More benefits sought for waste workers

More benefits sought for waste workers

/ 05:10 AM February 13, 2024

Waste workers stock images

Citing the vital role of waste workers in solid waste management and their contribution to environmental protection, House Deputy Speaker Camille Villar has pushed for a government program to protect their welfare and provide them financial aid.

The Las Piñas City lawmaker recently filed House Bill No. 9806, or the proposed Waste Workers’ Health and Welfare Act, directing the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) to establish a nationwide program to safeguard and promote their rights and welfare.


Waste workers refer to those engaged in the collection, transportation, processing and disposal of solid waste, including garbage collectors, waste pickers, recyclers as well as landfill and dumpsite workers.


Saying that “waste workers are some of the most under-appreciated and unprotected workers,” Villar pushed for a Dole program to provide them with health coverage and benefits, occupational safety training, personal protective equipment, educational and financial assistance, among other incentives.

READ: Rep. Camille Villar files bill to give more benefits to waste workers

“We should all work together to promote the health, safety and welfare of waste workers throughout the country. Let us recognize the critical role that they play in maintaining the cleanliness and sustainability of our communities,” she said.

The draft law provides for the creation of a Dole registration and monitoring system for waste workers who can avail themselves of health-care benefits, including free annual check-ups, vaccinations and hospitalization assistance, in partnership with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

It will also provide them with regular training programs on methods, techniques and the proper use of personal protective equipment that will be provided free of charge by their employers or agencies with suitable and adequate personal protective equipment.

Under the bill, waste workers and their dependents will also get priority access to educational aid programs and scholarship grants


HB 9806 further tasks the Dole, in collaboration with qualified financial institutions, to provide waste workers with low-interest loans for housing, emergency situations, or the establishment of sustainable livelihood businesses. INQ

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TAGS: Collectors, Waste, waste workers

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