DOLE-Central Visayas to upskill retrenched MEZ workers

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THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will provide skills training to some retrenched workers at the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ).

In coordination with the Lapu-Lapu City’s Livelihood Training Center and the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (Tesda), skills of identified beneficiaries will be enhanced by way of providing them a training on bread and pastry-making, said DOLE 7 Director Salome Siaton.

“This is now the result of the DOLE’s employment facility program whereby affected workers are referred to various services depending on their interest. Equipping these workers with new skills is necessary so that they will be able to cope with the needs of the changing times thereby making them ready and able in the so-called new normal,” Siaton said.

Around 26 affected workers are scheduled to undergo skills training on Nov. 3, 2020.

Late September saw the retrenchment of 4,400 garment workers at the MEZ as the pandemic slowed down demand for the garment industry in the global market.

Apart from its employment facilitation program, DOLE also ensured that affected workers, who have applied for the issuance of the Certificate of Unemployment (COU) are given due and prompt attention.

DOLE Tri-City Field Office head Emmanuel Ferrer said that as of Sept. 25, their office already received and accommodated over 5,000 applications for COU.

The Tri-City Field Office (TCFO) being one of the biggest field offices, has jurisdiction over the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, where most of the businesses are highly concentrated.

Of the COU applications received, more than 4,000 applications come from the locally displaced workers. COUs are issued to workers who were involuntarily displaced from work due to authorized causes such as installation of labor saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment or downsizing, closure or cessation of operation and disease/illness.

“COUs are needed for the application of unemployment insurance or involuntary separation benefit at the SSS. And with the influx of COU applications received not only by the TCFO but also by the rest of the Field Offices of DOLE 7, we make sure to facilitate them and start accepting applications online,” Siaton said.

Simplifying the submission and acceptance of COU applications will make it quicker for affected workers to avail themselves of the assistance of the SSS, she added.

Affected workers will just have to email to dole_centralvisayas@yahoo.com their applications attaching a photocopy of one valid ID and the notice of termination issued by the employer.

“In the absence of the notice of termination, applicants may use a duly notarized affidavit of termination of employment,” she continued.

As for the workers whose employers are located within the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, applications for COU may be emailed directly to tcfodolecertification@gmail.com. (JOB with PR)