Workers, employers ‘not in favor’ of police clearances for DOLE dealings

Aika Rey

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Workers, employers ‘not in favor’ of police clearances for DOLE dealings

LABOR DAY. Several labor groups march to call for labor reforms on May 1, 2019.

Rappler file photo

'Tinitignan pa natin ang final reply natin kay General Sinas,' says Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, even as he notes that stakeholders oppose the PNP's proposal

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Wednesday, April 28, that workers and employers consulted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) oppose the proposal requiring national police clearances for transactions.

Bello told reporters that the department has yet to reply to Philippine National Police chief General Debold Sinas on the matter.

“The trend is that workers, employers, and NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) are not in favor of the proposal. And, of course, ARTA (Anti-Red Tape Authority) because it goes against ease of doing business,” said Bello in a mix of English and Filipino.

While it seems that stakeholders are united in rejecting the move, the department’s stand doesn’t appear to be cast in stone just yet.

“Tinitignan pa natin ang final reply natin kay General Sinas. Malalaman din niya anytime now,” Bello said.

(We’re still determining our final reply to General Sinas. He’ll be informed anytime now.)

Labor groups have said that requiring police clearances for DOLE dealings “threatens industrial peace.”

Senator Joel Villanueva, meanwhile, said the proposed requirement would be “an unnecessary, costly, and time-consuming stopover.”

Vaccination on Labor Day

On Wednesday, Bello also discussed plans for the vaccination drive for minimum wage earners and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) on Labor Day.

The labor chief said they will submit the list of prospective vaccinees, who are under the A4 priority list, to the government’s coronavirus task force before Wednesday ends.

Those who will be inoculated have already been informed, but the venue for the vaccination has yet to be announced.

If the inoculation drive happens as intended on Saturday, May 1, it would be the Philippines’ first time to vaccinate those who are under the A4 priority list. The Department of Health said last Friday, April 23, that guidelines were still being drafted.

Labor group Sentro criticized the vaccination drive as a “one-day vaccine fair for show,” while Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines spokesperson Alan Tanjusay told Rappler that the event comes with the expectation that the government should have a “concrete road map” for job recovery.

Bello said the drive is “just the start” of succeeding vaccinations for workers.

“Tuloy-tuloy ‘yan hanggang may dumarating na vaccine. Meron din akong nilapitan na foreign investor na kung maari ay mag-donate siya para sa mga OFW bago mag-employ. Positive reaction naman, ‘yung supply will be coming in a few days or months,” Bello said, without elaborating further.

(This will continue until more vaccines arrive. I also asked a foreign investor to possibly donate vaccines for OFWs before employment. The reaction was positive, so I’m expecting supplies to be coming in a few days or months.) –

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at