As President Rodrigo Roa Duterte renders his third State of the Nation Address, we at the Department of Labor and Employment reaffirm our commitment to the reforms initiated by his administration.
For one, we are steadfast in according full protection to workers by ensuring job security pursuant to the directive of the President. We have taken initiatives to pursue effective implementation of the right to security of tenure and eliminate practices that circumvent the law prohibiting illegal contractual arrangements.
From August 2016 to date, a total of 321,964 workers were regularized. Of this total, 202,779 workers were regularized through voluntary regularization while 119,185 were regularized through inspection. We aim to regularize 300,000 employees in 2018, 243,418 of which were already regularized during the first half of the year.
One of our latest labor compliance orders was addressed to Dole Philippines, a multinational fruit manufacturing company. We affirmed the decision of our DOLE regional office directing the foreign food giant to regularize more than 9,000 workers.
So as to guarantee just, simplified, and expeditious resolution of labor issues at the workplace, we promote conciliation-mediation as an effective alternative dispute resolution mechanism in providing labor justice. Through this scheme, a total of around PHP 32.1 billion in monetary award was given to 513,576 workers.
We have established 18 One-Stop Service Centers for OFWs across the country integrating all frontline services of key government agencies for OFWs. Also, we have initially rolled out the iDOLE card for OFWs that will eventually replace the Overseas Employment Certificate and help ease doing business with government.
And in order to strengthen the protection of our migrant workers, we signed Bilateral Labor Agreements with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates and Cambodia. We have likewise repatriated almost 22,000 migrant workers in distress since 2016.
For the welfare needs of vulnerable pensioners, we approved a PhP1,150.00 across the board increase in the monthly pension of Employees’ Compensation (EC) permanent disability pensioners and qualified beneficiaries in the public sector.
Our employment facilitation program, through the Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan, mounted 108 job and livelihood events in 2017 where of 384,379 job vacancies from 2,258 employers were offered to 80,592 qualified applicants. From these undertakings, 9,684 were hired on the spot. Also, 3,680 MSMEs were assisted in the TNK seminars. Employment facilitation services and livelihood assistance were also provided to some 8,000 victims of the Marawi Siege composed of internally displaced persons (IDPs), dependents of soldiers and policemen
Financial assistance, livelihood and emergency employment were provided to affected workers under the Boracay Emergency Employment Program (BEEP), of which, 1,963 cash cards issued for first Financial Support tranche as of 27 June 2018 with a total amount of PHP 9,529,663.00. Additional 500 cash cards were issued on July 8. Around 2,960 informal sector workers were provided with emergency employment amounting to PHP 23,166,689.22, and another PHP 1 million to 339 members of Malay Association of Sailing Boat Owner.
In the face of challenges, we are undaunted and remain committed to endeavor for the realization of decent job for the Filipino workers in an atmosphere of freedom where their rights are respected and welfare upheld.