Workers demand a 14-day paid leave for workers who will get infected with COVID-19 as the government vaccination program likely to remain limited.
Julius Carandang, the National Coordinator of Metal Workers Alliance of the Philippines (MWAP), said workers are pressing for the immediate passage of the paid pandemic leave bill.
Due to the lack of mass testing and limited vaccination, workers remain vulnerable to the virus. Congress should urgently pass the paid pandemic leave bill, Carandang said. Workers who get sick or are exposed to a co-worker infected with COVID-19 will get 14 days of paid leave if the pandemic leave bill is passed into law.
The proposed bill provides 60 days of partial pay for workers affected by the company’s closure or by temporary layoff due to the pandemic, according to Carandang.
“Millions of workers suffered from reduced work hours or have yet to return to work. They and their families need other forms of economic relief and social protection from the government,” Carandang said, as prices of commodities continue to increase, adding workers are also in dire need of wage increase.
He added the demand for a wage hike is reasonable considering there are sectors like export that gained profit in 2020 despite the pandemic.