ECOP Webinar Series

“Updates on DOLE CAMP and Other Important Labor Advisories”
7 April 2020, 2:00PM – 4:00PM

 

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) conducted its second webinar with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) entitled “Updates on DOLE CAMP and Other Important Labor Advisories” last 7 April 2020 as a response to numerous issues and clarificatory questions raised by both employers and employees through the ECOP Helpdesk.

The resource persons who represented the DOLE were Undersecretary Ana C. Dione and Assistant Secretary Ma. Teresita S. Cucueco.

As of 6 April 2020, the number of affected workers reported were at 714,864. A total of 685,465 CAMP financial assistance applications for workers have been received by the DOLE, out of which 221,353 applications were approved, 325,109 applications were pending, while 139,003 workers already received the Php 5,000.00 financial assistance. The total budget disbursed by the DOLE amounted to Php 695,015,000.00.

Despite the continued release of the subsidy to covered workers, ECOP continues to receive feedbacks that many qualified and affected workers have yet to receive financial assistance from the DOLE. This prompted ECOP conduct this webinar not only to help employers and workers clearly understand the issues surrounding the CAMP, but also to seek answers to questions regarding Labor Advisory No. 13, Labor Advisory No. 13-A, Labor Advisory No. 14, and Department Order No. 209.

 

 

Survey on COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program:

To provide a situationer, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines conducted a survey from March 31 to  April 13, 2020 to identify member companies that have applied for COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP):

    • A total of 133 member companies of ECOP responded regarding their current status in relation to CAMP. The composition of the companies are as follows:
        • Micro (1-9 employees): 11 companies (11.3%)
        • Small (10-99): 34 companies (35.1%)
        • Medium (100-199): 16 companies (16.5%)
        • Large (200 and above): 36 companies (37.1%)
    • Out of the 133 respondents, 111 companies have applied for CAMP. Only 1 of these 111 applications have been approved while the rest are still pending.
    • The 111 applications make for a total of 46,730 workers that have been applied for CAMP.
    • Of the 111 companies that have applied, the most cited reasons were:
        • Flexible work arrangement – 34 companies
        • Temporary company closure – 74 companies
        • Lack of market or slump in demand – 10 companies
        • Lack of raw materials, COVID-19 infection – 21 companies
        • Enhanced Community Quarantine – 11 companies
        • Others also answered forced leave, work reduction, and suspension of transport operations
    • The 22 companies that did not have or have not yet applied stated numerous reasons for not being able to do so, the most noticeable and prominent being that their employees are ineligible under the conditions set by CAMP. The breakdown is as follows:
        • Their employees are not eligible for CAMP – 11 companies
        • Will apply later – 5 companies
        • Inaccessible requirements – 2 companies
        • Data privacy – 2 companies

Other reasons also cited were: 1) they will not be covered by CAMP because they are still in operation or are implementing Work-From-Home schemes, 2) they will be paying their employees in full, and 3) their employees have not yet exhausted their leave credits. A respondent is also considering applying for CAMP only in the event that the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) will be extended, while another said that the payroll requirements are too tedious.

 

 

 

Resource Persons:

Ana C. Dione

ATTY. ANA C. DIONE
Undersecretary
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)

 

Teresita Cocueco

MS. MA. TERESITA S. CUCUECO, M.D., CESO III
Assistant Secretary
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)

 

 

Highlights of the Presentation:

 

Status of CAMP Implementation as of 6 April 2020

  • As of 6 April 2020, the number of affected workers is 714,864
  • 685,465 applications for workers have been received:
      • 221,353 were approved
      • 325,109 are on-going processing
      • 139,003 workers already received the Php5,000 financial assistance
  • The total budget disbursed amounted to Php695,015,000

 

 

Challenges Encountered During CAMP Implementation

  • Some Regional Offices do not comply with the parameters set by the D.O. 209 and requires
  • the submission of additional documents that were not specified in the D.O. 209Companies that take advantage of the CAMP Php5,000 financial assistance
  • Companies having difficulty to provide the payroll requirement and submit application for their employees due to lack of accessibility

 

 

On Other Important Labor Advisories

Labor Advisory 14 or Clarification on the Non-Inclusion of the One-Month Enhanced Community Quarantine Period on the Six-Month Probationary Period

    • This Advisory shall apply to all employers in the private sector who are required under Articles 296 of the Labor Code, as renumbered, to comply with the probationary employment period not to exceed six (6) month from the date the employee started working
    • For purposes of determining the six-month probationary period, the one-month ECQ period is not included thereof
    • The period covered is from March 17 to April 13, 2020
    • The rationale behind this is that the probationary employee was not able to perform functions in relation to his work
    • With this, the probationary employee is given the chance to demonstrate his skills when the company he works for resumes operation
    • Exception to this are companies with continuous operation despite the ECQ, meaning there are no changes with regard to the probationary period of a probationary employee, as long as he is allowed to work

 

Labor Advisory 13 or Payment of Wages for the Regular Holidays on April 9 and 10, 2020 and Special Day on April 11, 2020

    • This serves as a guide on how to pay employees on the upcoming holidays April 9 and 10
    • Despite being a “new” Labor Advisory, it is not a new regulation concerning how employees should be paid during the holidays specified
    • Despite ECQ, the manner of paying employees remains the same as that of the normal situation
    • The only difference is the fact that this year, there are consecutive regular holidays. It implies that an employee should work or is on leave with pay the day before the holiday to be entitled to 100% pay during the days of the regular holidays
    • Dione clarified that the ‘day before’ condition in the labor advisory pertains to the day before lockdown – March 16, 2020. If an employee worked on March 16, 2020, they are still entitled to the holiday pays on April 9 and 10
    • As for the computation of pays of employees who actually worked during the holidays, it is the same as to the computation during that of a normal situation

 

 

Question and Answer Portion:

 

1.  If there is a correction in the filed application (i.e. other affected employees were not included), do we need to submit a corrected application or do we submit only the excluded employees?

    • If a prior submission of application has been done already, company may still submit a second application. In the second application, specify that it is a ‘second batch’ application and only include affected employees who were not included in the first application. There is no need to re-submit names that have been submitted already in the first application.

 

2.  Can a company still apply for CAMP even if only one employee is in a no work, no pay scheme?

    • Yes, only apply for workers who are affected by income reduction.

 

3.  After CAMP application, all employees received remittance center transaction codes already except for two employees. What can the company do?

    • There could be a chance that the mobile number of the employee listed was not updated. Please get in touch with the proper DOLE field office.

 

4. What are we going to submit for employees who just started working this March 2020?

    • Provide for the payroll of the new workers.

 

5. Do we have to submit the scanned copy of the original payroll that was signed by the signatories?

    • No, the excel file will suffice.

 

6. What if company gave financial assistance already to its employees who are part of the skeletal workforce, can they still apply for CAMP?

    • If company has already provided financial assistance, employees are not allowed to apply for CAMP.

 

7. Can employees file a case against their employer if they are eligible but the company does not want to file CAMP for them?

    • DOLE D.O. 209 does not provide for penalties. DOLE is appealing that if a company is eligible to apply, they should apply for their employees. There is also an instruction for individual workers to file on their own, but this would not be processed until it is done through the company. The essence of this is so that all of the employees will benefit from the CAMP financial assistance. As for the individual application, it serves as a trigger point for DOLE to be able to request the company to file for its employees. This process is quite tedious for it requires DOLE to call up the company and request them to apply. This will only result to prolonging the process.

 

8. If our branches filed their application to field office within their region, is there a possibility that some will be approved and some will not? Why or why not?

    • The general instruction of DOLE is to approve the application as long as they are able to fulfill the requirements for qualification.

 

9. Do the employees need to exhaust all his/her leaves to qualify for the CAMP Program?

    • The use of leave credits is not a criterion for applying for CAMP.

 

10. Some large companies are unable to provide financial assistance to its employees. Do large companies still have no chance to get the CAMP Php5,000 financial assistance?

    • Large companies may still apply. DOLE did not say that they are not included, but priority is given to MSMEs.

 

11. During the first ECOP webinar on CAMP, the registration of companies to DOLE was not mentioned. Does company have to be registered first to DOLE?

    • There is no such requirement in applying for CAMP.

 

12. We have already submitted our application for CAMP, however our company has decided to pay the regular salary of our employees for March 16-31, does it automatically disqualify our application?

    • The general rule is that if a company paid its employees’ salaries whether they worked or not during the ECQ, then they are not eligible for CAMP financial assistance. But in this case, if the employees will fall under the category of reduced income, then they will qualify for CAMP because D.O. 209 covers employees whose income is reduced.

 

13. If the probationary employee ends his/her probationary period during quarantine, can we just end it as it is and no more extension as per the Labor Advisory 14, especially if the employee also knows that he/she will be ending his/her contract?

    • There is a difference regarding the technicalities of probationary period and contract period. To be clear, probationary workers could be regularized by the end of the probationary period. As for the contract period, workers may end contract if the date of termination comes.

 

14. If the employer will avail of the deferred payment on the coming holidays, do we have a timeline on how long the employer needs to give it to the workers after the ECQ has been lifted?

    • The Labor Advisory does not mention a specific time, it only provided a condition ‘when the ECQ is lifted / normal operation in the company resumes’. This is relative, DOLE did not specify a certain date so as to avoid unwanted circumstances that may result in conflict between the employers and its employees.

 

15. For provincial offices, can we use as reference the date of last attendance when the province declared quarantine as basis for holiday pay? (NCR declared on the 17th, but the other provinces declared days later – Cebu and Davao)?

    • Yes, they can. Because in essence, the Labor Advisory provides for the day before the formal declaration.

 

16. What is the process for follow-ups on the DOLE CAMP application?

    • DOLE is hoping that after the holy week, Regional Offices are able to post on their official websites the status of the applications of companies.

 

17. What happens to those who applied but submitted the wrong information or incomplete documents? Will they be automatically turned down?

    • This is one of the reasons as to why there is a slowdown in the processing period. DOLE will not turn it down outright, but will wait for the company to complete the requirements.

 

18. There are employees who received a text message to claim their CAMP Financial Assistance through a remittance center. How can employer monitor this and deduct their mandatory contributions?

    • The financial assistance provided by DOLE is not a substitute for an employee’s salary. Since it is a financial assistance, there should be no deductions for mandatory contributions.

 

19. When we first submitted our Establishment Report, we only had 2 employees on forced leave. However, with the extension of ECQ, a few more employees will be on forced leave and we might adapt reduced workdays arrangement. Can we refile?

    • The first application should be as is, there is only the need to file another batch indicating that employees under the second batch is also from the same company. In the second batch of application, there is no need to include the names of employees already listed during first application.

 

20. As per DOLE Labor Advisory No. 9, as long as there is income loss they are qualified to apply. Can you help us clarify this? The operational hours of our restaurant is reduced as it only caters delivery and take out transactions. Initially, we closed our stores; but eventually opened it. Since we are operational now, does it mean we are no longer qualified to apply for CAMP even if our employees suffered income reduction? And all the more, some do not receive salary since they cannot report to work.

    • They can file for CAMP financial assistance for this is a case that concerns salary reduction which is covered under DOLE D.O. 209.

 

21. What if an employee already received CAMP financial assistance, can he still avail of SAC financial assistance of Php5,000 – Php8,000?

    • SAC is also being synchronized in CAMP in a way that those who have received their CAMP financial assistance of Php5,000 are also listed under SAC. If an employee has already received a CAMP financial assistance of Php5,000, he is still qualified to avail the remaining Php3,000 SAC assistance – this is called top-up.

 

22. For extended ECQ, most of the employees have no available leave credits even for large scale businesses. Is large scale still the last priority?

    • This concern was anticipated so the Secretary is trying to secure more budget to accommodate more.

 

23. What if a construction company will come to a point that it cannot provide to employees anymore because there is no income during the ECQ period? What do we do with the probationary employees and project contract employees? How do we handle employment and payment?

    • I think they can avail of the financial assistance from DOLE. If the concern is regarding the holiday pay, then the company is exempted from paying its employees’ holiday pay since the company totally ceased operation during ECQ.

 

24. Do employees have the option of not using their leave credits if they are affected by FWA such that their work hours are reduced or there are days when they are not required to work?

    • Labor Advisory 11 instructs that employees should use their leave credits.

 

25. Establishment is open until April 8. Employee did not report for work on March 16 and April 9-11 but reported for work on April 8:

    • Will employee be entitled to holiday pay?
        • If the company is allowed to operate and the last day of work until April 8, employee is entitled to holiday pay. On the other hand, if the company’s last day of work is before the lockdown and employee went to work on the last day of work, then he is also entitled to holiday pay.
    • If yes, what will be that base amount in computing the holiday pay? Is it the actual salary/wage received on April 8?
        • Computation will be based on a full day pay regardless of the hours that employee actually worked.

26. On the deferment of pay for multi-branch companies, does it refer to normal operations of the whole company or normal operations of the branch only?

    • The Labor Advisory says normal operations insofar as the whole company is concerned. The branch-by-branch case is an internal matter that must be settled by the company deciding in a centralized manner.

 

27. What if the store itself closed or ceased operations because of the ECQ, but one employee was instructed to work from home under a flexible working arrangement to attend to administrative matters not connected with the operations of the store (i.e. attend to payroll, give the necessary notifications to DOLE, etc.)? Would the establishment still be considered as having “totally closed” or “ceased operation”, for purposes of applying the third paragraph of Labor Advisory No. 13-A?

    • As long as the work of the employee does not concern the direct operations of the company, it is considered non-operational, hence “total closed”.

 

29. On the exemption from payment of holiday pay, does the establishment need to be totally closed or has ceased operation for the whole period of ECQ to be exempted?

    • This is actually the idea of the Labor Advisory; company did not operate at all during the ECQ.

 

29. Will the company be exempted from the Labor Advisory if the establishment is opened for a certain period but eventually closed during the ECQ? (i.e. Opened March 16-25, but closed thereafter)

    • In this case, company was half open so they are not exempted. It should be closed for the whole period of the ECQ to qualify for exemption.

 

30. Regarding the double holiday on April 9, are monthly-paid employees (factor 365) also entitled to receive 200% on that day if unworked?

    • If this is the salary basis, then holiday is already factored in. Employee is not entitled to the 200% holiday pay anymore if unworked since this is factored in already.

 

31. In order to qualify for the exemption granted under the third paragraph of Labor Advisory No. 13-A, must the establishment be “totally closed or ceased operations” beginning 17 March 2020 or is it sufficient that the establishment “totally closed or ceased operations” at anytime during the ECQ?

    • No, establishment must be close during the entire period of ECQ.

 

32. What will be the payment for April 9, 10, 11 if company is in a “no work, no pay” scheme due to ECQ?

    • When there is no economic activity, then no holiday pay.

 

33. Are employers allowed to ask their employees to use their leave credits in case they do not have the capability to work from home?

    • Employer may ask the workers. But as for the actual utilization of leave credits, it follows the general principles that it is up to the will of the workers if they want to use their leave credits or not.

 

34. We have a reduced number of employees due to ECQ. Should we allow the request of employees currently on Maternity Leave to work from home if they sign a waiver?

    • If in Maternity Leave, an employee receives full benefits and do not go to work. She should use her entire Maternity Leave benefit.

 

35. The company implemented the reduced workforce from March 17-31, then decided to declare temporary closure on April 1. Are the employees still entitled to holiday pay on April 9 and 10?

    • Yes, they are still qualified.

 

36. If company has no income because of ECQ, is it legal to terminate regular employees (union and non-union)?

    • Valid ground of employee termination is found in the Labor Code, please refer to it instead.

 

37. For unionized company with upgraded CBA benefits, will it be acceptable to defer the CBA benefits because company has no income during the ECQ?

    • This should be up to the negotiation between the management and the workers as to how they will work out matters insofar as the current situation is concerned. When things become better, the CBA will become applicable.

 

38. Is it correct for company to downsize without due process and notify employees through email only?

    • During this period of ECQ, the application of Labor Code has not been suspended. It shall still be observed and followed.

 

 

Click here to watch the webinar

Updates on the DOLE COVID-19 Adjustment Measure Program (CAMP) and Other Important Labor Advisories

Welcome to ECOP's Webinar on Updates on the DOLE COVID-19 Adjustment Measure Program (CAMP) and Other Important Labor Advisories.Join us and comment your questions down below!Our program will start promptly at 2:00 pm.

Posted by Employers Confederation of the Philippines on Monday, 6 April 2020

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