Feature: DOLE Bicol's quick reponse to global crisis
by RP Escalante
Legazpi City (4 February) -- DOLE-Bicol Regional Director and Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) head Ernesto C. Bihis met with the seven regional directors of DOLE's attached agencies following reports of retrenchment from two companies in Bicol.
Bihis said "the situation prompted us to address the pressing retrenchment issues brought about and may be brought about by the global financial crisis."
"We thought then that this global financial crisis would only have a big impact on other regions with manufacturing industry, but it seems that it is already taking its toll here. We must be prepared and act fast!" Bihis added.
During the meeting, DOLE-Bicol managers crafted a stronger alliance among themselves through creating a specialized RCC Quick Response Team (QRT) which will technically 'run' whenever a retrenchment report is received by DOLE.
"The situation now calls for a stronger collaboration and pooling of resources. Everybody must help and intervene," he related.
"Every time DOLE receives a termination report of companies affected by the global financial crisis, DOLE, NCMB, and NLRC will the first team to look into the case. Their task is to provide alternative measures in reducing cost of operation to avoid retrenchment and closure. TESDA, PRC, OWWA, RTWPB and POEA has been clustered as the second team which comes in if attempts of the first group to save jobs fails. Their task is to offer alternative livelihood, training, retooling or reemployment to the terminated employees," Bihis elaborated.
Retrenchment of employees is a management right that may be imposed by the company in order to remain operational and avoid closure. However, the RCC QRT will offer other means to avoid retrenchment like reduction of working hours or reduction of working days.
As of press time, the RCC QRT is fast tracking its intervention on Pacific Cordage Corporation which issued a temporary closure notice displacing 166 employees. (DOLE/PIA) [top]