House bill seeks 2-day paid calamity leave
MANILA, Philippines — A bill proposing a two-day paid leave for all workers in public and private sectors during times of natural calamities or disasters has been filed at the House of Representatives.
Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda, whose province was recently hit by Typhoon Tisoy, filed House Bill No. 5775 last December 10.
“With this bill, we do not only provide help to Filipinos to before and after a calamity, but also provide them few days of interval to facilitate the recovery, relief, and a chance to rebuild their homes from the ground up and take care of their families,” the ways and means committee chair said in his explanatory note of the bill.
Section 6 of the bill grants an annual two-day emergency leave to regular employees based on several grounds:
- Being stranded in affected areas where there are no means of transportation that can ensure safe travel to and from work;
- Disease or illness of employee incurred by reason of the natural calamity or disaster;
- Caring for immediate family members affected by natural calamity or disaster; and
- Urgent repair and clean-up of the damaged house.
While the grant of the leave will be available upon the declaration of a state of calamity by the President of the or by any Local Sanggunian, the head of the office or employer may still grant the special leave to affected employees based on proof or evidence presented or news account.
The special emergency leave can be used for two straight working days or on a staggered basis and will not be deducted from the employee’s existing leave credits. The special leave may also be availed of by employees within 10 days from the date when the natural calamity or disaster occurred.
However, the proposed law will not apply to government workers or employees who render services during or on occasion of natural calamities or disasters. Further, the unused calamity leave credits could not be cumulative and may not be converted into its cash equivalent, according to the bill.
In the upper chamber, Sen. Leila de Lima had also filed Senate Bill No. 1123 which seeks a five-day special emergency leave for workers.
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