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Revilla seeks to double number of vacation, sick leaves for state workers

/ 09:31 AM September 22, 2020

Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. File photo / Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. has filed a bill seeking to double the number of vacation and sick leaves granted to government officials and employees and institutionalize rehabilitation leave.

Aside from increasing the number of vacation and sick leaves, Revilla’s Senate Bill No. 1821 also seeks to institutionalize the grant of rehabilitation leave for a maximum period of six months.

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Vacation, sick leaves

If enacted into law, officials and employees of the national government, local government units, government-owned or controlled corporations and state universities and colleges, regardless of employment status, who render work during the prescribed office hours will be entitled to thirty days vacation and 3 days sick leave annually with full pay.

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At present, government officials and employees are only entitled to 15 days of vacation leave and 15 days of sick leave.

“The 30 days vacation leave shall be inclusive of the three (3) days Special Leave Privilege (SLP) and the five (5) days Forced Leave (FL),” according to the bill.

Rehabilitation leave

Revilla’s bill also seeks to “provide legal basis for the grant of rehabilitation leave to government officials and employees who sustained wounds or Injuries while in the performance of their official duties and those whose illness was aggravated due to their working conditions.”

While a joint circular issued by the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Budget and Management already grants the said leave benefit, Revilla noted that it is not supported by any legislation.

“A review of the current leave laws reveals that there is no law that provides leave benefits and privileges for illnesses of officials and employees acquired or aggravated in the workplace requiring Intensive or longer period of treatment, e.g. cancer,” the bill’s explanatory note read.

“State workers suffering from this kind of illness or disease need to be provided with reasonable time to go through their treatment. Prolonged illness or sickness consumes the employees’ accumulated leave credits (sick leave and vacation leave credits), most often leaving them on Leave Without Pay (LWOP), if their accumulated leave credits are exhausted,” it added.

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Under the measure, government officials and employees should be entitled to the rehabilitation leave privilege for a “maximum period of six months over wounds and/or injuries sustained while in the performance of official duties; or sickness or illness resulting from or aggravated by working conditions or environment.”

The duration, frequency and terms of availing of the rehabilitation leave should be based on the recommendation of a medical authority, according to the bill.

“In order to alleviate the plight of Filipino state workers, the government should provide them additional leave privileges comparable to the leave benefits and privileges granted to their [Association of Southeast Asian Nation] counterparts,” the measure’s explanatory note further read.

“Such gesture would allow government officials and employees to take leave of absence without losing their capacity to earn,” it added.

JPV
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