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DOLE, DTI urged to probe supermarkets for labor abuse

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 02:21 PM May 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) should investigate supermarket owners if they are remiss in giving their employees the appropriate personal protective equipment against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Senator Imee Marcos issued the call on Monday following alleged incidents where supermarket workers are forced to spend their own money to buy face masks, alcohol, and hand sanitizers.

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Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee on economic affairs, added that the lack of protection for workers violates directives the DOLE and DTI signed last May 1.

“One supermarket provided face masks only once and left workers to buy their own from then on. The security guards were given face shields but had to spend for their face masks,” she said in a statement.

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“The DOLE and DTI should investigate this labor abuse by supermarket owners and punish those found guilty,” the senator added.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier signed guidelines requiring all employers to ensure health protection for their workers by providing them with PPEs.

“With the measly wages that cashiers, baggers, and promodizers earn, how could supermarket owners feel no guilt depriving their workers of simple face masks?” Marcos said.

Metro Manila shifted to a modified enhanced community quarantine last Saturday after a two-month-long hard lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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