DoLE plans to extend emergency employment program for informal sector

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) plans to extend the period of its emergency employment program for informal sector workers who lost their livelihood due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. In a briefing on Wednesday, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said they plan to prolong the program’s employment period to up to six months from only 10 days. “Ito iyong (This is the) emergency employment program na originally 10 days, now we will make it three to six months emergency employment para sa ating mga (for our) informal workers,” he said. He was referring to the TUPAD program, which stands for Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers. Mr. Bello said the plan will depend on the budget that will be approved by Congress. Under the TUPAD program, beneficiaries are paid based on their location’s corresponding daily minimum wage. — Gillian M. Cortez

Law establishing National Academy of Sports signed

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed into law the bill for the establishment of the National Academy of Sports, a secondary education institution that will be built within the New Clark City in Tarlac. “It is about time that we establish a learning institution focused on sports,” Senator Christopher Lawrence T. Go, one of the bill’s authors, said on Wednesday. The New Clark City has a new sports hub that was first used as venue during the 30th Southeast Asian Games in December 2019. The academy will offer a secondary education program, integrated with a special curriculum on sports. Mr. Go said full scholarship will be offered to qualified natural-born high school students. “I firmly believe that with this law, we will be able to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of sports development,” Mr. Go said in a statement. The law, which goes into the books as Republic Act No. 11470, was signed June 9 in a ceremony in Davao City. The bill was among the priority legislative measures mentioned by Mr. Duterte in his fourth State of the Nation Address. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

Rep Biazon calls on gov’t to set joint task force on Facebook clone accounts

MUNTINLUPA Rep. Rozzano Rufino B. Biazon called on the administration to create a joint task force that will handle the proliferation of Facebook clone accounts, citing risks to safety and private data of users. The task force will be composed of representatives from the Department of Information and Communication Technology, National Bureau of Investigation, Police Cybercrime Group, National Privacy Commission, and other concerned agencies. Mr. Biazon also filed a resolution for a House of Representatives inquiry into the breach, which he said “opens up its users, particularly the youth, to a slew of exploitations like the threat of cybercrime such as online bullying, harassment, identity theft, violations of privacy and others.” Quezon City Rep. Anthony Peter D. Crisologo filed a similar resolution on Tuesday. The Department of Justice said on Monday that it has started looking into “all possible angles and leads” on the duplicate accounts. — Genshen L. Espedido

DoH says benefit distribution almost done for health workers who have died, severely-ill from coronavirus

THE Department of Health on Wednesday announced that it has distributed almost all of the cash benefits for health care workers who were severely-ill and the families of those who died due to coronavirus infection at the June 9 deadline set by President Rodrigo R. Duterte. In a statement, DoH said 30 families of the 32 health care workers who died have received the P1 million check. “The Department is coordinating with the heirs of two fallen health care workers who are based abroad,” it said. Claimants of two other health care workers were delisted as they were found ineligible based on the diagnoses specified in their death certificates. The 19 health care workers who contracted the disease and were classified as severe cases have also received their P100,000 cash grant each. The cash benefit is mandated under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which authorized the President to realign budget in response to the coronavirus pandemic. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas