Gender Choices for Job Vacancies

Here’s a thought about Philippine companies that advertise their vacancies.

If we see a post looking for a (preferably) male or female applicant only, we ask – “Why not the other gender?” Would it be gender discrimination?

But if we see one advertising “Wanted (position): male or female” – we also wonder – “Why specify?” Would these advertisements mean our LGBTQI friends are excluded?

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Q&A: Background Checks

I’ve received inquiries on the validity of pre-employment background checks. Are they allowed, or even legal?

Some applicants think that this process is supposed to be done after being hired.

In general, companies ask applicants to fill up and sign a form authorizing a background check even if the person hasn’t been hired yet, the purpose being that they need to verify the information of the potential employee.

This has even more weight in jobs that have great financial risks – such as bank employees, or even call centre agents who may be exposed to clients’ financial information.

So what is included in such background checks? The list is quite comprehensive:

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Termination of Employment: Due Process

Is a verbal appraisal of the charges against the employee a breach of the procedural due process?

To clarify, the following should be considered in terminating the services of employees:

(1) The first written notice to be served on the employees should contain the specific causes or grounds for termination against them, and a directive that the employees are given the opportunity to submit their written explanation within a reasonable period. Reasonable opportunity under the Omnibus Rules means every kind of assistance that management must accord to the employees to enable them to prepare adequately for their defense. This should be construed as a period of at least five (5) calendar days from receipt of the notice to give the employees an opportunity to study the accusation against them, consult a union official or lawyer, gather data and evidence, and decide on the defenses they will raise against the complaint. Moreover, in order to enable the employees to intelligently prepare their explanation and defenses, the notice should contain a detailed narration of the facts and circumstances that will serve as basis for the charge against the employees. A general description of the charge will not suffice. Lastly, the notice should specifically mention which company rules, if any, are violated and/or which among the grounds under Art. 282 is being charged against the employees.

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Recipe: Banana, Honey and Cinnamon Muffins

I love cooking.  I love baking.

And one of the recipes I make on a regular basis is any variety of muffins, though I prefer anything and everything chocolate.

Back story: With the use of a high-speed Nutri Ninja Slim blender, I’ve been making smoothies and other cold drinks from fresh fruits and either milk or juice. Sometimes though I have an excess of bananas and I don’t have any other new ideas for their use. And sometimes they just go to waste.

So I decided to see if I could use them for other food recipes.

And it came down to this.

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Q&A: Preventive Suspension and Immediate Resignation

From time to time, I receive inquiries regarding employment issues and other related concerns. I try to answer them within a reasonable time and will post some of them here to help out others who may have the same question.

Here is one from L.

What if the employee is under preventive suspension, and he wants to file a resignation. What are the grounds of an employer not accepting the filed resignation?

What options does the employee have if he wants to resign immediately?

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The Psychology of Human Resources

I’ve been working in the Human Resources field for over 20 years already, and there’s always one question that’s asked of me at least once by new acquaintances.  Once they find out what I do, the inevitable happens:

By the way, this is a semi-fictional discourse.  The questions and situations are real.  I just had to spruce up the dialogue a bit.  A little of Tagalog (Filipino) words here and there.

    • Acquaintance (A): So, what’s your job at your present employer?

    • Me (M): I’m a Human Resources…

    • A (cuts me off, mid-sentence): Ah, so Psychology grad ka siguro, right?

    • M: Actually, I’m not.

    • A (surprised): Really?!?  Akala ko most of you sa HR ay Psychology graduates.

    • M: I belong to the group outside of the “most” that you mention.

    • A: So what’s your course?  (proceeds to rattle off a few guesses) So, tama ba ako (am I right)?

    • M: Actually, Economics graduate ako.

    • A (more surprised): Really?!? Ang layo naman (That’s far-off).  I didn’t think an Economics course could land you a job in HR.

    • M (murmuring to myself): I didn’t think so myself. (rotfl)

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My Kitchen Adventures

In my early years, I used to watch my mother bake different cakes and pastries for special occasions at home. I always waited for that moment when I would watch how the different ingredients would be brought out and prepared before she would put them together.

I remember that for the cakes and other baked goodies, she would bring out her large Betty Crocker cookbook, the one with the ring binders, which I think were given to her by my grandmother in the 1960s or early 70s. The other books she used were the one by Nora Daza – aptly titled “Let’s Cook with Nora” and another one named “Recipes of the Philippines” whose author escapes me at the moment.

Those books are as vivid to me now as they were when I read through them so many years ago.

So to honor these great recipes and the people who had made them (including my mother and grandmother), I will be posting these same recipes as they were made at home.

And from time to time, I will be sharing various cuisines I have learned to make – from the apple pie of the United States to the satay of Malaysia and the bolognese of Italy, and more.

But I won’t just churn them out like online cookbooks and recipe guides – you can find any or even all of these in other sites.

As I have been cooking and baking for many years – for family, parties and friends, I will document each process as much as I can when I make these delicious and mouth-watering culinary delights.

They will be posted online when I make them at home – whether it be dinner or any other meal for the day, cakes or other sweet delights, or any other treats that may catch my fancy.

Bon appétit!

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New Tax Exemption Ceiling

On 12 February 2015, Philippine President Benigno S Aquino III signed into law Republic Act 10653.

This amended the National Internal Revenue Code of the Philippines, effectively increasing the tax exemption allowance for other benefits (such as the 13th month pay, Christmas bonuses and other incentives) to a maximum of PhP82,000 (Eighty Two Thousand Pesos) from the previous P30,000 (Thirty Thousand Pesos).

With this, the President is also mandated to adjust this threshold every three years to its present value using the consumer price index (CPI) published by the National Statistics Office (NSO).

The full document can be downloaded here.

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Buy More, Save More – Not!

I go to the grocery every week to buy necessities.  I compare prices and tend to buy items which cost less in the long run – a 1-liter bag of cooking oil instead of 2 500ml bags; a 100g pack of instant coffee instead of a couple of 50g packs.  You get the idea.

So this morning I went to SM Save More supermarket in the Riverbanks Mall (Marikina).  I don’t usually shop there but since I had to renew my NBI clearance – and a satellite office was in the area – I decided to save some travel time and hit two birds with one stone, so to speak.

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