By Junex Doronio
March 29, 2021
MANILA — Saying that the Filipino workers are the most affected during lockdowns, Gabriela party-list Representative Arlene Brosas on Monday said the bill seeking a 14-day pandemic leave with pay which was already approved by the House labor committee last December should be certified as urgent.
“With the imposition of a stricter enhanced community quarantine accompanied by restrictions on public transportation, 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 lamented in a statement.
She explained that 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.”
Brosas added that Congress should hasten the approval of this measure 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.”
The proposed measure provides a 14-day pandemic leave to employees who are confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of COVID-19 or any other emerging infectious disease that reached pandemic status, allowing them to undergo medical quarantine.
It also grants the same number of leaves to employees who are close contacts or have exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19 or another emerging infectious disease, and those who have an immediate family member who contracted the disease.
Brosas expressed hopes for the quick passage of the bill to alleviate the conditions of the “suffering workers” as the plenary session is adjourned until May 17. (AI/MTVN)