DOLE Signs Unemployment Issuance Certification Guidelines
Following the Social Security System’s (SSS) latest issuance which implements the guidelines for payment of unemployment insurance or involuntary separation benefit, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) released its own set of instructions which allows involuntarily laid-off employees to apply for the unemployment insurance certification offered by DOLE to efficiently implement SSS’ involuntary separation benefit.
Last week, DOLE Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III signed Department Circular (DC) No. 01, series of 2019 or the “Guidelines on the Issuance of DOLE Certification as a Requirement for Application for Payment of Unemployment Insurance or Involuntary Separation Benefit.” This circular covers eligible SSS-member employees, caretakers and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) involuntarily displaced from their work.
Before DOLE’s release of the guidelines, the social security department released SSS Circular No. 2019-0111 on July 18, 2019, to provide the involuntarily displaced with a cash benefit. However, the effectivity of DOLE’s Circular will only take effect for compensable insurgencies which occurred on or after March 5, 2019.
Guidelines and Procedures for the Unemployment Insurance Certification
In accordance with SSS’ Circular No. 2019-011 and Republic Act (RA) 11199 or also known as the “Social Security Act of 2018”, DC No. 01 is in pursuant to Section 14-B of RA 11199 in which an employee whose age is not over 60 and paid at least 36 months of contributions with “12 months of each should be in the eighteen-month period immediately preceding the involuntary unemployment or separation.”
The applicant’s unemployment must fall under “authorized causes” specified under Article 300 (285) of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 42 or the “Labor Code of the Philippines,” closure and cessation of operations, economic downturn, and other cases resulting in involuntary unemployment.
The involuntarily displaced shall receive their unemployment insurance in the form of monthly cash payments equal to 50% of their monthly salary credit for only two months. However, an involuntarily displaced employee can only claim their unemployment benefits once every three years. In the case of concurrence of two or more compensations, the employee can only receive the highest benefit “subject to the rules and regulations that the Commission may prescribe.”
Workers who wish to apply for the unemployment insurance certification must visit the nearest DOLE field or regional office where they reside or from their previous employer’s location. OFWs can file their applications at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) located in the areas where their employers operate or at the nearest DOLE office from their place of residence.
Applicants must bring at least one valid ID and a copy of the employer’s Notice of Termination issued to them. If the applicant can’t present a Notice of Termination, an applicant may submit an Affidavit of Termination of Employment to the DOLE field or regional office, or at the nearest POLO.