adding option, then pursue it.
     
    Otherwise…
  18.  

  19. Augment your manpower and look for other employees who can take on the job
  20.  

  21. Since there is an oversupply of talent in the market, you can also hire a temporary replacement for (the role) of employee concerned. This is the reason for the minimum of 6 months LWOP, so you can hire a temporary replacement
  22.  

  23. When the state of calamity is lifted, advise again the concerned employee to return to work
  24.  

  25. If an employee still refused, by all means, proceed filing applicable administrative case.
  26.  

  27. If employee gladly returns to work as advised, all is good. But if you are the type that holds a grudge, you ‘may’ reflect employee attitude in applicable scorecards or performance reviews, that have bearing on promotion, salary adjustment, or performance bonus.

 
 

Given the oversupply of talent in the market, what roles in your operations were affected by employee refusal to work, if any.

 
 

Disclaimer: The articles found in this blog do not constitute legal advice, and engagement/discussion don’t signify a professional-client relationship. Due diligence is advised. Likewise, subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to, or repeal of, laws, rules, and regulations may have rendered the whole or part of this article inaccurate or obsolete.

 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[After COVID-19 Lockdown, What to Do with Oversupply of Employees?]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=25867 2020-05-31T10:00:48Z 2020-05-16T07:33:11Z After the COVID-19 lockdown, re-opening biz is a challenge. With the slump and added cost on safety measures, how will you address employee oversupply?

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Update:
 
5.25.2020- When Preventing Job Loss is no longer feasible, how to terminate employment humanely
5.21.2020- Copy of presentation at the end of this article
5.17.2020- What to do when employee refused to return to work for fear of COVID-19
 

After the lockdown, re-opening biz is a challenge. With the slump and added cost on safety measures, how will you address employee oversupply?

 
 
Companies have embarked on belt tightening measures, and the management team of two companies that I know of volunteered to have their salary reduced to as much as 50% so it can subsidize the salary of lowest rank employees. Temporary reduction of salary, however, must emanate from employees, NEVER from the employer.
 
Update: Based on the newly released LA 17-2020, management can now initiate discussion with employees to temporary reduce salary, agreement should be in writing
 
Employee surplus caused by the covid-19 lockdown is a reality. While employers would like to prevent job losses,  employees may need to entertain the possibility of reduced income and even job loss.
 
In the midst of high cost of running a biz in pandemic vis-a-vis with low demand, what are the options of biz owners to deal with employee oversupply?
 
 

UPDATE: Newly released (5.18.2020) DOLE Advisory 17-2020

 
If applicable, employers are encouraged to

  1. Transfer employee to another branch or outlet
  2. Re-assign employee to another function or position, same or another branch of same employer
  3. Temporary closure of some parts of the business
  4. Employer and employee Agreement to temporarily reduce salary

 

 
 

DOLE Advisory 09-2020

 
Employers are encouraged to explore flexible work arrangements (FWA) with its employees. This advisory suggests three:

  1. Reduction of workhours or workdays
  2. Rotation of workers
  3. Forced leave


 
 

RA 11165- Telecommuting

 
Another alternative is work from home, however, companies who are not prepared for WFH arrangements have encountered productivity issues. Not to mention additional cost in subsidizing internet and power consumption of employees, which should not be, and info sec concerns.

How To Implement Telecommuting In The Philippines


 
 

ARTICLE 301 of the Labor Code- ‘Floating Status’ or ‘Temporary Layoff’

 
Temporary shut down of businesses, or parts of it, due to business losses is also allowed. In this case, while employee don’t have an income, they may still be entitled to non monetary benefits like HMO and other insurances.
 

When employment not deemed terminated. The bona-fide suspension of the operation of a business or undertaking for a period not exceeding six (6) months, or the fulfillment by the employee of a military or civic duty shall not terminate employment. In all such cases, the employer shall reinstate the employee to his former position without loss of seniority rights if he indicates his desire to resume his work not later than one (1) month from the resumption of operations of his employer or from his relief from the military or civic duty.”

 
There are several SC rulings that supports this.
 
Crispin B. Lopez vs. Irvine Construction Corp. and Tomas Sy Santos (GR 207253, Aug. 20, 2014)
 

“It is defined as the severance of employment, through no fault of and without prejudice to the employee, resorted to by management during the periods of business recession, industrial depression, or seasonal fluctuations, or during lulls caused by lack of orders, shortage of materials, conversion of the plant to a new production program or the introduction of new methods or more efficient machinery, or of automation. Elsewise stated, lay-off is an act of the employer of dismissing employees because of losses in the operation, lack of work, and considerable reduction on the volume of its business, a right recognized and affirmed by the Court. However, a lay-off would be tantamount to a dismissal only if it is permanent.”
 
“When a lay-off is only temporary, the employment status of the employee is not deemed terminated, but merely suspended. The lay-off, being an exercise of the employer’s management prerogative, must be exercised in good faith – that is, one which is intended for the advancement of employers’ interest and not for the purpose of defeating or circumventing the rights of the employees under special laws or under valid agreements. xxx xxx xxx Six months is the period set by law that the operation of a business or undertaking may be suspended thereby suspending the employment of the employees concerned. The temporary lay-off wherein the employees likewise cease to work should also not last longer than six months. After six months, the employees should either be recalled to work or permanently retrenched following the requirements of the law, and that failing to comply with this would be tantamount to dismissing the employees and the employer would thus be liable for such dismissal.”

 

In cases of agency employees
 
DO 174 Section 13
 
DO 174 Section 13
 
Exocet Security and Allied Services Corporation vs. Serrano, (G. R. No. 198538, September 29, 2014)

“While there is no specific provision in the Labor Code which governs the ‘floating status’ or temporary ‘off-detail’ of security guards employed by private security agencies, this situation was considered by this court in several cases as a form of temporary retrenchment or lay-off. The concept has been defined as that period of time when security guards are in between assignments or when they are made to wait after being relieved from a previous post until they are transferred to a new one. As pointed out by the CA, it takes place when the security agency’s clients decide not to renew their contracts with the agency, resulting in a situation where the available posts under its existing contracts are less than the number of guards in its roster. It also happens in instances where contracts for security services stipulate that the client may request the agency for the replacement of the guards assigned to it, even for want of cause, such that the replaced security guard may be placed on temporary ‘off-detail’ if there are no available posts under the agency’s existing contracts.
 
As the circumstance is generally outside the control of the security agency or the employer, the court has ruled that when a security guard is placed on a ‘floating status’” he or she does not receive any salary or financial benefit provided by law. ”

 
 
If all the above has been exhausted, the inevitable and unpopular move to terminate employees needs to be considered as last recourse, Article 298 of the Labor Code of the Philippines have laid out the framework. Redundancy or retrenchment may apply.
 
Art. 298. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel.

The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of termination due to the installation of labor-saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year.

 

Termination: Authorized Causes


 
 

DUE PROCESS

 
In all of the measures mentioned in this article, please observe due process. These are the reportorial, procedural, documentary and monetary obligations of the employer as prescribed by the law.
 
 

What challenges have you encountered in addressing employee surplus? Care to share how these affected productivity and employee engagement?

 
 

Disclaimer: The articles found in this blog do not constitute legal advise, and engagement/discussion don’t signify professional client relationship. Due diligence is advised. Likewise, subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to, or repeal of, laws, rules and regulations may have rendered the whole or part of this article inaccurate or obsolete.

 
 

BONUS:Copy of the presentation materials

 

 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[D0 209 CAMP Questions Answered]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=25824 2020-08-15T12:41:35Z 2020-03-20T09:05:36Z DO 209 CAMP outlines how the Gov't will help employees who were affected by the measures to contain COVID-19 in the Philippines

The post D0 209 CAMP Questions Answered appeared first on The ASK Project.

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DO 209 CAMP outlines how the Gov’t will help employees who were affected by the measures to contain COVID-19 in the Philippines. Because of the numerous  questions it caused, we deemed it proper to hold an online forum with DOLE to have it cleared.

 
Related COVID-19 articles:

 

We had ASec Nikki Tublay of Employment and General Administration Cluster-DOLE, she is involved in developing programs to affected employees caused by natural calamities like then Taal eruption and now COVID-19.
 

Q & A Hour w/ DOLE: Implementation of D0 209 CAMP

 


 
 

Copy of DO 209 CAMP (COVID 19 Adjustment Measures Program For Affected Workers)

 




 
 

Labor Advisory No. 12-2020: Clarificatory Guidelines on the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP)

 




 
 

Transcript of the Q and A with ASec Nikki about D0 209 CAMP

 
 
*FWA- Flexible Work Arrangement
*ECQ- Enhanced Community Quarantine
*WFH- Work from Home
*CAMP- COVID 19 Adjustment Measures Program
 
Q– How do we treat the attendance of employees during this ECQ period? Can this be filed as paid leave?
A– gaya ng unang pronouncement ni SOLE, gagamitin ang leave credits ng workers; pag naubusan, no work. No pay will apply; kaya nagbibigay ng financial assistance para ayuda on the ECQ
 
Q– If the leave credits have been consumed, can this be filed under SSS similar to SSS Sickness notification?
A– if may sickness during the ecq, for as long as docs are presented, sss and ec, covid 19 included; can also apply for calamity loan; pwede din gamitin benefits ng philheatlh
 
Q– What is the difference of FWA and temporary closure? Since most of the companies are closed due to lockdown?
A– “FWA – prior to pronouncement on ECQ, like hotels and restos, bumaba no. of guests and kita, nagbawas ng oras and araw, job rotation, wfh – this is the fwa. Temporary closure or suspension – totally wala ng operation, sarado, tulad ng nangyayari ngayon na sarado mga companies except those identified to operate”
 
Q– Is it applicable to all regardless of employment status such as probationary employees? OJT? TESDA Apprenticeship program receiving 75% of the minimum? Paano kung agency hired tapos yung client po ang nagdeclare ng forced leave? Fixed term? Project Based? Foreign employees?
A– regardless, lahat ng workers in the formal sector, regardless of the status of employment; for as long as they are in the payroll
 
Q– Are there specific companies to be covered, in terms of industry or number of employees?
A-based on the guidelines of DO 209, this is extended to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise. SOLE Bello has appealed to the large companies to just give to the employees
 
Q– Is this for NCR only? Or the entire Luzon or whichever other region that will be on ECQ?
A– This is nationwide, all areas covered by the ECQ.
 
Q– Since subject for approval ang pagapply ng financial assistance with DoLE, so no need for the employer to advance this to affected workers?
A– DO No. 9, nananawagan na tugunan ng large companies ang sahod for the month of March, pro rated 13th/14th month pay; CAMP is for Micro/Small/Medium enterprise large companies may apply but will be given less priority
 
Q– Currently our emergency leave credits for the employee is 5 days.. it was stated in our company handbook. But due to current situation the management decided to stop the operation starting Mar 16 until further notice and extend their emergency leave up to 14 days to avoid no work no pay. Will it be possible that the 5k assistance per.employee will be given to employer instead for covering up the additional benefits given to them.
A– kung ano ang binigay or pinangako na sa employees, let’s give it to them; if leave is extended ibigay na and dagdag na lang ang financial assistance sa CAMP
 
Q– is it ok if our payroll is not thru bank, but thru gcash atm?
A– If company payroll is not thru bank, financial assistance will be sent thru money remittance centers, diretso sa account ng employee
 
Q– for piece rate and trainees are they also qualified? Consultants? Senior mgt?
A– basta employee, basta nasa payroll ng company
 
Q– Our Company will be paying our employees who will not be able to report for work with 60% of their basic pay. With that, since there is partial loss of income, will our employees be eligible for the Financial assistance?
A– entitled sila kasi may partial loss of income
 
Q– In the dole form for ecq employer adjustments, it was stated that flexi work arrangements should have been filed at least a month or a week before the implementation. Considering that we have just been informed and the flexi work arrangements are just being activated, is it ok to still file? Who will be covered?
A– file anytime immedaitely; forms have been revised accordingly so anytime, it can be filed; progressive filing everytime may macover ng ECQ na area/region
 
Q– Is there a deadline of filing?
A– none. Basta file immediately
 
Q– For reporting of affected workers – does the advisory refers to workers without leave credit yet or have already exhausted all their leave credits?
A– para sa lahat; those with leave, those sa naubos na.
 
Q– Can you give specific reasons why applications for the financial assistance would be denied except for misinformation?
A– within 3 days, dole will evaluate; kaya hinihingi ang payroll at app form para maevaluate; if may inconsistencies, sasabihan ng Regional Office sa nakitang deficiencies sa application
 
Q– Kahit po ba mga new hire for this march ay makakatanggap?
A– basta nasa payroll;
 
Q– Do we submit per branch/ store location or just for the mother company?
A– “if payroll system is centralized – mother company; if localized, per branch; so per payroll group/registry ang filing”
 
Q– Is payroll register needed for submission be certified true copy?
A– opo, basta yung nanggaling sa company
 
Q– What if the employee does not want to charge their absences in their leave credits to save it for future use. Can the employees consume their VL only and not their SL credits and still be eligible for the CAMP? We just want to reserve their SL for the rest of the year since it is still March and they might need it for the remaining months of 2020. Will they still be entitled for the financial support coming from DOLE?
A– yes, may leave credits or wala entitled
 
Q– We have an affected worker who is in his senior already..and receiving sss pension too..We hired him as Liaison, will he still be covered? Also what about those who do not have bank acc?
A– entitled, basta nasa payroll
 
Q– If DOLE denied the first submission, can we re submit? Can they tell us what needs to complete?
A– Pwedeng magre-file. Within 3 days, DOLE will evaluate. Kaya hinihingi ang payroll and forms, if may problem,sasabihin naman ng DOLE kung ano ang problem.
 
Q– Is there anyone will answer our phonecall or at least acknowledge our email once the application has been submitted?
A– yes, per region, directory/list of email addresses per region will be provided
 
Q– How can we protect the data that we are sending to DOLE. Should we encrypt it then send the password on a separate email?
A– no need, masyado ng meticulous
 
Q– Latest payroll if weekly just 1 week or we need to submit 1 month payroll.
A– ok lang, last payroll – weekly, monthly, semi monthly
 
Q– For new hire employees that were not part of the last payroll prior the flexi work arrangement, what other documents/requirements the employer may present.
A– indicate na lang sa application na new hire, then regional office will evaluate
 
Q– ung mga nagrerender po ng resignation, kasama pa rin ba sa magkakaroon ng 5k subsidy from DOLE?
A– basta nasa pevious payroll
 
Q– Is there any rule for no work no pay for upcoming holy thursday and black friday?
A– laging may advisory na nilalabas ang DOLE everytime there is a holiday ; expect in the coming weeks
 
Q– Is it legal po ba if we provide cash advance but later on after they recover the cash advance will be deducted to there salary? Private sector po kami
A– legal naman basta makakatulong sa workers; important, agreed upon by employer and worker,may ATD
 
Q– Do City Mayors have the right to amend any of the items in the DO?
A– no, that’s DOLE program
 
Q– is giving away in advance the pro rated 13th month of employees are mandatory
A– not mandatory but it’s the appeal of the SOLE Bello
 
Q– Ask lang po paano po pag part time teachers? Paano po ang treatment sa kanila?
A– yung sa academe kasi they are paid via tuitition and since patapos na ang pasok, naconsume na nila ang sweldo; not wntitled to the financial assistance kasi bayad na serbisyo nila for the period
 
Q– Wage distortion factors in event of wage order within the year.
A– wala pang naguusap on the wage order
 
Q– Regarding Moratorium ng Pagibig loan payment, applicable po ba ito sa mga Companies na may regular payroll during quarantine?
A– cannot respond to this kasi it’s another agency
 
Q– May additional pay po sa employee if they still doing transaction outside. example mga bank transaction for the company. entitled po ba un sa additional pay?
A– whatever is provided for by DOLE
 
Q– if ever iba-iba ang closure kasi the business is all over the Phil, do we still idicate the date of closure in the app form; one company, pero ibat-iba ang closure dates based on mall sked
A– yes, may column on the effectivity date of the tempo closure; pwede maglagay ng additional column on the closure effectivity date
 
Q– affected march 14 onwards, with the document payroll, ano po dapat isubmit na payroll?
A– kung ano ang latest payroll na available
 
Q-is it ok if the company can impose the No Pay leave instead of the Forced leave na kung san mautilize muna dapat ang leave credits
A-dapat mautilize muna kasi sa manggagawa yun
 
Q-WFH and redictuon of workhours, separate filing ng FWA?
A-pwedeng isang filing but indicate the number of affected worker per work arrangement
 
Q-what if for this week WFH, then the folliwng hindi na? alternate wfh, apnoi reporting?
A-if you will read carefuly DO 209, everyone who is affected is eligible to apply, this is reduced work hours/days/ even job rotation, so elogible sya
 
Q-skeletal workforce na enforced papasok ba sa reduction of workplace
A-skeletal workforce ba continuous operations – and evetually magreduce ng workhours – moving forward, i-apply na;
 
Q– Sa payroll dapat ba lahat ibigay ang names ng employees or affected lang?
A– By payroll group, lahat ng affected
 
 
Transcribed by Wowie Roque, HR Head of MotorTrade
Assisted by Cath Co, HR Head of Metro Oil
 
 
 
If there are still unanswered Qs, post it at the comments section and we will try to get an answer
 
 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[Employee Right To Refuse Work Because of COVID 19]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=25782 2020-08-15T12:55:22Z 2020-03-17T13:57:17Z I've been receiving Qs since companies are now reopening. Can employee refuse work because of COVID-19? Can an employer sanction the employee?

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Update 5.17.2020- 13 Steps to Manage ‘Right to Refuse Work’ Situation
 

I’ve been receiving Qs, relative to employees right to refuse work for fear of COVID-19 infection. Can an employer sanction the employee?

 

 
There are two prevailing schools of thought about the issue, (1) is Labor Advisory 01 Section 3 and (2) DO 198-18 Chapter III Section 6. So which one applies in a pandemic situation?
 
 

The context

 

  • LA 01-  The existence of imminent danger resulting from man-made or natural calamity


  •  

  • DO 198-18 – Imminent danger is confined inside company premises but may or may not be due to a calamity. Likely due to non compliance to international health and safety standards. Employer have reasonable control to create a safe environment ‘inside’ company premises but cannot guarantee the same outside the controlled spaces of work. An Imminent danger, in this issuance, needs to be declared by a safety officer and  determined by DOLE.

 
 

Applicability

 

  • Is COVID-19 pandemic a natural calamity?
  • Do we have an imminent danger situation?
  • The declaration of  state of calamity placing the nation under various quarantine categories and restricting movement of people, by the President, an acknowledgement of imminent danger?
  • Assuming the company and its safety officers over complied with the minimum health and safety standards set by IATF, can they guarantee safety outside the work premises?

 
So between the two Government issuances, which one will likely be believed or understood by employees.
 
The ‘imminent danger’ definition is the point of debate and I will leave it at that
 
 

The issue

 

  • LA 01- Prior to proclamation # 909 of Malacañang, some believed this don’t apply because there is no imminent danger brought about by a state of calamity
  • Should the scope of imminent danger confined to the 4 walls of the workplace, as insinuated in RA 11058
  • DO 198-18 – Because of the need for a security officer to declare imminent danger (or to be determined by DOLE) before employee can refuse work on-site, these Qs arise:
    (1) can the declaration of a safety officer of imminent danger (before proclamation 909) carry more weight than the Philippine President who declared public health emergency and code red?
    (2) What if the company is due diligent in ensuring the safety of employees and there is absence of danger inside the company, however, there is a threat of contagion outside work premises?
    (3) What if the company is not compliant to the OSH law and there is no security officer?

 
 

My take

 
The proclamation (909) by the President, placing the entire Philippines under state of calamity and the imposition of various quarantine measures in the nation points to a situation of imminent danger. I’m inclined to look at imminent danger in the context of LA 01-2020 Sec 3 where a geographical location is placed under state of calamity, and not confined to the 4 walls of the workplace.
 
If I am not assured of my personal safety, or there is risk that I can bring the virus to my elderly parents, kids, or immunocompromised family members, I will opt to stay at home- either work from home or no work no pay arrangement.
 
I conferred with an occupational health and safety consultant who admitted that the COVID-19 situation is an uncharted territory and using DO 198 will not address the fear of employees to report for work because of the pandemic.
 
I also have a text convo with ASec Nikki Tublay of DOLE, and she also said that LA 01 Sec 3 applies in a pandemic situation.
 
 

Can My Employer Sanction Me?

 
Though I don’t agree with this, let’s face it. Your employer can run after you for insubordination and/or AWOL, that may lead to termination. So before you invoke your right to refuse work, going thru the checklist below can help you have the upper hand should a case reach DOLE.
 

  • Your employer is compliant to the minimum health and safety measures as prescribed by the interim guidelines of DTI, DOH, DOLE and related issuances
  • Your employer is compliant to DO 198-18/ RA 11058
  • Your employer is up to date in paying for your SSS, PhilHealth, EC and other statutory benefits
  • Your employer is compliant to LA 18 s. of 2020, i.e. will provide FREE face mask
  • Your employer will be providing shuttle service and/or temporary accommodation for employees
  • Your employer will provide multivitamins for all employees
  • Your employer will be providing free COVID-19 test for you and other employees
  • Your employer provided employees HMO and providing hazard pay
  • You belong to the high risk group
  • You are living with people who have exposure to COVID-19 infected individuals (i.e. front liners)
  • You live in high risk barangay
  • You are living with high risk individuals

 
If your answer is yes to the 1st 4 items, then your employer had met the minimum requirements to safeguard your interest in the workplace.
 
If your answer is yes to item #5, though this is not required, your employer is taking an extra step to reduce the risk of exposure to covid-19.
 
If your answer is yes to items 6 to 8, it signify that your employer provided more than what is required of them to keep you safe, and even gave additional incentive for you to report for work. Unless you have a compelling reason to refuse onsite work, it will not look good. The extra steps your employer have undertaken will work for them in case they pursue an admin procedure against you.
 
If your employer is remised in the 1st 3 items, you have good reason to refuse on-site work. You may also use item #4 because aside from the risk of exposure, the limitation of public transportation hampers over-all wellness and productivity
 
On the other hand, if your answer to the last 4 items are ‘yes’, discuss these with your employer. They may give you consideration. Ask them for their likely participation (if any) in case you get infected, or family members will get the infection through you.
 
Negotiation is the key. Explore a win-win arrangement with your employer, like WFH or FWA. If either WFH or FWA is not feasible, then offer a no work no pay arrangement for the duration of your absence (file a LWOP for at least 6 months).
 
If you fail to arrive in a win-win solution and if your employer pursue an admin case, you can file a complaint or case against your employer for violating your right to refuse work, per LA 01 sec 3, series 2020.
 
Who will win in the case is dependent on the appreciation of the labor arbiter based on the parameters we have discussed.
 
If you are an employer or HR practitioner, and you have an employee who refuse to work, here’s what you can DO.
 
 

Have you invoked your right to refuse work, what happened?

 
 
 

Disclaimer: The articles found in this blog do not constitute legal advise, and engagement/discussion don’t signify professional client relationship. Due diligence is advised. Likewise, subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to, or repeal of, laws, rules and regulations may have rendered the whole or part of this article inaccurate or obsolete.

 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[COVID-19 Updates For PH Employers and Business Owners]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=25756 2020-08-09T05:57:44Z 2020-03-16T14:36:14Z Refresh this page for the latest covid 19 updates (Government advisories) affecting business and employment in the Philippines

The post COVID-19 Updates For PH Employers and Business Owners appeared first on The ASK Project.

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Update:- Can Employee Invoke Right to Refuse Work During COVID-19 Pandemic?
 
 

Q & A Hour w/ DOLE: Implementation of D0 209 and CAMP

 
Read the text version of the online forum here → D0 209 CAMP Questions Answered
 




 

Refresh this page for the latest covid 19 updates (Government advisories) affecting business and employment in the Philippines

 

Buzz us if we missed an important advisory to keep this page updated 

 
Related COVID-19 articles:

 
This page contain all COVID-19 Government issuances, press releases and memoranda affecting business operations and employment during the public health emergency.
 
The most recent news is on top, then the rest are organized according to Department or Agency updates, with the latest update on top.
 
 
 

MOST RECENT UPDATE (as of 3.20.2020)

 
 

Labor Advisory No. 12-2020: Clarificatory Guidelines on the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP)

 




 
 

Revenue Memorandum 29-2020: EXTENDING DEADLINES OF VARIOUS TAX RETURNS THAT FALL WITHIN QUARANTINE PERIOD.

 




 
 

Revenue Memorandum 28-2020: Extending Filing of ITR from 4/15 to 5/15

 




 
 

Malacañang COVID-19 Updates

 
 

Additional Guidelines of the Community Quarantine for the Entire Luzon

 




 
 

PRRD Placed the Entire Philippines Under State of Calamity

 




 
 

Memorandum to Control Price of Essential Emergency Medicines, Supplies and Selected Agricultural and Fishery Products

 




 
 

PRRD Declares Luzon Wide Enhanced Community Quarantine

 

  • Strict home quarantine
  • Suspension of mass transport
  • Only essential industries to be operational (food, medicine, banks, groceries)
  • Skeletal force or work at home if not work suspension
  •  




     
     

    Memorandum on Stringent Social Distancing Measures and Guidelines

     



     
     
     

    DOLE COVID 19 Updates

     
     

    Labor Advisory No. 12-2020: Clarificatory Guidelines on the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP)

     




     
     

    DOLE Order 210 s. 2020: DOLE Department Order 210: Guidelines on Tulong Panghanap Buhay

     




     
     

    DOLE Order 209 s. 2020: COVID 19 Adjustment Measures Program For Affected Workers

     




     

    Labor Advisory 11 s. 2020, Remedial Measures for Employees Affected by Community Quarantine and Lockdown w/ Exemptions

     



     
     

    Labor Advisory 9 s. 2020, Guide to employers on setting up alternative work arrangements

     



     
     

    Labor Advisory 4 s. 2020, Employers’ Responsibility on the Prevention and Control of  COVID-19

     

    🚨🚨 ATTENTION EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES! 🚨🚨

    DOLE issues Labor Advisory No. 04, Series of 2020
    Guidelines on 2020 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Prevention and Control at the Workplace
    Posted by DOLE-Bureau of Working Conditions on Thursday, January 30, 2020


     
     
     

    DTI UPDATE

     
     

    Memorandum Circular 20-04, Social Distancing Measures in Business Operations

     



     
     
     

    DOH COVID 19 Updates

     
     

    Department Circular 131, What To Do When COVID-19 is Detected in the Workplace

     



     
     

    Department Circular 130, Social Distancing Guidelines When Organizing an Event

     



     
     

    Department Memorandum 56, Employers Responsibility

     



     
     
     

    DOTr Updates

     
     

    Department of Transportation (DOTr) Advisory (16 March 2020)

     




     

    Temporary Restrictions on International Travel

     



     

    DOTr Guidelines and Restrictions on Public Transportation



     


     
     

    Checkpoints to restrict ingress and egress of Metro Manila

     



     
     
     

    DOF Update

     
     

    Government Economic Team Rolls Out PhP 27.1 B vs. COVID-19

     




     
     
     

    BIR Updates

     
     

    Revenue Memorandum 29-2020: EXTENDING DEADLINES OF VARIOUS TAX RETURNS THAT FALL WITHIN QUARANTINE PERIOD.

     




     
     

    Revenue Memorandum 28-2020: Extending Filing of ITR from 4/15 to 5/15

     




     
     

    Filing deadline of recurring BIR returns that fall within quarantine period per RMC No. 26-2020,/h4>
     



     
     
     

    BOC Updates

     
     

    BOC Memorandum: Provisional Goods Declaration For Relief Consignment Under State of Calamity

     




     
     
     

    General COVID 19 Updates

     
     

    Do’s and Don’ts While in Nationwide State of Calamity and Luzon Wide Community Quarantine

     




     
     

    Quarantine Procedures

     



     


     



     
     
     

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8
Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[Community Quarantine to Prevent COVID 19 Spread]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=25731 2020-08-09T05:57:45Z 2020-03-13T04:01:51Z Stringent social distancing measures and community quarantine guidelines released by Malacañang for the management of COVID-19 in PH

The post Community Quarantine to Prevent COVID 19 Spread appeared first on The ASK Project.

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Update 3.20.2020: D0 209 CAMP (COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program for Employees whose Income was Reduced) Questions Answered
 
3.17.2020: Can Employee Invoke Right to Refuse Work During COVID-19 Pandemic?
3.16.2020: PRRD declares Luzon wide enhanced community quarantine and other COVID-19 updates
 

With the declaration of code red sublevel 2, the DOH led Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) recommended the community quarantine. This meant class suspensions, restricted travel in and out of NCR, work suspensions and mass gathering suspensions.

 
 
Related COVID-19 articles:

 
 
After a thorough review of the Office of the President of the directives and guidelines crafted by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea, by order of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, issued a Memorandum addressed to heads of departments, agencies, offices and instrumentalities of the government, government-owned or controlled corporations, government financial institutions and state universities and colleges, as well as local government units.
 
Contained in the Memorandum are emergency but temporary directives and guidelines which are primarily intended to address the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
 
The stringent social distancing measures imposed in the National Capital Region (NCR), effective March 15, 2020 until April 14, 2020, are set forth as follows:
 
 
1. Mass gatherings such as movie screenings, concerts, sporting events and other entertainment activities, community assemblies, and non-essential work-related gatherings shall be prohibited. Essential work-related meetings and religious activities may continue so long as strict social distancing, defined as the strict maintenance of a distance of at least one (1) meter radius between and among those attending, is maintained during the entirety of the event.
 
2. Local Government Units (LGUs) shall abide by the directives of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the imposition of general community quarantine in their respective jurisdictions.
 
For this purpose, general community quarantine is defined as a condition where movement of people shall be limited to accessing basic necessities and work; and uniformed personnel and quarantine officers shall be present at border points.
 
Thus, subject to qualifications that the IATF may further provide, all areas under general community quarantine shall implement the following:
 
a. Restrict the non-essential entry of people to the contained area, especially persons who are at high risk of being infected (i.e., 60 years old and above, immunocompromised or with co-morbidities and pregnant women), except (1) health workers, (2) authorized government officials, (3) those travelling for medical or humanitarian reasons, (4) persons transiting to airports for travel abroad, (5) persons providing basic services and public utilities, and (6) essential skeletal workforce; and
 
b. Prevent the non-essential exit of people out of the contained area, except (1) health workers, (2) authorized government officials, (3) those travelling for medical or humanitarian reasons, and (4) those who were granted entry based on the above-mentioned provisions, provided that all persons leaving the contained community must be checked for signs and symptoms (e.g., fever, respiratory symptoms, diarrhea) at exit checkpoints where (1) appropriate certification will be issued by the competent health authority (DOH or Provincial/City/Municipal Health Officer), (2) health authority endorses exiting person to recipient LGU, (3) exiting persons to undertake 14-day home based quarantine, and (4) LGUs are required to monitor implementation of home-based quarantine.
 
However, if circumstances so warrant, the DOH and the DILG may direct an LGU to impose enhanced community quarantine, which is defined as a condition where strict home quarantine shall be implemented in all households, transportation shall be suspended, provision for food and essential health services shall be regulated, and the presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures shall be heightened.
 
3. Alternative working arrangements, including but not limited to, work-from home, compressed work week, staggered working hours, and creation of skeletal workforces, shall be implemented in the Executive Branch. All members of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard, and health and emergency frontline services are directed to continue full operation. The Legislative and Judicial Branches, as well as the independent constitutional bodies are encouraged to adopt the same policy.
 
4. With respect to the restriction on land, domestic air and domestic sea travel to and from the NCR, all workers, whether employed or self-employed, will be provisionally allowed to travel. For this purpose, proof of employment and/or business must be presented at border checkpoints.
 
5. All departing passengers shall be allowed transit through the NCR. For this purpose, proof of confirmed international travel itinerary, scheduled within twelve (12) hours from entry, should be presented at checkpoints. However, outbound travel to countries where travel restrictions are in place remains prohibited.
 
6. The movement of cargoes shall be unhampered, regardless of origin or destination.
 
7. Suspension of classes and school activities in all levels in the NCR shall remain in force until April 14, 2020.
 
Aside from the current travel restrictions imposed upon foreign travel to and from China, including its Special Administrative Regions, and portions of South Korea, inbound travelers from Iran and Italy (except Filipino citizens, including their foreign spouse and children, if any, and holders of Permanent Resident Visas or 9(e) Diplomatic Visas issued by the Philippine Government) shall be required to present a medical certificate issued by competent medical authorities within forty-eight (48) hours immediately preceding departure signifying that they have tested negative for COVID-19.
 
In addition, the DOH is authorized to grant exemptions, based on humanitarian considerations, in favor of outbound travelers who wish to travel to jurisdictions where restrictions are currently in place.
 
The Palace reiterates that all measures imposed are subject to the regular review by the President and the IATF in order to ensure that the virus would be contained and ultimately eliminated without extremely overwhelming the citizens in going about their daily lives.
 
A copy of the Memorandum containing the comprehensive list of directives and their corresponding guidelines will be released by the Palace.
 




 
As always, the President is hard at work in the service of the Filipino people to preserve the general welfare and protect public health.
 
 
Salvador S. Panelo
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
& Presidential Spokesperson
 
 
–xx–
 
 
Official statement from Malacañang palace (March 13, 2020).
 
 

On Code Red Sublevel 2

 
 
The Palace wishes to inform the public that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has been apprised by our health officials about the decision to raise the Code Alert System for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country to Code Red Sublevel 2.
 
Following discussions with health officials, as well as with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), the Chief Executive has decided to approve the imposition of Stringent Social Distancing Measures in the National Capital Region (NCR) for thirty (30) days, effective March 15, 2020, with the salient directives discussed below.
 
First, the suspension of classes in all levels in Metro Manila is extended until April 12, 2020, with students remaining in their respective homes for the said duration.
 
Second, mass gatherings, defined as events where the number of people attending could strain the planning and response resources of the community hosting the event, shall be prohibited during the aforesaid period.
 
Third, community quarantine is imposed in the entire Metro Manila. Local Government Units (LGUs) in other areas are advised to abide by the following guidelines:
 

  • A barangay-wide quarantine is advised when there at least two (2) positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different households in the same barangay;
  • A municipality/city-wide quarantine is advised when there at least two (2) positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different barangays in the same municipality/city;
  • A province-wide quarantine is advised when there at least two (2) positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different municipalities, component cities or independent component cities in the same province; and
  • LGUs, which have imposed community quarantine in their respective jurisdiction/s, upon the declaration of a State of Calamity, shall be allowed to access their Quick Response Fund.

 
Fourth, work in the Executive Branch shall be suspended during the same period, without prejudice to the formation of skeletal workforces by government agencies. The Congress and the Judiciary are encouraged to adopt the same policy. Law enforcement agencies, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, as well as health and emergency frontline services shall continue in full operation.
 
Fifth, flexible work arrangements shall likewise be encouraged in the private sector, following guidelines from the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Trade and Industry designed to safeguard the welfare of the workers. All manufacturing, retail and service establishments shall remain in operation during the same period, provided that strict social distancing measures are observed.
 
Sixth, mass public transports, such as the Light Rail Transits, the Metro Rail Transits, and the Philippine National Railway shall continue in operation, following guidelines by the Department of Transportation intended to ensure social distancing.
 
Seventh, land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila shall be suspended until April 14, 2020.
 
All the aforementioned measures shall be subject to daily monitoring and reassessment by the IATF.
 
In addition, LGUs outside of the National Capital Region are advised to exercise sound discretion in suspending classes in their respective localities.
 
The President likewise approved that Balik-Manggagawa Overseas Filipino Workers may be allowed to travel to mainland China, except to Hubei Province, upon their execution of a declaration signifying their knowledge and understanding of the risks involved in their travel. A health advisory pamphlet shall similarly be handed to them upon their departure.
 
Finally, entry travel restrictions shall be imposed upon those traveling from countries with localized COVID-19 transmissions, except for Filipino citizens including their foreign spouse and children, if any, holders of permanent resident visa, and holders of diplomatic visas issued by the Philippine Government.
 
To be clear, and to allay the fears and apprehension of the public, the government is essentially calling for a stricter implementation of preventive measures in order to slow down and put a halt to the further spread of COVID-19. While a total and absolute lockdown is considered by some as a valid preventive measure, current circumstances do not warrant such an extreme course of action.
 
While the Duterte Administration remains resolute in combating this disease, the Palace asks affected entities and individuals for their cooperation in properly observing the foregoing adopted measures.
 
 
 
Salvador S. Panelo
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
Presidential Spokesperson
 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[Social Distancing To Prevent COVID-19 Spread]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=25701 2020-08-15T12:55:23Z 2020-03-11T08:17:49Z With the confirmed local transmission of covid 19, code red sublevel 1 was activated. Sans the lock down, social distancing is recommended

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Update 3.20.2020: D0 209 CAMP (COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program for Employees whose Income was Reduced) Questions Answered
 
3.17.2020: Can Employee Invoke Right to Refuse Work During COVID-19 Pandemic?
3.16.2020: PRRD declares Luzon wide enhanced community quarantine and other COVID-19 updates
3.14.2020: Malacañang released guidelines on Metro wide lockdown with exemptions
 

Code red sublevel 1 was declared after a local transmission of COVID-19 has been confirmed.

 
 

Related COVID-19 articles:

 

 
To date, the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in PH stands at 33 52 64 120 380. The declaration of code red sublevel 1, according to DOH Secretary Duque is a “preemptive call to ensure national and local government and public and private healthcare providers can prepare for possible increase in suspected and confirmed cases.  It is meant to make available all human and material resources for duty and deployment.”
 
On the preventive side, the task force headed by Department of Health released Resolution #10, recommending steps to enforce social distancing and prevent further spread of the virus. Social distancing is believed to be the strongest way to prevent the spread of covid-19 and avert scaling up PH alert level from code red sublevel 1 to 2.
 




 
The task force recommendations are:
 
1. Class suspensions
2. Temporary prohibition of mass gatherings (more than 50 pax)
3. Alternative work arrangements, like telecommuting or flexi work arrangements
 
Class suspensions has been announced, it will be up to the parents, LGUs and the cooperation of malls and leisure centers, however,  to ensure students stayed at home. Likewise, Dep Ed released a memorandum to further operationalize above recommendation of the task force. They cancelled all school mass gatherings so far.
 
DOLE on the other hand, have released Advisory 09 to guide employers on setting up alternative work arrangements. This, to minimize social contacts.
 



 
No clear guidelines yet coming from DOLE, DOT and LGUs on the temporary suspension of mass gatherings. A mass gathering is defined as 50 pax and more, according to an ASec I spoke with.
 
 

Social Distancing

 
A suspension of mass gatherings will greatly alter the normalcy of life, and violates both our constitutional and basic rights. Suspending church services and prayer violate both our right to assembly and religion. Suspending conferences and social events, on the other hand, will  affect the livelihood of individuals connected to tourism, hotel and events management. Add to this is the fear this virus has caused individuals to shy away from activities and places that are good for economy.
 




 
Since we are on state of emergency, regulating some of the basic human rights is a bitter pill that is necessary in winning against COVID-19.
 
 
 

Here are additional materials from DOH, relative to the Code Red Sublevel 1 declaration

 
 

Guidelines for Management and Referrals of Suspected and Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Under Code Red Sublevel 1

 




 
 

Decision Tool for Suspected COVID-19 Patients but without Symptoms

 




 
 

Decision Tool for Suspected COVID-19 Patients and with Symptoms

 




 
 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[PH is 1st in ASEAN with Highest Number of Detected Online Threats, 4th in the World]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=25688 2020-10-07T03:11:14Z 2020-03-03T00:57:14Z From its 11th ranking last 2018, the Philippines climbed to 4th place in the world and 1st in ASEAN with the highest web threat detections on 2019.

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The Philippines is 1st in ASEAN region with the highest web threats detected from January to December 2019. Also 4th in the world

 
 
Data from the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) for the past year monitored and prevented nearly 28 million internet-borne attacks in the Philippines.
 
This accounts for where 26.62% were individual users and 7.58% were business users. The Philippines trailed behind the top three countries namely, Nepal, Algeria and Albania.
 

Place Country Percent of users attacked by web-borne threats
1 Nepal 51.4%
2 Algeria 51.0%
3 Albania 46.1%
4 Philippines 44.4%
5 Djibouti 43.3%
6 Mongolia 43.0%
7 Belarus 42.9%
8 Tunisia 42.7%
9 Bangladesh 42.5%
10 Azerbaijan 42.0%


 
In ASEAN, the Philippines led the top three countries with the highest number of detections followed by Malaysia and Vietnam.

Place Country Percent of users attacked by web-borne threats
4th Philippines 44.40%
13th Malaysia 41.50%
17th Vietnam 40.00%
39th Indonesia 36.10%
92nd Thailand 29.10%
156th Singapore 14.20%


 
 
Common attacks via drive-by downloads and social engineering tactics 
 
Kasperskyy said a browser attack is still the top method for infecting web surfers. Users in the Philippines continue to be attempted to be attacked by cybercriminals through popular attack techniques such as drive-by download and social engineering.
 
Drive-by download happens when an Internet user visits a website that he/she didn’t know is infected and installs malware directly onto the user’s computer. Vulnerable computers are those with operating systems, applications, or web browsers that are not updated which means these contain security flaws.
 
Attempts to infect computers in the Philippines is done through social engineering where a cybercriminal exploits a user’s lack of knowledge. Disguising as friends, families or even as IT support personnel, cybercriminals convince a clueless user to disclose his/her confidential data. With the information, a cybercrook will gain access to multiple networks, infect the user’s computers with malware or prompt the user to open links to infected websites.
 
 
Top 5 attack vectors
 
Ways used by cybercriminals in the ASEAN region to install malware into a user’s computer include the following:
 

  1. Visiting an infected website or when an online advertisement performs unfair action, such as adware which collects information without the owner’s consent
  2. Unintentional downloads of certain programs or files from the Internet
  3. Downloading malicious attachments via email
  4. Browser extensions activity. Browser extensions are like plugins which add certain features and functions. Examples of extensions are used to block ads on web pages, translate text from one language to another, or add pages to a third-party bookmark services such as Evernote or Pocket.
  5. Downloading malicious components or communications with control & command (C&C), a server that helps an online fraudster control a botnet and sends malicious commands that eventually would install malware onto a user’s computer. Botnet, short for robot network, is a collection of compromised (hacked) computers running malicious programs that are remotely controlled by cybercriminals.

 
Below are the most widespread web threats in ASEAN

Most widespread web-threats in Southeast Asia
Blocked urls Generic detection of blocked malicious URLs of any nature
Trojan.Script.Generic Generic detection, as well, for malicious scripts
Trojan.Script.Miner.gen Web-miners
Trojan.Script.Iframer Hidden iframes, mostly used in muddy online-advertisements
Trojan-PSW.Script.Generic In most cases, online-skimmers or sniffers


 
 
Local threats, malicious hosts down in PH
 
In the same report, Kaspersky products detected and blocked more than 47 million local incidents on computers of its users in the country. This has pushed the Philippines to slide down to 61st place in 2019 from its 65th place in 2018 in Kaspersky’s worldwide ranking among countries with the highest local infections.
 
Local infections or threats results from malware spread through removable media such as USBs, CDs, DVDs, and other “offline” methods.
 
Kaspersky said worms and file viruses, which are usually self-replicating, generally account for such incidents. Attempts of attacks were monitored and prevented against 52.73% of individual Internet users and 20.99% of business users in the Philippines.
 
Meanwhile, there were only 1.5 million malicious hosting incidents monitored and blocked in Philippine-based servers in 2019 compared to two million in 2018 pulling the country’s global ranking from 35th to 37th.
 
“As far as web threats are concerned, among the noticeable changes we’ve seen in the region reflect the same scenario worldwide —strong activity of web-miners in the beginning of the year followed by a dropdown. There was also a growth of online skimmers that we’ve recorded. In the case of local threats, the overall situation in SEA is the same — there’s a drop in the number of cryptocurrency miners and a slight decrease in crypto ransomware,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Kaspersky Southeast Asia.
 
“In the Philippines, we believe the stern warnings against the use of cryptocurrencies and the newly enacted law which imposes harsh penalties against bank account fraudsters and credit card skimmers, are among the possible reasons for the changes in numbers. Despite these though, we can’t drop our guards and be complacent. The overall increase in awareness and level of security among individual Internet users and businesses only mean that typical attacks will be more difficult to carry out. And we see that cybercriminals will intensify their efforts towards social engineering tactics more and will veer away from PCs to focus on attacking mobile devices and other internet-connected hardware,” he adds.
 
In order to be secured against the evolving threats online and offline, Kaspersky security experts advise the following basic but important steps:

 

For businesses:

  • Secure internet access for your employees. Deploy solutions which can help provide multi-layered gateway level protection against the latest web-based threats and blocks them before they reach your end points.
  • Raise your employees’ awareness of cybersecurity by educating them on good cyber hygiene. Awareness training can help develop cybersafe behavior by building your employee’s understanding of potential threats.
  • Configure your OS to avoid running anything from USBs.

 

For consumers:

  • Use USBs, CDs and DVDs from trusted sources.
  • Carefully check the link before visiting a site, especially for misspelling or other irregularities, even if you think it’s a site you’ve visited regularly before.
  • Enter your username and password only over a secure connection. Avoid logging in to online banks and similar services via public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Be aware that URLs that begin with the “https” may not always be secure.
  • Don’t trust emails from unknown senders until you can verify the authenticity of their origins.
  • Always run a system with a quality, up-to-date anti-malware program

 
 

This article is from the news desk of Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity company whose deep threat intelligence and security expertise helps protect critical infrastructure and consumers around the globe.

 
 
 

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Sonnie https://asksonnie.info <![CDATA[DOH Conducts COVID-19 Prevention Seminar for Employers in the Philippines]]> https://asksonnie.info/?p=25657 2020-08-15T12:55:25Z 2020-02-19T07:02:14Z DOH is conducting COVID 19 seminar. The ASK Project organized two sessions to emphasize coronavirus prevention in workplaces in the Philippines

The post DOH Conducts COVID-19 Prevention Seminar for Employers in the Philippines appeared first on The ASK Project.

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Update 3.20.2020: D0 209 CAMP (COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program for Employees whose Income was Reduced) Questions Answered
 
3.17.2020: Can Employee Invoke Right to Refuse Work During COVID-19 Pandemic?
3.16.2020: PRRD declares Luzon wide enhanced community quarantine and other COVID-19 updates
3.14.2020: Malacañang released guidelines on Metro wide lockdown with exemptions
3.11.2020: Code Red Sub-level 1 declared in PH after local transmission was confirmed
 

DOH is conducting COVID 19 seminar. This writer organized two sessions for The ASK Project and LODI Inc communities, to emphasize coronavirus prevention in the workplace.

 

Dr. Quintana, COVID-19 resource person from DOH


 
After DOLE issued advisory 04 and DOH released Memorandum 56,  Department of Health started conducting COVID-19 orientations at their Manila offices. Since the likelihood of spreading the novel coronavirus in the workplace is high, we seized this opportunity to have 2 sessions for  LODI Inc. community and The ASK Projects’ followers to emphasize employers’ role in preventing COVID-19 in the workplace.  SMS Global Technologies Inc., provided the venue for free at the 25th floor of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Tower, at Jade St., Ortigas Center.
  

The HR Director of SMS GT welcoming the participants to their facilities


 
About 88 Companies participated on the COVID-19 seminar. Employers sent representatives from their Operations, Human Resource, Medical Services and Occupational Health and Safety Committee members to get insights and clarifications from Dr. Ronaldo Quintana, Medical Officer of  Infectious Diseases for Elimination Division, Disease Prevention and Control Bureau of the Department Health. For those who missed the session, below is a copy of Dr. Quinatas’ COVID-19 Orientation.
  


  
Before the COVID-19 seminar, the participants thru an structured learning exercise,  shared their experiences about the effects of misinformation about COVID-19 and the stigma it brough to the Chinese. Pax also shared their expectations not only for the session but to DOH in general.
  



  
The facilitators of the program, MDP (Management Development Program) learners also used chicken dance to remind pax of proper handwashing. MDP Learners are alumni of HR 1.0 Mentoring Program who are being developed for leadership roles in the community.
  



 
The COVID-19 orientation provided the avenue for participants to clarify the gray areas in the guidelines/ procedures relative to identifying PUMs (persons under monitoring) and PUIs (persons under investigation) . Some of the prevailing misinformations about COVID 19 were also brought up and clarified.
  
DOH also gave soft copies of its info campaign materials for distribution. Feel free to download and share these in your network. These will counter the fear being generated by COVID-19 fake news .
  

Feel FREE to download and share. With permission from DOH

#COVID19 #COVID19Prevention

Posted by The ASK Project on Tuesday, February 18, 2020

  
 

 
   

  
  


 
 
 

Recent Updates from DOH (as of 3.11.20)

 
 

Social Distancing

 




 
 

Guidelines for Management and Referrals of Suspected and Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Under Code Red Sublevel 1

 




 
 

Decision Tool for Suspected COVID-19 Patients but without Symptoms

 




 
 

Decision Tool for Suspected COVID-19 Patients and with Symptoms

 




 
 
 
 

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