DoLE recommends lifting of ban on deployment of healthcare workers
THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said it has recommended the lifting of the temporary deployment ban on healthcare workers, but with a limit on the number that will be allowed to leave.
“We recommend the lifting of the temporary suspension but with a (maximum number of workers of)… only 5,000 annually,” Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said in a briefing on Wednesday.
The limit will be in effect while the coronavirus outbreak remains a global threat.
The recommendation is contained in a draft resolution of the national task force handling the coronavirus response.
“We are just waiting for the approval (of the President),” Mr. Bello said.
He explained that the proposed deployment cap will “give an assurance” that the Philippines will not run out of medical workers.
The government imposed the deployment ban in April, but has since relaxed the restriction by allowing those with existing contracts on or before August 31 to leave. — Gillian M. Cortez
Privacy agency investigating lisensya.info site
THE National Privacy Commission (NPC) is investigating a website that posed as associated with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for possible breach of personal information of registered motorists.
The LTO submitted a breach report on Tuesday confirming that the website lisensya.info is not officially connected with them.
NPC is already processing a cease and desist order to take down the site.
However, the website continues to run as of Wednesday, while LTO’s official site lto.net.ph is down.
In a press release on Wednesday, Privacy Commissioner Raymund E. Liboro said the commission will verify the incident and investigate the extent of possible harm on motorists.
“NPC is coordinating with the Data Protection Officer (DPO) of the LTO for us to be provided with more details of the incident,” he said.
The website offers a “motor vehicle authenticator” function, which would show vehicle information such as plate number, registration expiry date, and owner name after the input of a motor vehicle file number.
NPC said some users found the data on the website accurate, flagging a possible leak of the LTO database.
“These are the types of information the LTO collects from motorists for registration,” the commission said.
A media representative from the NPC told reporters in a Viber message that the commission is scheduling a meeting with the LTO while it gathers evidence.
NPC’s initial probe found that the website has neither a privacy notice nor the contact details of its owner. — Jenina P. Ibañez
Duterte dangles reward to informants of corrupt activities
PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has promised informants can receive up to P100,000 if they come forward with verifiable leads on corruption within the government.
In a televised speech on Tuesday, Mr. Duterte said anyone who can give him tips regarding anomalies that involve large-scale government contracts is assured of protection as well as a monetary reward of at least P50,000.
“I will keep your identity secret until I reach my grave. Hindi ko kayo bubukuhin, hindi ko kayo ipapasubo (I will not reveal your name, I will not get you into trouble),” he said.
The President made the offer as part of his anti-corruption campaign, following a directive to the Justice department last month to create a “mega task force” that will investigate government officials and personnel involved in anomalous transactions.
Mr. Duterte earlier this week summoned around 40 government officials, mostly from the Bureau of Immigration, found involved in misconduct and other work-related violations. — Gillian M. Cortez
350,000 Filipinos in US facing deportation
ABOUT 350,000 Filipinos in the United States are facing deportation, but appeals for longer residency have a better change of being granted under the incoming administration under President-elect Joseph Biden, according to the Philippine Embassy in the US.
In a briefing on Wednesday, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said, “Meron tayong (We have) 350,000 pending cases of deportation” in immigration courts.
He said it is “possible” that “changes might occur during the presidency of President-elect Biden” in terms of immigration policies.
President Donald Trump laid out hard-line immigration policies since his election in 2016.
Malacañang Palace earlier said it hopes that under the Biden administration, the US will relax its immigration policies, which would allow undocumented Filipinos to become legal citizens of the country. — Gillian M. Cortez
Coronavirus top of agenda as ASEAN leaders meet
PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte will participate in the 37th ASEAN Summit starting Thursday, where southeast Asian leaders will discuss online recovery plans from the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Palace said the President will be discussing with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) the
Philippines’s response to the crisis, common measures that the region can take as well as other regional concerns, including the disputed South China Sea.
“He (Mr. Duterte) will advance Philippine positions on public health emergencies cooperation, regional economic integration, migrant workers’ rights, climate change, risk reduction management, counter-terrorism, and the South China Sea issue.”
The 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits will be chaired by Vietnam.
Ten outcome documents are expected to be adopted by the member states.
The ASEAN is composed of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. — Gillian M. Cortez