NGOs urge LGUs to give garbage collectors hazard pay amid COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines—Non-profit environmental groups EcoWaste Coalition and Mother Earth Foundation (MEF) are urging local government units (LGUs) to follow the lead of Navotas City in giving garbage collectors hazard pay as they are exposed to health risks for physically reporting for work amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Under its City Ordinance No. 2020-10, Navotas City is granting P500 in hazard pay daily to regular, contractual or casual employees of the city, including contract of service (COS) or job order (JO) workers. The funds will be obtained from the 2020 supplemental budget of the city government.
“Kudos to the city government of Navotas for extending hazard pay compensation to garbage collectors who report to work during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to contain the spread of the vicious coronavirus,” EcoWaste Coalition National Coordinator Aileen Lucero said Wednesday in a release.
“Navotas sets a good example for other local government units (LGUs) to follow as waste workers carry on with their service to prevent trash from piling up during the COVID-19 public health emergency. In support of the city’s zero waste program, waste workers do separate collection of discards that have been segregated at source,” MEF Chairman Sonia Mendoza said.
The non-profit organizations said that among those who are receiving hazard pay from the Navotas City government are doctors, nurses and other staff of the Navotas City Hospital and the Navotas City Health Office, and personnel of offices that are required to maintain a skeleton workforce, as well as garbage collectors, street sweepers, and utility personnel.
EcoWaste Coalition earlier this month had already appealed to the national government and to various LGUs to provide hazard pay to garbage collectors “to show that society values the contribution of environmental frontliners in our ongoing battle against COVID-19.”
The two groups also cited Congressional Joint Resolution No. 4, series of 2009, which states that hazard pay pertains to the “premium given to government personnel exposed to hazardous situations such as, but not limited to, disease-infested areas and areas declared under a state of calamity or emergency which pose occupational risks or perils to life.”
EcoWaste Coalition previously called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to disallow the use of incinerators and crematories to get rid of COVID-19 healthcare trash for being both environmentally harmful and culturally insensitive.
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