DOLE sees no current employment-related problems in Boracay
by Venus G. Villanueva
Kalibo, Aklan (20 February) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) sees no brewing employment-related problems in Boracay Island caused by the current global economic meltdown.
DOLE-Aklan Provincial Head Joselito De La Banda said the tourism industry in the province is least affected by the global financial crisis, and proof of this is the sustained construction activities of resorts and establishments in the island providing employment to the people.
De La Banda said DOLE is continuously monitoring the situation in the island for any labor-related problems with the assistance of Boracay Industry Tripartite Council.
This council, said De La Banda, is composed of employers and employees group from the formal and informal sectors in the island together with government agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the local government unit of Malay, Provincial Employment Service Office (PESO), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Tourism (DOT).
The National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) here, meanwhile, has not noted any alarming surge of complaints coming from displaced or dismissed workers owing to the global financial crisis.
Virgilio Bautista, Labor Arbitration Associate of the NLRC here said there are cases brought to the attention of his office but these were not due to the current financial crisis but caused by other factors.
Bautista said the most common reason why workers file complaints against their employers here is the non-payment of the minimum wage rate. Others complain of illegal dismissal. However, with the resolution of some cases involving prominent personalities in Aklan favorable to workers - employers, especially in Boracay Island now give the minimum wage rate to workers as stipulated by the government.
Bautista said Western Visayas has only 3 NLRC offices – in Iloilo, Negros Occidental and in Aklan.
Bautista said besides Aklanons, workers from nearby provinces like Capiz and Antique also file their cases in Aklan, who are readily accommodated in the NLRC office located at the ground floor of the Provincial Capitol Building here.
Once a month, NLRC's roving judge goes to Aklan to conduct hearings, if initial steps taken by the office like conciliation become unsuccessful.
Workers who wish to file complaints, according to Bautista, should bring with them their residence certificates and P50 pesos filing fee at the fiscal's office.
NLRC started operating in Aklan in 1988. (PIA) [top]