DOLE Family Welfare Program and COVID-19 pandemic
The Family Welfare Program (FWP) is a program being promoted by the Department of Labor and Employment that provides family welfare services to workers, as described under Department Order 56-03, which is carried out in the workplace through a Family Welfare Committee (FWC) or similar-based special body composed of representatives of labor, management, and the plant clinic, if there are any.
DOLE-Cordillera Director Nathaniel Lacambra said with the Covid-19 situation in the country, everyone has to adjust to the new way of doing things and adapt to digitalization because of physical distancing and health protocols and the given localized application of quarantine guidelines to stop the spread of the Covid-19.
To support the protection of workers and to seek backing from the membership of the Family Welfare Federation in the Cordillera, the DOLE has redesigned its FWP platform, which is the use of virtual learning session. The aim is to heighten the level of awareness of and enable the FWP implementers in the various establishments and companies to gain more knowledge and understand policies and issuances relating to family welfare.
Labor Advisory 18 s. 2020 or the Guidelines on Shouldered Costs Relative to Workplace Compliance for Covid-19 Prevention and Control Measures guides private sector employers on the scope of the costs they have to shoulder in the implementation of Covid-19 prevention and control measures for their employees, especially those who are returning to the workplace.
The advisory covers all employers in the private sector including contractors and subcontractors in the private sector. The following Covid-19 prevention and control measures shall be covered by the employer such as but not limited to testing, disinfection facilities, hand sanitizers, personal protective equipment (PPEs, i.e. face masks), signages, proper orientation, and training of workers. This includes information, education, and communication materials on Covid-19 prevention and control.
Cost of measures for employees under contracts in the fields of construction projects, security, janitorial and other services shall be shouldered by the principals or clients of the construction/service contractor. Workers shall not be charged, regardless if directly or indirectly, with the costs relative to these guidelines.
DOLE regional offices shall provide adequate support to employers and contractors/subcontractors in the implementation of the said measures to secure compliance.
FWP focuses on 10 dimensions: reproductive health and responsible parenthood; education/gender equality; spirituality or values formation; income generation/livelihood/ cooperative; medical health care; nutrition; environment protection, hygiene, and sanitation; sports and leisure; housing; and transportation.