Can my employer suspend my employment for more than six(6) months in times of Pandemic?

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued last October 23, 2020 Deparment Order No. 215 amending Section 12 of Rule 1 that talks about Suspension of Employment Relationship.

Section 12 of under the new Department order inserted new words as herein capitalized:

SECTION 12. Suspension of relationship. — The employer-employee
relationship shall be deemed suspended in case of suspension of operation of the business or undertaking of the employer for a period not exceeding six (6)months, unless the suspension is for the purpose of defeating the rights of the employees under the Code, and in case of mandatory fulfillment by the employee of a military or civic duty. The payment of wages of the employee as well as the grant of other benefits and privileges while he is ON SUSPENDED EMPLOYMENT OR on a military or civic duty shall be subject to EXISTING special laws and decrees and to the applicable individual or collective bargaining agreement and voluntary employer practice or policy;

and provided additional rules in handling suspension of employment which will be discussed below.

Looking at how this pandemic drastically affects our normal lives, the top question that most employees have in mind now is about the stability of their employment. Until when can i have this job? What will i do if i lose this job? For those whose employment is suspended, until when can my employer legally suspend my employment?

To simplify and easy understanding, (you can read thoroughly the whole Department Order though the link given below) here are the six things that employers and employees shall keep in mind.

  1. Meeting Requirement. Employer and the employees shall meet in good faith together with DOLE or through UNION (if any) for purposes of extending the suspension of employment for a period not exceeding six(6) months;
  2. DOLE Reporting. Employer shall report the extension of suspension of employment to DOLE ten(10) days prior to effectivity thereof;
  3. Security of Tenure. Employees shall not lose employment even if they find alternative employment during the extended suspension of employment, except:
    1. in cases of written, unequivocal and voluntary resignation
  4. Recall or Retrenchment. Employees may be recalled to work or retrenched subject to the notice requirement and payment of separation pay, anytime before the expiration of the extension of suspension of employment.
    • The first six months of suspension shall be included in the computation of the employees’ separation pay. This agreement shall be assisted by DOLE or UNION ( if any)
  5. Priority to be rehired. Retrenched employees shall be prioritized if they indicate their desire to resume work not later than one (1) month from the resumption of operations.
  6. Non-diminution of Benefit. Nothing shall be construed to authorize or justify the diminution or reduction of benefits, supplements or payments as provided by law, CBA or company practice or policies.

Here’s a copy of the said DO for your reference:


Department Order No. 209 S.2020 (CAMP) COVID Adjustment Measures Program

Department of Labor has recently issued Department Order No. 209 Series of 2020  entitled Guidelines on the Adjustment Measures Program for affected Workers due to COVID 19.

This is the most awaited issuance of DOLE which employees are waiting for ever since the President and the Secretary of Labor announced its plan to offer financial support to affected workers by reason of COVID-19.

Here is a simple Q and A for everyone to understand the concept behind this law.

What is it all about?

It offers support to affected workers in private establishments that have adopted Flexible Working arrangements (FWA)/ temporary closure due to COVID 19 such as:

  1. Reduction of Workhours
  2. Rotation of workers (forced leave)
  3. Temporary closure

 Who are eligible?

  • Retained Workers who do not receive regular wage due to implementation of FWA
  • Suspended Workers whose employment was suspended due to suspension of operations of the employer’s business

How much can the affected workers get?

A one-time financial assistance equivalent to PHP 5,000 shall be provided to the affected workers in lump sum, non-conditional regardless of employment status.

What are the requirements to be eligible for this program?

  1. Applicant must be a private establishment that has implemented FWA or temporary closure
  2. Affected Establishment must submit:
  3. Establishment Report on the COVID-19 pursuant to Labor Advisory No. 9, Series of 2020 (FWA Guidelines)
  4. Company Payroll for the month prior the implementation of FWA or temporary closure

 How to apply?

  1. Applications with complete documentary requirements shall be submitted online to the appropriate DOLE Regional Office or any of its Provincial field offices.
  2. Applications shall be evaluated by the concerned DOLE Regional Office within three working days from receipt thereof.
  3. Depending evaluation, DOLE shall issue a Notice of Approval/Denial

When can the affected workers receive financial support?

Once approved, the concerned DOLE Regional Office shall issue the financial support directly through the beneficiary’s payroll account via bank transfer within 2 weeks upon receipt

What are the Grounds for Denial?

  • Ineligibility of applicant
  • Misrepresentation of facts in the application
  • Submission of falsified or tampered document

 How will the employer be notified of the financial assistance given to their affected workers?

Once the beneficiary completed the CAMP, a notice of completion shall be issued to the affected establishment within 3 working days through electronic mail

When is this effective?

This shall take effect three (3 days) after its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation.

That’s it!

I hope you were able to get a clearer glimpse of this Department Order.













Guidelines for the Implementation of Mental Health Workplace Policies and Programs for the Private Sector

DOLE DEPARTMENT ORDER NO. 208 Series of 2020

Pursuant to Republic Act No. 11036 (Mental Health Act) and Republic Act No. 11058 (An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof), the following guidelines is hereby issued for compliance of all concerned:

I.      Objective

 This issuance aims to guide employers and workers in the private sector for effective implementation of Mental Health Workplace Policies and Programs in accordance with the following:

  1. Republic Act No. 11036 (Mental Health Act)  and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR)
  2. Republic Act No. 7277 (The Magna Carta for Persons with Disability) and its IRR
  3. Republic Act 10524 (An Act Expanding the Positions Reserved for Persons with Disability, amending RA 7277 “Magna Carta for Persons with Disability” and its IRR
  4. Republic Act No. 11058 (An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Providing Penalties Thereof’ and its IRR)
  5. United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)
  6. Republic Act 11313 (An Act Defining Gender-Based Sexual Harassment in Streets, Public Spaces, Online, Workplaces and Educational or Training Institutions Providing Protective Measures and Prescribing Penalties Thereof)
  7. Other relevant policy issuances

II.    Scope and Coverage 

This guideline shall apply to all workplaces and establishments in the formal sector including those which deploy Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall likewise formulate policy guidelines that will integrate the promotion of mental health and the identification and management of mental health problems, including provision of assistance to OFWs and other Filipinos overseas who are at risk or with mental health problems in accordance with the existing health related rules and regulations in providing assistance to OFWs and their families.

Ill. Formulation of Mental Health Policy and Program 

A. It is mandatory for all workplaces and establishments to formulate a Mental Health Workplace Policy and Program, which shall include the following:

  1. Raise awareness, prevent stigma and discrimination, provide support to workers who are at risk and/or with mental health condition and facilitate access to medical health services
  1. Promote workers’ well-being towards healthy and productive
  1. Be jointly prepared by management and workers’ representatives and be made an integral part of the company’s occupational safety and health (OSH) policies and programs.

In organized establishments, the workplace policies and programs may be included as part of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and shall be made known to all workers.

B. The Mental Health Workplace Policy and Program shall be properly coordinated, monitored and regularly reviewed and updated as necessary for its effective implementation. Assistance in the formulation and implementation of Mental Health Workplace Policies and Programs may be sought from Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Health (DOH) and/or organizations rendering mental health services such as the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP), Philippine Psychiatric Association (PPA), Philippine Neurological Association (PNA), Philippine Guidance & Counselling Association (PGCA), Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA)  and other organizations.

IV.  Components and Implementation Strategies of the Mental Health Workplace Policy and Program:

A. Advocacy, Information, Education, and Training

  1. All workers shall be provided with basic information and education on mental Standard basic information and education shall include, but not limited to, the following:


a.Understanding mental health and its impact in the workplace and the workforce; 

b.identification and management of mental health problems in the workplace;

c.Salient features of RA 11036 and its IRR with emphasis on the basic human rights of persons with mental health condition and consent to treatment; and

d. Confidentiality of all information or medical records of a worker with mental health

  1. Employers are encouraged to extend advocacy, information, education and training activities to the workers’ families and communities through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs to strengthen approaches in the prevention of stigma and discrimination and to better understand individuals with mental health conditions.
  1. The OSH personnel and Human Resource Officers shall undergo capacity building on the identification, recognition of psychosocial hazards and management of mental health problems.
  1. Training of workers and program implementers in promoting and advocating mental health in the workplace as well as identification and management of mental health problems may be coordinated with Department of Health (DOH), National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) or with other mental health service providers

B. Promotion and enhancement of workers’ well-being to have healthy and productive lives through the following recommendations, among others:

  1. Increasing workers’ awareness on mental health and other common conditions like depression, anxiety and substance abuse including alcohol ( distributing leaflets, workshops, posters)
  1. Promotion of healthy lifestyle and work-life balance
  1. Identification and management of work-related stress and stressors, including interpersonal  issues    with   superiors,   subordinates,    co-employees,   clients    and customers
  1. Effective management of changes in the work organization and the utilization of human resources systems (e.g., addressing burnout, review of workload)
  1. Establishing mental health programs to support workers (e., recreational activities)
  1. Workers’ achievements and efforts recognition program
  1. Psychosocial support in management of disaster and extreme life events
  1. Capacity building of managers and human resource personnel in the identification and management of workers with mental health problems
  1. Other programs and activities as may be recommended by the OSH committee deemed necessary to promote and sustain the well-being of the workers

C. Social Policy

  1. Non-discriminatory policies and practices

a. There shall be no discrimination in any form against workers who are at risk of developing or who are found to have mental health condition. Workers shall not be discriminated against from hiring, promotion, and/or other benefits of employment because of their condition provided, however, that such conditions shall not interfere with the employee’s performance of their job or unduly affect his own safety or that of his co-workers, clients and the general

b. The fitness to work of workers found to have mental health condition shall be determined by an OH physician, after appropriate medical evaluation, taking into account the clearance provided by a mental health

c. A worker may resume work while undergoing treatment provided that an OH physician has certified that he/she is fit for work and that current treatment shall not cause unsafe conditions for the worker while at work or cause similar unsafe conditions for other workers. To monitor and assist the workers in managing their condition, coordination shall be made between the OH/HR personnel and mental health professional in consideration of the workers’ assigned tasks and the effects of medications

d. Workers who have undergone pharmacological and psychosocial interventions/ treatment and are evaluated by an OH physician to be fit to work shall not be prevented from returning to work or subjected to actions that may be construed as constructive dismissal from

e. A worker shall not be terminated from work on the basis of actual, perceived or suspected mental health condition unless the condition progresses to such severity that it affects his/her own safety or safety of co-workers and work performance and productivity upon the certification issued by a competent public health authority with expertise on mental health.

  1. Confidentiality

a. Company policy on confidentiality shall be clearly communicated and understood by all workers.

b. The advance directive prepared by the worker with mental health condition shall form part of the worker’s record (201 file) which should be treated with utmost confidentiality.

c. Results of neuropsychological test as additional requirement of some companies must be treated with confidentiality.

d. Access to personal data or any information relating to a worker’s mental health condition shall be bound by the rules of confidentiality and/or the Data Privacy Act of 2012

  1. Disclosure

a. Workers are encouraged to disclose their medical or mental health condition for purposes of reasonable accommodation.

b. Employers and co-workers shall not be obliged to reveal to a third party any information about the worker with mental health condition except in any of the following conditions:

    1. unless it is required by law;
    2. with consent from the worker with mental health condition;
    3. life threatening emergency cases where such disclosure is necessary to prevent harm or injury to himself/herself or to other persons; or
    4. disclosure is required in connection with an administrative, civil or criminal case against a mental health professional or worker for negligence or a breach of professional ethics


  1. Work Accommodation and Work Arrangement

a. Agreements on work accommodation and work arrangements for a worker with mental health condition shall be made between management and workers’ representatives, provided however that such mental condition shall not prevent the worker from performing the requirements of the job or will endanger his/her safety, or that of his/her co-workers, clients or the general

b. Measures to accommodate and support a worker with mental health conditions, such as flexible leave arrangements, rescheduling of working hours and arrangements for return to work must be clearly explained to the worker, preferably in the presence of his/her family

c. The worker may be allowed to return to work with reasonable accommodation and other such arrangements as determined or as recommended by the mental health professionals and concurred with by the OH physician, if available.

d. Work policies should include monitoring and evaluating worker’s changes in behavior/attitude which may affect his/her productivity/performance.


D. Treatment, Rehabilitation and Referral System

  1. Mental Health Workplace Policies and Programs shall include capacity for treatment or referral procedures for treatment modalities and rehabilitation to be provided by the employer through the company’s workers assistance program or any other program that will provide access to mental health services.
  1. Workers with mental health condition shall be referred to a DOH­ licensed/accredited/recognized mental health facility or mental health service providers for appropriate management.
  1. The absence of workers undergoing treatment and rehabilitation shall be charged against their leave credits or they may utilize other regulated leaves like Victims of Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC) leave, if applicable, without prejudice to the existing company policies on the availment of leave.
  1. If a worker with mental health condition has exhausted his/her leave credits, then the medical leave incurred shall be without
  1. In the absence of the legally required OH personnel, the Safety Officer or HR personnel shall facilitate referral of a worker who is at risk or with mental health condition for medical evaluation and/or


E. Benefits and Compensation

  1. In determining the appropriate compensation for the diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation of a worker with mental health condition, the current health benefit packages under PhilHealth, ECC or SSS whichever are applicable, shall apply.
  1. Workers with mental health conditions are entitled to all monetary and non-monetary statutory benefits in accordance with existing rules and regulations without prejudice to the exercise of company policy, rules and regulations on compensation and other benefits.
  1. Companies engaging the services of third party healthcare providers are encouraged to include mental health services in their health packages.

F. Support Mechanism Program

  1. A mechanism for access to counseling through referrals shall be included in the company health policy and services. A counselor trained and qualified to provide mental health services may be tapped by employers for counseling of workers with mental health issues or for counseling services which may be extended to the families and groups who are dealing with workers with mental health issues.


V.       Responsibilities of Employers and Workers 

A. Employers shall:

  1. Develop, implement, monitor and evaluate mental health workplace policies and programs. They may link up or coordinate with mental health service providers for assistance;
  1. Develop and implement programs with reporting mechanisms to address and prevent problems on bullying such as cyber bullying/mobbing, verbal, sexual and physical harassment, all forms of work-related violence, threats, shaming, alienation and other forms of discrimination which may lead to a mental health problem and shall not themselves engage in the abovementioned;
  1. Ensure that there are adequate resources to implement and sustain mental health workplace programs;
  1. Ensure that they provide the necessary training to the OSH personnel and Human Resource Officers who will develop, implement and monitor the mental health workplace policies and programs;
  1. Provide the necessary work accommodation when needed;
  1. Develop mechanisms for referral of workers at risk of developing or with mental health condition for appropriate management; and
  1. Ensure compliance to all requirements of existing legislations and guidelines related thereto.

B. Workers shall:

  1. Participate actively in the formulation and effective implementation of the workplace policies and programs on Mental Health, through consultations, policy making processes and general assembly in organized and unorganized establishment;
  1. Provide assistance in any form to improve the condition of co-workers who are  at risk of developing or with mental health condition and refrain from any discriminatory acts against them;
  1. Seek assistance from the company OSH personnel on conditions which may be related to or may result to a mental health condition for their appropriate medical intervention and possible work arrangements or accommodation; and
  1. Not themselves engage in bullying such as cyber bullying/mobbing,  verbal,  sexual  and physical harassment, all  forms  of work-related violence, threats, shaming, alienation and other forms of discrimination which may lead to a mental  health problem or may aggravate existing mental health condition.


VI.    Record Keeping and Reporting Requirements 

A. The medical records shall be kept or maintained inside the company clinic. If the clinic is not yet legally required, the medical records shall be kept with HR and access restricted to on an as-needed basis.

B. In compliance with the DOLE requirement of reporting injuries and/or illnesses in the workplace, companies shall report cases to DOLE-Regional Office having jurisdiction over the company, using the Annual Medical Report (AMR) Form.

VII.  Monitoring and Evaluation 

The implementation and monitoring of the Mental Health Workplace Policies and Programs shall be the responsibility of the employer through the OSH committee.

Review and evaluation of the Mental Health Workplace Policies and Programs shall be done annually or as necessary to ensure its effective implementation and compliance to latest legal issuances.

In compliance with the DOLE requirements on OSH Programs pursuant to 0 .0 . 198, series 2018, the latest copy of the company policy and program shall be submitted to the DOLE Regional Office having jurisdiction over the company.

VIII.  Compliance and Enforcement 

Compliance of all workplaces and establishments in the private sector to this Guidelines shall be enforced by the DOLE Regional Office which has jurisdiction over the company, in accordance with RA 11058.

IX.    Penalties 

Any violations in this Guidelines, shall be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of existing labor laws and regulations, particularly RA 11058, as may be applicable.

X.    Repealing Clause 

All policies, issuances, rules and regulations and agreements inconsistent with this Guidelines, are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

XI.    Effectivity 

This issuance shall take effect fifteen days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

Manila, Philippines,        

1 Feb, 2020


Silverio H. Bello

Secretary, DOLE


Annex A – Definition of Terms


The following terms as used in the “Guidelines in the Implementation of Mental Health Workplace Policies and Programs” shall mean:

  1. Advance Directive – A worker with mental health condition may set out his or her preferences in relation to treatment through a signed, dated and notarized document executed for the purpose. An advance directive may be revoked by a new advance directive or by a notarized revocation.
  1. Confidentiality – refers to ensuring that all relevant information related to persons with psychiatric, neurologic and psychosocial health needs is kept safe from access or use by, or disclosure to, persons or entities who are not authorized to access, use or possess such information.
  1. Constructive Dismissal – refers to an involuntary resignation resorted to when continued employment becomes impossible, unreasonable or unlikely; when there is a demotion in rank or a diminution in pay; or when a clear discrimination, insensibility or disdain by an employer becomes unbearable to an employee or an unwarranted transfer or demotion of an employee, or other unjustified action prejudicial to the emplo1
  2. Discrimination – refers to any distinction, exclusion or restriction which has the purpose or effect of nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field. It includes all forms of discrimination, including denial of reasonable Special measures to protect the rights or secure the advancement of persons with decision making impairment capacity shall not be deemed discriminatory.
  1. Mental Health – refers to a state of well-being in which the individual realizes one’s own abilities and potentials, copes adequately with the normal stresses of life, displays resilience in the face of extreme life events, works productively and fruitfully, and is able to make positive contribution to the community
  1. Mental Health Condition – refers to a neurologic or psychiatric condition characterized by the existence of a recognizable, clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s recognition, emotional regulation, or behavior that reflects a genetic or acquired dysfunction in the neurobiologica,l psychosocial or developmental process underlying mental The determination of neurologic and psychiatric conditions shall be based on scientifically-accepted medical nomenclature and best available scientific and medical evidence (Ex. Epilepsy, Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Depression, Bipolar)
  1. Mental Health Facility – refers to any establishment or any unit of an establishment, which has, as its primary function, the provision of mental health
  1. Mental Health Professionals – refers to a medical doctor, psychologis,t nurse, social worker, guidance counselor, or any other appropriately- trained and qualified person with specific skills and relevant to the provision of mental health services.
  1. Mental Health Services – refers to psychosocial, psychiatric or neurologic activities and programs along the whole range of the mental health support services including promotion, prevention, treatment and aftercare which are provided by mental health facilities and mental health



1 Blue Dairy Corp. vs. NLRC , 314 SCRA 401/BLR – Termination of Employment


  1. Mental Health Service Provider – refers to an entity or individual providing mental health services as defined in the Act, whether public or private, including, but not limited to mental health professionals and workers, social workers and counselors, peer counselors, informal community caregivers, mental health advocates and their organizations, personal ombudsmen, and persons or entities offering non-medicalalternative


  1. Occupational Health (OH) Physician – refers to the company physician with the required training on OSH who shall issue the “fit to work” Certification to a patient/worker.


12.   Reasonable Accommodation

  1. means necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms2
  2. improvement of existing facilities used by employees in order to render these readily accessible to and usable by disabled persons; and


  1. modification of work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, appropriate adjustments or modifications of examinations, training materials or company policies, rules and regulations, the provision of auxiliary aids and services, and other similar accommodations for disabled persons3


  1. Worker – refers to any member of the labor force, regardless of employment status including those working abroad/overseas.





























2 “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities·, United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

3 RA 7277 An Act Providing for the Rehabilitation, Self-Development and Self-Reliance of Disabled Persons and their Integration into the Mainstream of Society and for Other Purposes


Annex B


Guid elines/Issuance for Promoting Mental Health of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and other Overseas Filipinos (OFs)


  1. Objective


To promote Mental Health and well-being of OFWs and other Overseas Filipinos.


II.             Scope and Coverage


The Guidelines shall apply to all OFWs and other OFs.


Ill.       Components and Implementation Strategies of the Mental Health Workplace Policy and Program


  1. Advocacy , Information , Education and Training


  1. Topics on Mental Health Awareness and Promotion for OFWs to be discussed in the following:
    • Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)
    • Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP)
    • Post-Arrival Orientation Seminar (PAOS)


  1. Conduct of capacity-building programs for DOLE-OWWA Overseas and Regional and DOLE-POLO frontline workers


  1. Orientation and other capability-building activities for OFWs and their families

i.e. OFW Family Circles (OFCs), Community of Filipino Overseas (CFO) and other Civil Society Organization (CSO) including orientation and other capacity-building activities for OWWA scholars as children and/or relatives of OFWs/OFs.


B.        Treatment, Rehabilitation and Referral System


  1. Reporting and Referral
  • Joint Manual of Operation (JMO) in Providing Assistance to Migrant Workers and Other Filipinos Overseas, signed under Joint Declaration among the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Department of Social Welfare and Development DSWD), the Department of Health (DOH), the Overseas Workers welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).


  • DOH O. 2016-0007 on the National Policy on Health of Migrants and Overseas Filipinos


  • Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2017-0001 or the Integrated Policy Guidelines and Procedures in the Implementation of the Inter-Agency Medical Repatriation Assistance Program (IMRAP) for Overseas Filipinos


  1. Welfare Services for OFWs and their Families
  • In-country service for OFWs, assistance shall be provided free of charge by the appropriate agency in coordination with DOH and DSWD for those


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who are at risk or with mental health condition in terms of access to medical services, transportation, airport  services  and/or other assistance deemed necessary in accordance with existing programs and services for OFWs.


  • On-site services for OFWs – OFWs with MH condition upon referral of the employer and/or any concerned persons to a mental health facility shall be also be referred to the Philippine Embassy/Consulate and POLO for appropriate assistance. Charges incurred shall be coordinated with the employer and/or Foreign Recruitment For undocumented and irregular documented OFWs, the assistance shall be provided through the DSWD Social Welfare Attache and DFA-Overseas Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affair.


C.        Benefits and Compensation


In determining the appropriate compensation for the diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation of a worker with mental health condition, the current health benefit packages under PhilHealth, ECC, SSS and/or Medical and Health Care Program/Packages for OFWs, whichever are applicable, shall apply.


IV.       Record Keeping and Reporting Requirements


Mechanism/system of recording and reporting shall be developed in collaboration with DOH, DFA-OUMWA, DSWD, DOLE, POEA and OWWA to define data sets, systems and procedures of reporting cases of OFWs who are at risk or with mental health conditions.








C:\Users\OWWA\Documents\sgd@owwa.2019\mentalhealth\MH_ProposedGuidelines_ofws.docx As of 26 July 2019






























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RA 11058



Metro Manila

Seventeenth Congress

Second Regular Session


Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-fourth day of July, two thousand seventeen.



Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

Declaration of Policy

SECTION 1. Declaration of Policy. – The State affirms labor as a primary social and economic force, and that a safe and healthy workforce is an integral aspect of nation building.

The State shall ensure a safe and healthful workplace for all working people by affording them full protection against all hazards .in then work environment. It shall ensure that the provisions of the Labor Code of the Philippines, all domestic laws, and internationally-recognized standards on occupational safety and health are being fully enforced and complied with by the employers, and it shall provide penalties for any violation thereof.

The State shall protect every worker against injury, sickness or death through safe and healthful working conditions thereby assuring the conservation of valuable manpower resources and the prevention of loss or damage to lives and properties consistent with national development goals, and with the State’s commitment to the total development of every worker as a complete human being.

The State, in protecting the safety and health of the workers, shall promote strict but dynamic, inclusive, and gender-sensitive measures in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs related to occupational safety and health.


General Provisions

Sec. 2. Coverage. — This Act shall apply to all establishments, projects, sites, including Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) establishments, and all other places where work is being undertaken in all branches of economic activity, except in the public sector.

The Secretary of Labor and Employment shall issue the appropriate standards of occupational safety and health based on the number of employees, nature of operations, and the risk or hazard involved.

SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. – As used in this Act:.

  • Certified first-aider refers to any person trained and duly certified to administer first aid by the Philippine Red Cross or any organization authorized by the Secretary of Labor and Employment;
  • Competency standards refer to industry-determined specification of proficiency required for effective work performance. These are expressed as outcomes with focus on workplace activity rather than training or personal attributes, and the ability to apply new skills in new situations or changing work organization;
  • Covered workplaces refer to establishments, projects, sites and all other places where work is being undertaken wherein the number of employees, nature of operations, and risk or hazard involved in the business, as determined by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, require compliance with the provisions of this Act;
  • Employer refers to any person, natural or juridical, including the principal employer, contractor or subcontractor, if any, who directly or indirectly benefits from the services of the employee;
  • Equipment refers to any machine with engine or electric motor as prime mover;
  • General safety and health inspection refers to an examination of the work environment including the location and operation of machinery other than those covered by technical safety audits, adequacy of work space, ventilation, lighting, conditions of work environment, handling, storage or work procedures, protection facilities and other possible sources of safety and health hazards in the workplace;
  • Imminent danger refers to a situation caused by a condition or practice in any place of employment that could reasonably be expected to lead to death or serious physical harm;
  • Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) refer to establishments employing less than ten (10) employees, and establishments employing less than one hundred (100) employees, respectively;
  • Occupational health personnel refers to a qualified first-aider, nurse, dentist or physician engaged by the employer to provide occupational health services in the establishment, project, site or workplace;

0) Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) standards refer to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment pursuant to Articles 168 and 171, Chapter 2, Title I of Book Four of Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines, and such other standards as may be issued pursuant to this Act;


(k)  Safety and health audit refers to a regular and critical examination of project sites, safety programs, records, and management performance on program standards on safety and health;

  • Safety and health committee refers to a body created within the workplace tasked with the authority to monitor, inspect and investigate all aspects of the work pertaining to the safety and health of workers;

(m)  Safety and health program refers to a set of detailed rules to govern the processes and practices in all economic activities to conform with OSH standards, including the personnel responsible, and penalties for any violation thereof;

(n)   Safety officer refers to any employee or officer of the company trained by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and tasked by the employer to implement an occupational safety and health program, and ensure that it is in accordance with the provisions of OSH standards;

(o)   Safety signage refers to any emergency, warning or danger signpost or any safety instruction using the standard colors and sizes, including the standard symbols for safety instructions and warnings in the workplace, prescribed by the DOLE; and

(p)   Workplace refers to any site or location where workers need to be or to go to by reason of their work, and wrhich are under the direct or indirect control of the employer.


Duties and Rights of Employers, Workers and Other Persons

SEC. 4. Duties of Employers, Workers and Other Persons. –

  • Every employer, contractor or subcontractor, if any, and any person who manages, controls or supervises the work being undertaken shall:

(1) Furnish the workers a place of employment free from hazardous conditions that are causing or are likely to cause death, illness or physical harm to the workers;

  • Give complete job safety instructions or orientation to all the workers especially to those entering the job for the first time, including those relating to familiarization with their work environment;
  • Inform the workers of the hazards associated with their work, health risks involved or to which they are exposed to, preventive measures to eliminate or minimize the risks, and steps to be taken in cases of emergency;
  • Use only approved devices and equipment for the workplace;
  • Comply with OSH standards including training, medical examination and, where necessary, provision of protective and safety devices such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and machine guards;
  • Allow workers and their safety and health representatives to participate actively in the process of organizing, planning, implementing and evaluating the safety and health program to improve safety and health in the workplace; and
  • Provide, where necessary, for measures to deal with emergencies and accidents including first-aid arrangements.

(2) Every worker shall participate in ensuring comp ha nee with OSH standards in the workplace. The worker shall make proper use of all safeguards and safety devices furnished for the worker’s protection and that of others, and shall observe instructions to prevent accidents or imminent danger situations in the workplace. The worker shall observe the prescribed steps to be taken in cases of emergency.

The ■worker shall report to the supervisor any work hazard that may be discovered in the workplace.

  • It shall be the duty of any person, including the builder or contractor who visits, builds, renovates or installs devices or conducts business in any establishment or workplace, to comply with the provisions of this Act and all other regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.
  • Whenever two (2) or more undertakings are engaged in activities simultaneously in one (1) workplace, it shall be the duty of all engaged to collaborate in the application of OSH standards and regulations.

SEC. 5. Workers’ Right to Know. – The right to safety and health at work shall be guaranteed. All workers shall be appropriately informed by the employer about all types of hazards in the workplace, provided access to training and education on chemical safety, and to orientation on the data sheet of chemical safety, electrical safety, mechanical safety, and ergonomical safety.

SEC. 6. Workers’ Right to Refuse Unsafe Work. – The worker has the right of refusal to work without threat or reprisal from the employer if, as determined by the DOLE, an imminent danger situation exists in the workplace that may result in illness, injury or death, and corrective actions to eliminate the danger have not been undertaken by the employer.

SEC. 7. Workers’Right to Report Accidents. – Workers and their representatives shall have the right to report accidents, dangerous occurrences, and hazards to the employer, to the DOLE and to other concerned government agencies exercising jurisdiction as the competent authority in the specific industry or economic activity.

SEC 8. Workers’ Right to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). – Every employer, contractor or subcontractor, if any, shall provide his workers, free of charge, protective equipment for their eyes, face, hands and feet, and lifeline, safety belt or harness, gas or dust respirators or masks, and protective shields whenever necessary by reason of the hazardous work process or environment, chemical, radiological, mechanical and other irritants or hazards capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact. The cost of the PPE shall be part of the safety and health program which is a separate pay item pursuant to Section 20 of this Act.

All PPE shall be of the appropriate type as tested and approved by the DOLE based on its standards. The usage of PPE in all establishments, projects, sites and all other places where work is being undertaken shall be based on the evaluation and recommendation of the safety officer.

SEC. 9. Safety Signage and Devices. – All establishments, projects, sites and all other places where work is being undertaken shall have safety signage and devices to warn the workers and the public of the hazards in the workplace. Safety signage and devices shall be posted in prominent positions at strategic locations in a language understandable to all, and in accordance with the standards set by the DOLE.

SEC. 10. Safety in the Use of Equipment. – In relation to the use of equipment, the employer, contractor or subcontractor, if any, must comply with the DOLE requirements in the different phases of the company or project operation including the transport to and from the establishment, project, site or place where work is being undertaken.

SEC. 11. Occupational Safety and Health Information. – Workers in all establishments, projects, sites and all other places wThere work is being undertaken shall be provided adequate and suitable information by the employer, contractor or subcontractor, if any, on safety and health hazards, and the appropriate measures, including the probable location of workers, for the prevention, control and protection against those hazards.

Covered Workplaces

SEC. 12. Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Program. – Covered workplaces shall have a safety and health program including the following policies, guidelines or information:

  • Statement of commitment to comply with OSH requirements;
  • General safety and health, including a drug-free workplace;
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)/tuberculosis/hepatitis prevention and control;
  • Company or project details;
  • Composition and duties of the safety and health committee;
  • Occupational safety and health personnel and facilities;
  • Safety and health promotion., training and education;
  • Conduct of toolbox meetings;
  • Accident/incident/illness investigation, recording and reporting;
  • Provision and use of PPE;
  • Provision of safety signage;
  • Dust control and management, and regulations on activities such as building of temporary structures, and lifting and operation of electrical, mechanical, communications systems and other equipment;
  • Provision of workers’ welfare facilities;
  • Emergency preparedness and response plan;
  • Waste management system; and
  • Prohibited acts and penalties for violations.

The safety and health program shall be prepared and executed by the employer, contractor or subcontractor, if any, in consultation with the workers and their representatives, and shall be submitted to the DOLE which shall approve, disapprove or modify the same according to existing laws, rules and regulations, and other issuances.

The approved safety and health program shall be communicated and be made readily available to all persons in the workplace.

SEC. 13. Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Committee. – To ensure that the safety and health program is observed and enforced, a safety and health committee shall be organized in covered workplaces composed of the following:

  • Employer or a representative as the chairperson, ex officio;
  • Safety officer of the company or project as the secretary;
  • Safety officers representing the contractor or subcontractor, as the case may be, as members;
  • Physicians, nurses, certified first-aiders, and dentists as members, ex officio, if applicable; and
  • Workers’ representatives who shall come from the union if the workers are organized or elected by the workers through a simple majority vote if they are unorganized, as members.

The committee shall effectively plan, develop, oversee and monitor the implementation of the safety and health program.

SEC. 14. Safety Officer. – To ensure that a safety and health program is duly followed and enforced, covered workplaces shall have safety officers who shall:

  • Oversee the overall management of the safety and health program;
  • Frequently monitor and inspect any health or safety aspect of the operation being undertaken;
  • Assist government inspectors in the conduct of safety and health inspection at any time whenever work is being performed or during the conduct of an accident investigation; and
  • Issue work stoppage orders when necessary.

The number and qualification of safety officers shall be proportionate to the total number of workers and equipment, the size of the work area and such other criteria as may be prescribed by the DOLE.

In the case of a contractor or subcontractor, a safety officer must be deployed at each specific area of operations to oversee the management of the safety and health program of its own workforce.

SEC. 15. Occupational Health Personnel and Facilities. – Covered workplaces shall have qualified occupational health personnel such as physicians, nurses, certified first-aiders, and dentists duly complemented with the required medical supplies, equipment and facilities. The number of health personnel, equipment and facilities, and the amount of supplies shall be proportionate to the total number of workers and the risk or hazard involved, the ideal ratio of which shall be prescribed by the DOLE.

SEC. 16. Safety and Health Training. –

  • All safety and health personnel shall undergo the mandatory training on basic occupational safety and health for safety officers as prescribed by the DOLE.
  • All workers shall undergo the mandatory eight (8) hours safety and health seminar as required by the DOLE which shall include a portion on joint employer-employee orientation.
  • All personnel engaged in the operation, erection and dismantling of equipment and scaffolds, structural erections, excavations, blasting operations, demolition, confined spaces, hazardous chemicals, w’elding, and flame cutting shall undergo specialized instruction and training on the said activities.

SEC. 17. Occupational Safety and Health Reports. – All employers, contractors or subcontractors, if any, shall submit all safety and health reports, and notifications prescribed by the DOLE.

SEC. 18. Workers’ Competency Certification. – In order to professionalize, upgrade and update the level of competence of workers, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) or the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), as the case may be, shall establish national competency standards and prepare guidelines on competency assessment and certification for critical occupations. In this regard, all critical occupations shall undergo the mandatory competency assessment and certification by the TESDA.

An occupation shall be considered critical when:

  • The performance of a job affects the people’s lives and safety;
  • The job involves the handling of tools, equipment and supplies;
  • The job requires a relatively long period of education and training; and
  • The performance of the job may compromise the safety, health and environmental concerns within the immediate vicinity of the establishment.

SEC. 19. Workers’ Welfare Facilities. – All establishments, projects, sites and all other places where work is being undertaken shall have the following welfare facilities in order to ensure humane working conditions:

  • Adequate supply of safe drinking water;
  • Adequate sanitary and washing facilities;
  • Suitable living accommodation for workers, as may be applicable; and
  • Separate sanitary, washing and sleeping facilities for men and women workers as may be applicable.

SEC. 20. Cost of Safety and Health Program. – The total cost of implementing a duly approved safety and health program shall be an integral part of the operations cost. It shall be a separate pay item in construction and in all contracting or subcontracting arrangements.


Joint and Solidary Liability

SEC. 21. Employer’s Responsibility and Liability. – The employer, project owner, general contractor, contractor or subcontractor, if any, and any person who manages, controls or supervises the work being undertaken shall be jointly and solidarily liable for compliance with this Act.


Enforcement of Occupational Safety and Health Standards

SEC. 22. Visitorial Power of the Secretary of Labor and Employment. – Pursuant to Article 128 of the Labor Code of the Philippines and other applicable laws, the Secretary of Labor and Employment or the Secretary’s authorized representatives shall have the authority to enforce the mandatory occupational safety and health standards in all establishments and conduct, together with representatives from the labor and the employer sectors, an annual spot audit on compliance with OSH standards. The Secretary or the Secretary’s duly authorized representatives can enter workplaces at any time of the day or night where work is being performed to examine records and investigate facts, conditions or matters necessary to determine compliance with the provisions of this Act.

No person or entity shall obstruct, impede, delay or otherwise render ineffective the orders of the Secretary of Labor and Employment or the Secretary’s duly authorized representatives issued pursuant to the authority granted under Article 128 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, and no lower court or entity shall issue temporary or permanent injunction or restraining order or otherwise assume jurisdiction over any case involving the enforcement orders.

The Secretary of Labor and Employment may likewise order stoppage of work or suspension of operations of any unit or department of an establishment when noncompliance with law or implementing rules and regulations poses grave and imminent danger to the health and safety of workers in the workplace.

The procedure for inspecting work premises, notifying employers of violations, and issuing compliance or stoppage orders shall be pursuant to the procedure laid down in Article 128 of the Labor Code of the Philippines as implemented through relevant regulations issued by the DOLE on administration and enforcement of labor laws. The inspector or person authorized by the DOLE to enforce compliance with OSH standards shall present proper identification upon request, and such inspector or person shall only act within the authority or direction given by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

The Secretary of Labor and Employment or the Secretary’s duly authorized representatives shall inspect establishments and workplaces regardless of the size and nature of operation. Any kind of self-assessment shall not take the place of labor inspection conducted by the DOLE. However, chartered cities may be allowed to conduct industrial safety inspections of establishments within their jurisdiction in coordination with the DOLE: Provided, That they have adequate facilities and competent personnel for the purpose as determined by the DOLE, and subject to national standards established by the latter.

SEC. 23. Payment of Workers During Work Stoppage Due to Imminent Danger. – If stoppage of work due to imminent danger occurs as a result of the employer’s violation or fault, the employer shall pay the workers concerned their wages during the period of such stoppage of work or suspension of operations. For purposes of payment of wages and any other liabilities arising from a work stoppage order, the employer is presumed a party at fault if the work stoppage order is issued secondary to an imminent danger situation which would imperil the lives of the workers.

SEC. 24. Delegation of Authority. – The authority to enforce mandatory OSH standards may be delegated by the Secretary of Labor and Employment to a competent government authority.

SEC. 25. Standards Setting Power of the Secretary of Labor and Employment. – The Secretary of Labor and Employment shall, in consultation with the other concerned government agencies and relevant stakeholders, by appropriate orders, set and enforce mandatory OSH standards to eliminate or reduce occupational safety and health hazards depending on the number of employees of the establishment, the nature of its business operations, and the risk or hazard involved.

The Secretary shall also institute new, and update existing programs to ensure safe and healthy working conditions in all workplaces especially in hazardous industries such as mining, fishing, construction, and the maritime industry.

SEC. 26. Employee’s Compensation Claim. – A worker may file claims for compensation benefit arising out of work-related disability or death. Such claims shall be processed independently of the finding of fault, gross negligence or bad faith of the employer in a proceeding instituted for the purpose.

SEC. 27. Incentives to Employers. – There shall be an established package of incentives under such rules and regulations as may be promulgated by the DOLE to qualified employers to recognize their efforts toward ensuring compliance with OSH and general labor standards such as OSH training packages, additional protective equipment, technical guidance, recognition awards and other similar incentives.

SEC. 28. Prohibited Acts. – The following are considered as prohibited acts:

  • Willful failure or refusal of an employer, contractor or subcontractor to comply with the required OSH standards or with a compliance order issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment or by the Secretary’s authorized representative shall make such employer, contractor or subcontractor liable for an administrative fine not exceeding One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) per day until the violation is corrected, counted from the date the employer or contractor is notified of the violation or the date the compliance order is duly served on the employer. The amount of fine imposed shall depend on the frequency or gravity of the violation committed or the damage caused: Provided, however, That the maximum amount shall be imposed only when the violation exposes the workers to a risk of death, serious injury or serious illness.
  • An employer, contractor or subcontractor who willfully fails or refuses to comply with the required OSH standards or with a duly issued compliance order, and engages in any of the following acts to aid, conceal or facilitate such noncompliance shall be liable for a maximum of One hundred thousand pesos (P 100,000.00) administrative fine separate from the daily fine imposed above:
  • Repeated obstruction, delay or refusal to provide the Secretary of Labor and Employment or any of its authorized representatives access to the covered workplace or refusal to provide or allow access to relevant records and documents or obstruct the conduct of investigation of any fact necessary in determining compliance with OSH standards;
  • Misrepresentation in relation to adherence to OSH standards, knowing such statement, report or record submitted to the DOLE to be false in any material aspect;
  • Making retaliatory measures such as termination of employment, refusal to pay, reducing wages and benefits or in any manner discriminates against any worker who has given information relative to the inspection being conducted.

For this purpose, the Secretary of Labor and Employment, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, shall issue a list of offenses with corresponding reasonable administrative fines depending on the severity, frequency and damage caused without prejudice to the filing of a criminal or a civil case in the regular courts, as the case may be.

The fine collected shall be used for the operation of occupational safety and health initiatives, including occupational safety and health training and education and other occupational safety and health programs.


Miscellaneous Provisions

SEC. 29. Updated DOLE Computerized Labor Law Compliance System. — The Secretary of Labor and Employment shall maintain an updated labor inspection system of computerized gathering and generation of real time data on compliances, monitoring of enforcement, and a system of notification on workplace accidents and injuries.

SEC. 30. Applicability to Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs). – Specific to MSEs, the DOLE shall develop OSH core compliance standards to ensure safe and healthy workplaces. All MSEs shall be required to implement the prescribed standards for housekeeping, materials handling and storage, electrical and mechanical safety, chemical safety, emergency preparedness, fire safety and PPE, and to monitor hazards regularly.

SEC. 31. Inter-Governmental Coordination and Cooperation. – The DOLE shall institute a mechanism for coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Trade and Industry. Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Health, Department of Information and Communications Technology, PEZA and all other government agencies, including local government units, within sixty (60) days from the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations of this Act. They shall regularly convene to monitor the effective implementation of this Act as well as related programs and projects that are established to prevent and eliminate the incidence of injury, sickness or death in all workplaces.

SEC. 32. Implementing Rides and. Regulations. – The Secretary of Labor and Employment, in coordination with agencies concerned, shall formulate the rules and regulations within ninety (90) days after the effectivity of this Act.

SEC. 33. Separability Clause. – If any part, section or provision of this Act shall be held invalid or unconstitutional, the other provisions not affected by such declaration shall remain in full force and effect.

SEC. 34. Repealing Clause. – All laws, acts, decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations or other issuances or parts thereof which are inconsistent with this Act are hereby modified or repealed.

SEC. 35. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

Executive Order # 51 by PRRD

Last May 1, 2018, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Executive Order No. 51. implementing Article 106 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended, to protect the right to security of tenure of all workers based on Social justice in the 1987 Philippines Constitution. The salient features of the EO are as follows:

  • The EO is applicable to all parties engaged in any contracting and subcontracting arrangement;
  •  It prohibits contracting or subcontracting arrangement which aims to circumvent the worker’s right to security of tenure, self-organization and collective bargaining, and peaceful concerted activities; Otherwise, the principal shall be considered the direct employer of the contractor’s or subcontractor’s workers for all purposes;
  • Provides that the Secretary of Labor and Employment may declare activities which may be contracted out;
  • Reiterates that the DOLE shall conduct inspection of establishments to ensure compliance with all labor laws.
  • Enforcement of labor Standards and Working condition

The EO reiterates several provisions of the Labor Code as well as those stated in the department issuances/advisory.  Also, we’ve seen several issuances on the prohibition of contracting and subcontracting in the past years. Wondering what’s new? Maybe the DOLE will soon cite or declare activities that will lead us clearly on what may be contracted out. What are those activities? Let’s wait and see.

If you want to see the EO, please click on the link: 20180501-EO-51-RRD

Credits to http://www.officialgazette.gov.ph

Beware of Fake (DOLE) Labor Inspectors


Aside from fake news, there were also fake (DOLE) Labor Inspectors.

I saw this article from Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) website posted last August 2, 2017. This is very relevant to all employers or corporations who are trying very hard to comply with government requirements, who one day might also be a victim of this fake inspector’s fraudulent misrepresentation.

Based on this article, DOLE received a call from Ben-Ben Trading/Classic Particles Manufacturing Ltd. Co. – a company from Meycauayan, Bulacan – to verify the inspector’s identity and employment with DOLE. The company said that the fake officer asked for money and in return, the inspector will no longer subject the company to inspection.  The inspector presented fake ID, documents and signed Notice of Assessment to the company.

If you have encountered a situation similar to this or feels like you need confirmation from DOLE about the authority of the person checking your organization, you may call DOLE Central Luzon hotline number 0925-8150214 (mobile) and (045) 455-1619 (landline) or send an email to dolero3@gmail.com.

DOLE took action and filed a case against the fake inspector.

To know more about this article, you may visit https://www.dole.gov.ph/news/view/3822.

Retrenchment or Redundancy?

Most often they were interchangeably used so I decided to differentiate them visually, easier for me to discern the difference.  This is for my own personal guidance as enunciated in a Supreme Court Ruling cited below.



To complete the comparison, it’s better to include the rules recently provided by the Department of Labor and Employment.  It’s important to know the requirements of law before one can execute the decision to terminate based on Redundancy and Retrenchment. As stated under Department Order 147-15, to be a valid termination, the following must be present and complied with:


  1. There must be superfluous positions or services of employees;
  2. The positions or services are in excess of what is reasonably demanded by the actual requirements of the enterprise to operate in an economical and efficient manner;
  3. There must be good faith in abolishing redundant positions;
  4. There must be fair and reasonable criteria in selecting the employees to be terminated; and
  5. There must be an adequate proof of redundancy such as but not limited to the new staffing pattern, feasibility studies/proposal, on the viability of the newly created positions, job description and the approval by the management of the restructuring.

Retrenchment or Downsizing

  1. The retrenchment must be reasonably necessary and likely to prevent business losses;
  1. The losses, if already incurred, are not merely de minimis, but substantial, serious, actual and real, or if only expected, are reasonably imminent;
  2. The expected or actual losses must be proved by sufficient and convincing evidence;
  3. The retrenchment must be in good faith for the advancement of its interest and not to defeat or circumvent the employees’ right to security of tenure; and
  4. There must be fair and reasonable criteria in ascertaining who would be dismissed and who would be retained among the employees, such as status, efficiency, seniority, physical fitness, age, and financial hardship for certain workers.


In addition, the following must also be complied with:

A. Payment of Separation Pay

 Redundancy –   at least one (1) month pay or at least one (1) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher, a fraction of six (6) months service is considered as one (1) whole year.

Retrenchment  –  one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher, a fraction of six (6) months service is considered as one (1) whole year.

OTHER AUTHORIZED CAUSES which requires payment of separation pay:

Closure or Cessation of Business Operation not due to serious business losses – one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher, a fraction of six (6) months service is considered as one (1) whole year. Where closure is due to serious business losses or financial reverses, no separation pay is required.

Disease  -at least one (1) month salary or one-half (1/2) month salary for every year of service, whichever is higher, a fraction of six (6) months service is considered as one (1) whole year.


In cases of installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy and retrenchment, the “Last-In, First-Out Rule” shall apply except when an employee volunteers to be separated from employment.

 [When there are two employees occupying the same position in the company affected by the retrenchment program, the last one employed will necessarily be the first to go (Maya Farms Employees Organization v. NLRC, G.R. No. 106256, December 28, 1994).]


The requirements of due process shall be deemed complied with upon service of a written notice to the employee and the appropriate Regional Office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) at least thirty days (30) before the effectivity of the termination, specifying the ground or grounds for termination.

Reference: SC Decision, DO 147-15






Ditching Annual Performance Review

Last week, while browsing on Facebook, i encountered a story about a certain company ditching out its employee’s annual performance review. I was shocked and at the same time interested to know the reason why this company fearlessly decided to remove their yearly evaluation. It was indeed a bold move for that company.

One of the main reasons why this company opt to remove performance review is:

 Rather than having managers rank and review workers once per year, the new initiative — called Performance Achievement — calls for informal reviews that can be given at the manager’s discretion, for example, after a worker has completed a specific project.

“……. The new system is intended to give workers more opportunities to get feedback from managers and coaching to improve their performance. The new system will still be used to inform decisions made about compensation and promotions, Jones added.

Companies have been doing performance appraisal every year to identify and achieve the team member’s individual KPIs.  Performance appraisal is also being used to identify strengths of the employee or identify those areas that needs improvement.  In short, this process is for evaluation and developmental purposes.

As an HR practitioner, i know the purpose and importance of performance evaluation. Some may perceive it differently  or positively, as follows:

    • It encourages employees to perform better in the future
    • It presents an opportunity for employees to leverage positive performance for an increase in salary or promotion
    • During the appraisal, employees can discuss strengths and weaknesses with a supervisor, in effect, allowing employees to discuss personal concerns
    • It provides communication between a supervisor and employee on a regular basis to discuss job duties and issues with work performance
    • It allows employees to identify what skills may be lacking and need to be acquired or improved upon. There are instances when education provided by the company is a necessity to advance success overall
    • It holds employees accountable for their job performance, and since the employee knows that an appraisal is coming, the employee has the opportunity to prepare in advance
    • It provides the opportunity for managers to explain organizational goals and the ways in which employees can participate in the achievement of those goals( http://www.atessabenefits.com/atessa-blog/understanding-the-importance-of-performance-appraisals/)

The most challenging aspect of a performance appraisal is measuring the actual performance of the employee since performance will be based on actual vs target. The process itself is time consuming especially if you have several employees to be evaluated, sometimes twice, in a given year. In several instances due to the number of employees to be evaluated and lack of time management there were employees whose evaluations have been compromised and completed for the sake of compliance. You’ll only get to know the scenario once employees started to make noise or manifest dissatisfaction.This leads to the pain points of performance appraisal.

Dissatisfied Employees
Dissatisfied Employees

Some pain points of performance evaluation as quoted in Yahoo’s article:

Criticism of performance reviews is ubiquitous among academics who study workplace management. Their main pain points: the system wastes time and money, alienates employees, and is all-in-all redundant, since any good manager is already keeping an eye on employee performance without a system in place. A whopping 95% of managers said they are dissatisfied with their performance review process, according to a 2014 survey of 10,000 workers, also conducted by CEB. Nearly 60% of employees said they felt reviews weren’t worth their time. CEB also estimates that for a big company with more than 10,000 workers, annual reviews can easily cost upwards of $35 million with less than stellar results. Ninety percent of HR professionals surveyed by the firm said they did not feel performance review results painted an accurate picture of workplace productivity. (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/accenture-is-the-latest-major-company-to-ditch-dreaded-annual-reviews-192428343.html)

Do we really need yearly performance evaluation?Is performance evaluation helpful to the business? Is it time to look for a more creative and practical ways of evaluating employees?

Ariva has an upcoming event which includes performance management and other HR Topics. Please check out these interesting subjects and inspiring speakers at Philippine HR Congress to get creative innovations about HR global transformation.




If you need to know more about performance management, gain knowledge in other facets of HR, plus network with Resource Speakers and Event Delegates including: CHROs, SVPs and VPs for HR, COOs, CFOs, Directors, Executives, Deputy Directors, Managers, and Team Leaders with responsibilities in:

  • Strategic Human Resources Management
  • Talent Management and Retention
  • Change and Transformation Management
  • Performance Management
  • Succession Planning
  • Talent Acquisition, Development and Retention
  • Employee Engagement
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Training and Learning Development
  • Corporate Culture and Diversity
  • Human Capital Strategy
  • Organizational Development

Join the Philippine HR Congress

Phil congress

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King Chef (50% off Dimsum)

I was at Lucky Chinatown when i discovered this yummy Chinese restaurant that offerss 50% on dimsum everyday from 3-5pm and 9pm-12mn. Its  interior is quite intimidating but don’t be misled, that’s just a glimpse of how good their foods are.Image

So we tried their hakaw,

fried dumpling,
steamed fish with beancurd,

and two more, spareribs toppings and steamed seafoods.


We ate all of these for:


Not bad if you’re looking for quality dimsum!

Total Savings P260

Three weeks after we visited King Chef ,  but on a different location, we discovered that they they also have a branch in Banawe, Quezon City(near Starbucks) so we tried it once more, together with friends, and all i can say is i will definitely  come back. 🙂


Supreme Court’s Paperless Filing( E-Filing)

In order to cut the judicial system’s use of excessive quantities of costly paper, save the forests,  avoid landslides, and mitigate the worsening effects of climate change, the Supreme Court issued, through AM No. 11-9-4-SC,  November 13, 2012, the Efficient Use of Paper  Rule which  takes effect on January 1, 2013 after its publication in two newspapers of  general circulation.

E-filing requires  parties  before the Supreme Court to submit,  simultaneously with their court-bound papers, soft copies of the same and their  annexes (the latter in PDF format) either by email to the Court’s e-mail  address or by compact disc (CD).

E-filing will,  initially, be on a voluntary  basis for the first six months following the effectivity of the Rule. Thereafter,  it shall be compulsory,  unless six-month  voluntary  period is extended, For efficient use of paper.

The Rule also requires that  all pleadings, motions, and similar papers intended for the consideration of  all courts and quasi-judicial bodies under the supervision of the Supreme Court   must be

  • written in single space with a one-and-a-half space between paragraphs,
  • using  an easily readable font style of the party’s choice, of 14-size font, and on a  13-inch by 8.5-inch white bond paper.

The same requirements  apply to  all decisions, resolutions, and orders issued  by courts and quasi-judicial bodies under the administrative supervision of the  Supreme Court, as well as reports submitted to the courts and transcripts of  stenographic notes.following the effectivity of the Rule. Thereafter,  it shall be compulsory,  unless six-month  voluntary  period is extende.

For efficient use of paper, the Rule also requires that  all pleadings, motions, and similar papers intended for the consideration of  all courts and quasi-judicial bodies under the supervision of the Supreme Court   must be :

  • written in single space with a one-and-a-half space between paragraphs,
  • using  an easily readable font style of the party’s choice, of 14-size font, and on a  13-inch by 8.5-inch white bond paper. The same requirements  apply to  all decisions, resolutions, and orders issued  by courts and quasi-judicial bodies under the administrative supervision of the  Supreme Court, as well as reports submitted to the courts and transcripts of  stenographic notes.

All court-bound papers to be submitted by every party shall  likewise maintain a:

  • left hand margin of 1.5 inches from the edge;
  • an upper  margin of 1.2 inches from the edge;
  • a right hand margin of one inch from the  edge;
  • and a lower margin of one inch from the edge.
  • Every page must be  consecutively numbered.

The Rule specifies the number of copies  of court-bound papers in a particular court that a party is required or desires  to file unless otherwise directed by the court. In the Supreme Court for  instance, parties are required to file one original (properly marked) and four  copies, unless the case is referred to the Court En  Banc, in which event, the parties shall file 10 additional copies.  For the En Banc, the parties need to submit  only two sets of annexes, one attached to the original and one extra copy. For  the Division, the parties need to submit also two sets of annexes, one attached  to the original, as well as an extra copy. All members of the Court shall share  the extra copies of annexes in the interest of economy of paper.

In preparation for the  eventual establishment of an e-filing paperless system in the Judiciary, the  Supreme Court, through its Management Information System Office, has set up the  e-mail address efile@sc.judiciary.gov.ph.

Source: Supreme Court of the Philippines Website