Blue chips with big hearts

March 20, 2020

We don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Only 10 generous corporate souls heeded the call and signed up.

And they are the frontrunners among the country’s top 1,000 corporations.

Still, a little is better than nothing, nada, zero, zilch, wala, wayang gador.

But what about the rest of them?

The other 990 top firm should be ashamed of tat this of great hemselves for ignoring their social corporate responsibility at this time of great national difficulty.  

And so we join the  Department of Labor and Employment in welcoming the move of 10 companies to compensate their workers during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine period.

Labor and Employment Sec. Silvestre Bello III said Aboitiz, Asian Terminal/Solaire Resort Hotel, Ayala Group of Companies, JG Summit, Jollibee, Lucio Tan Group, Manny V. Pangilinan Group, San Miguel Corporation, SM and Udenna Group answered the call of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Drum roll, please,  for these true-blue chips with big hearts!

“We are grateful to the big businesses who heeded the appeal of the President to take care of their workers and employees during this time of national emergency. Their compassion and good example inspire other enterprises whose source of wealth is the labor of their workforce. President Duterte has been apprised accordingly of their exemplary deeds,” Bello said in a statement.

He assured that the government would ensure the welfare of the people, which he described as "our most valuable resource".

The DoLe chief said in most cases, the employees of these companies would not use up their available leave credits and their 13th and/or 14th month pay would be given in advance as well as other forms of financial relief.

He also appealed to other companies to respond to the call of the government to help their workers during this time of crisis.

“I again appeal to our employers not to resort to retrenchment amid the work stoppages, suspension of public transportation and restricted movement of people in the communities. I implore business owners to earnestly find other measures to preserve employment of workers so as not to compound their already dire condition,” Bello said.

He also reiterated their call for firms to adopt flexible work arrangements including the work from home scheme.

“However, the WFH is not applicable to other workers particularly those in the manufacturing industry. This is where initiatives from employers become important and necessary,” he added.

Bello also encouraged the other companies or those who continue to operate to provide temporary housing for their workers.

“This way, workers no longer have to go home without available public transportation or be at risk of being stopped at checkpoints,” he said.

The DoLE chief asked firms to release the 13/14th month pay of employees while work is suspended for them to have the means to buy basic necessities.

“The advance payment is a practical response to help our wage earners survive the month-long quarantine. We’ll find other ways if the quarantine is extended,” he said.