The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has released the guidelines on the issuance of certification to employees who want to avail themselves of the involuntary separation benefit or unemployment insurance after being laid off from their job. The guidelines require eligible Social Security System (SSS) members, including house helpers and overseas Filipino workers (OFW), to obtain a DOLE certification of involuntary separation at any DOLE field or provincial office in order to receive the unemployment insurance. OFWs can apply at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) where their employers operate or where they reside.
Only employees not over the age of 60 when they are involuntarily separated due to authorized causes, such as the installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment or downsizing, closure of operation or illness (when their continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to their co-employees’ health) will be qualified to apply. Moreover, employees need to have paid at least 36 SSS monthly contributions (12 of which should be in the 18-month period preceding the month of involuntary separation). Application requirements also include a valid ID and a copy of the notice of termination issued by the employer.