News Briefs: June 3, 2019 | Inquirer News

News Briefs: June 3, 2019

04:57 AM June 03, 2019

Dole issues holiday pay reminder for June 5 and 12

MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III reminded employers that workers were entitled to twice their daily wages should they report for work on Eid al-Fitr and on Independence Day.

Bello said that since June 5 and June 12 were declared regular holidays, those who worked on these days should be paid 200 percent of their regular salary for the first eight hours.


Those who do not report to work should still be paid their daily wage.


An employee who worked beyond eight hours would be entitled to receive an additional 30 percent of his hourly rate.

If the holiday happens to be the worker’s rest day, he should be paid an additional 30 percent of his basic wage.

Overtime work on a regular holiday that is also the worker’s rest day entitles him to an additional 30 percent of his hourly rate. —Jovic Yee

Sandiganbayan convicts ex-Albay mayor of graft

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division has convicted former Malinao Mayor Avelino Ceriola of Albay province of graft and violation of the Local Government Code for having a financial stake in the operation of a cockpit.

Ceriola was sentenced to a prison term of six months and one day to two years and ordered to pay a fine of P10,000.


However, Ceriola was acquitted of his other three graft charges. Ceriola’s case stemmed from his financial stake in a cockpit in Malinao.

Ceriola is president and chair of Ceriola Property Holdings Corp. (CPHC), which owns 55 percent of the cockpit.

In 2012, CPHC entered into a contract with Malinao Cockpit Arena, in violation of the Local Government Code, which prohibits local government officials from having a stake in games licensed by the local government unit.

While admitting he had a financial stake in CPHC, Ceriola said he was misled into approving the permit for the cockpit by some members of the Sangguniang Bayan to prevent him from running for public office.

Ceriola also said his family divested of their shares on Feb. 18, 2012.

“The accused issued the permits when he was still president and chairman of the board of directors… and he has substantial interest in the corporation,” the 51-page decision read. —Patricia Denies M. Chiu

DOH urged not to ignore evidence on e-cigarettes

MANILA, Philippines — An expert on tobacco harm reduction has urged the Department of Health (DOH) to stop ignoring the growing body of evidence supporting e-cigarettes as a significantly less harmful alternative to smoking conventional cigarettes.

“No one has the right to ignore scientific evidence. Anyone can have an opinion, but scientific evidence is objective — it’s not opinion,” said Dr. Konstantinos E. Farsalinos during the 1st Philippine Harm Reduction Forum held recently at Holiday Inn & Suites in Makati City.

Farsalinos, a research fellow at Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, University of Patras, and National School of Public Health in Greece, has been conducting research on e-cigarettes since 2011.

“The DOH may have had a valid argument five years ago when there was limited evidence on the safety and efficacy of e-cigarettes,” Farsalinos explained.

“But since 2015 and especially in 2018, many respected health organizations and research institutes have released official reports stating their evidence-based conclusions and recommendations on e-cigarettes,” he said.

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A 2015 review by Public Health England and a 2016 report by the Royal College of Physicians both concluded that e-cigarettes were at least 95 percent less harmful than smoking.

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