Passage of proposed calamity leave law pushed after Taal eruption
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday pushed anew for the passage of a bill granting a 5-day special emergency leave to all workers in the public and private sectors directly affected by natural disasters.
De Lima issued the call following the eruption of Taal Volcano which prompted the evacuation of thousands of resident of areas near the volcano
Under Senate Bill No. 1123 or the proposed Calamity Leave Law, which De Lima refiled in the 18th Congress, “(e)very employee who has rendered at least six (6) months of service shall be entitled to five (5)-day special emergency leave each year, with pay, in times of natural calamities or disasters.”
“Malinaw naman po: Sa mga ganitong di-inaasahang pagkakataon, kinakailangan ng ating mga kababayan ang sapat na panahon upang tutukan ang kaligtasan ng pamilya, at kahit paano’y makapagsimulang makabangon mula sa anumang delubyo,” De Lima said in a dispatch from Camp Crame.
(It’s clear: In unpredictable instances, employees need enough time to focus on their family’s safety, and to recover from any disaster).
The senator, meanwhile, sent prayers to residents in the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna and nearby areas severely affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano.
She called on the government and the Filipino people to extend help to those affected.
“Nananawagan tayo sa ating gobyerno at mga kapwa Pilipino: Ipaabot po sana natin ang mga tulong at ayudang kaya nating maipadala sa kanila—pagkain, tubig, gamot, at iba pang pangunahing pangangailangan—sa lalong madaling panahon,” she said.
(We are calling on the government and the Filipino people: Let us immediately extend help and relief to those affected—food, water, medicine, and other needed items).
The senator also hailed those who are helping affected residents in their own capacity.
“Saludo po tayo sa mga kababayan nating nagkukusang-loob na magbukas-palad. Sa maliit man nilang paraan, napakalaki ng naipagkakaloob nilang lakas, galak at pag-asa para sa marami na bumangon at malampasan ang sakuna,” she said.
(We salute those who are helping affected residents in their own will. Even in their own little way, their contributions provide strength, joy and hope to recover from such calamity).
“Mula sa mga nag-aabang sa kalsada para magsaboy ng tubig sa marurumi at malalabong salamin ng sasakyan dulot ng abo para makaiwas sa disgrasya, sa mga namimigay ng libreng mask, sa mga simbahan at tanggapan na nagbukas ng pinto para matuluyan ng mga nagsilikas, hanggang sa mga volunteers at mga kawani ng ating pamahalaan na hindi alintana ang panganib sa pagresponde at pagsaklolo sa ating mga kababayan, maraming maraming salamat po sa inyong sakripisyo, pakikiramay at dedikasyon,” she said.
(From those who wait along the road to spray water on ash-covered vehicles due to the ashfall triggered by Taal’s eruption, to the churches and other establishments which opened their doors for evacuees to the volunteers and government personnel who continue to respond to calls of help and rescue affected residents: thank you very much for your sacrifice, sympathy, and dedication).
Over the weekend, Taal spewed a kilometer-high column of ash prompting the evacuation of thousands of residents in affected areas.
Taal Volcano is currently on Alert Level 4 which means that “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days,” according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
Ashfall from Taal, the country’s secon-most-active-volcano, affected nearby provinces and has reached as far as Quezon City.
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