Healthy fod for babies
Aileen Cerrudo • November 15, 2019 • 409
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III has advised seafarers and other Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to go back to the Philippines and start their own business.
This was his message during the 2019 NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition on November 8. The competition is an annual search for the best business proposals among seafarers.
In his message read by Undersecretary Renato Ebarle, Bello assured seafarers that the government, together with the private sector and non-government organizations, is always ready to help OFWs towards productive reintegration.
The competition aims to provide start-up capital, training, and mentoring for the winners and their proposed businesses.
Seafarer Gary Esguerra was hailed as this year’s winner for his “green” slippers business proposal.
Esguerra aims to replace disposable slippers, commonly provided by hotels and resorts, with ‘greener’ slippers made from abaca residue as soles and by incorporating seeds inside the slippers.
He also said the slippers will decompose easier compared to the regular disposable slippers. Esguerra received P500,000 as start-up capital.
Meanwhile, NRCO OIC-Director Roel Martin announced that a similar business plan competition for land-based OFWs is set to be launched in the first quarter of 2020.—AAC
Robie de Guzman • December 3, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced it has enhanced the guidelines on the granting of consumer loans for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in order to facilitate their access to bank credit.
The Monetary Board said it has issued Resolution 1729 approving the enhanced policy expressly allowing banks to grant consumer loans for OFWs without prior approval from the BSP.
The central bank said the move is in line with its financial inclusion and empowerment agenda.
“The revised guidelines likewise liberalize the rules limiting the grant of peso consumer loans to certain types of visa holders,” the BSP said in a statement.
“In particular, peso consumer loans, except residential real estate and housing loans, may also be extended to all eligible foreign nationals with valid visa issued by relevant Philippine authorities,” it added.
Embassy officials and employees based in the Philippines are also allowed to avail of any type of peso consumer loans, the central bank said.
“The enhancements are premised on the banks’ continued adherence to sound credit underwriting practices and effective control measures in managing risks involved in granting peso consumer loans to OFWs and eligible foreign nationals,” the BSP further stated.
“The new guidelines promote greater access to bank financing for these borrowers while expanding and broadening market segment for banks,” it added.
Robie de Guzman • November 28, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Joel Villanueva has urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to join the government’s crackdown on tax-evading Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO).
Villanueva made the statement after the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Wednesday shuttered a POGO service provider for failure to register its branch offices in Parañaque City to pay taxes.
“We could only hope that the BIR’s steely determination rubs off on the inter-agency task force assembled to stem the tide that is the influx of illegal workers. Since its organization in May, it has yet to mount a single round of joint inspections similar to the BIR’s effort,” the senator said in a statement issued Wednesday.
“Agencies concerned like DOLE and the BI in particular should be at the forefront of inspections such as this. They should be coordinating with the member-agencies of the inter-agency task force consistent with their mandate,” he added.
Villanueva, who chairs the Senate committee on labor, believes BIR’s efforts to shut down tax-evading offshore gaming firms could be maximized if DOLE and BI will join its operations.
“Had representatives from the DOLE and BI joined the BIR’s operation this morning, a proper labor inspection in the office premises could have been done, while immigration officials could have inspected the work visas of the employees. We could have maximized the opportunity that BIR already had,” he said.
The lawmaker also called on DOLE to remain committed to its mandate to “only accept foreign workers in the country if there are no other capable, able, and willing Filipino to do the job.”
He also expects the BI to fulfill its commitment to issue guidelines clarifying the working definitions of 14 occupations for which it could issue special work permits.
Meanwhile, Villanueva lauded the efforts of the BIR and the Department of Finance (DOF) to “keep business in check” especially in settling their obligations to the government.
“The Philippines is always open for business as long as companies conform with prevailing requirements and pay its correct taxes due to the government,” he said.
The DOF earlier ordered to close down all POGOs and their service providers that fail or refuse to settle their tax liabilities.
Marje Pelayo • November 27, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Household helpers may expect a P1,500 salary increase before the end of the year, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the Regional Wage Board has approved the P5,000 minimum wage for household helpers in the National Capital Region (NCR).
The official added that the Department is just waiting for its formal implementation.
“Iyong regional Tripartite Wage Board here in Metro Manila submitted a wage adjustment of, I think P1,500 for Metro Manila,” Bello explained.
“So what originally was P3,500 for our Kasambahay in Metro Manila it is now P5,000,” he added.
Bello, again, reminded employers to complete all the benefit privileges accorded to the household helpers such as SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG. MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)
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