Certify ‘14-day paid pandemic leave’ bill as urgent amid lockdown, solon urges gov’t
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker is calling on the government to certify the bill providing a 14-day paid pandemic leave to workers as urgent, citing the reimposition of enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and four provinces amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabriela Partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas, one of the authors of House Bill No. 7909 or the Paid Pandemic Leave Law of 2020, said that with the imposition of a stricter enhanced community quarantine, accompanied by restrictions on public transportation, many Filipino workers are still compelled to report to work because of “no work, no pay schemes.”
“Worst, they are either required to work without hazard pay or be placed on unpaid forced leave or floating status,” Brosas said in a statement.
“This is why the government should certify as urgent the Makabayan bloc’s Paid Pandemic Leave Bill to provide social safety nets in place as workers and their families continue to suffer from income losses,” she added.
The measure aims “to ensure occupational safety and health in workplaces, and to promote the protection of labor and the spillover effects of the pandemic on the economy.”
It grants 14 days of paid additional leave at full pay to employees who are confirmed, probable or suspected COVID-19 cases.
Meanwhile, a maximum of 60 days paid leave at 80 percent pay will be provided to “floating workers” or those involuntarily out of work but still employed amid the pandemic effects on enterprises.
Employees applying for paid pandemic leave should submit medical records and proof of eligibility to the employer for immediate action, with processing not to exceed three days.
The measure has been approved by the House committee on labor and employment committee.
“We urge the Lower House to fast-track the approval of this bill as Filipino workers continue to face the violent surge of COVID-19 cases brought by the Duterte administration’s neglect to provide safety measures for the labor force and overall failed pandemic response,” Brosas said.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.