Penalize companies ignoring advisory on health, safety issues—Gabriela

Published January 13, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ben Rosario

The Gabriela Women’s Partylist on Monday urged government to penalize private companies, particularly business processing outsource firms, for putting in danger the health and safety of their employees by requiring them to report for work yesterday.

Gabriela Women's Party
Gabriela Women’s Party

This developed as the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines urged  private firm  employers to provide their workers with pay, even if they are unable to come in to work because of the ashfall from Taal Volcano.

TUCP president and Rep.. Raymond Democrito Mendoza asked for compassion for workers who will have to face the effects of the possible eruption of Taal.

Represented in the Lower House by Rep. Arlene Brosas, the partylist organization assailed BPOs who required their workers to report for work despite the high alert levels raised by government in connection with the Taal volcanic eruption.

Gabriela said BPO’s have ignored government warnings and advise over the dangers of the volcanic activity.

“We have received information that employees of most BPO firms located in Sta. Rosa, Laguna which is about 20 kilometers from Taal, were still required to report to work despite the high alert level raised over the Taal volcano,” said Gabriela in a press statement.

The group said government should enforce the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Law and “penalize companies who have violated the safety standards by putting workers’ lives at risk.

The organization added: “We would like to remind BPO firms, as well as all businesses in the country that this is an occupational safety and health issue.”

Cited was Section 6 of the Occupational Safety and Health Law or RA11058 that workers have the right not to report to work , “without threat or reprisal from the employer if, as determined by the DOLE, an imminent danger situation exists in the workplace that may result in illness, injury or death.”

“BPO firms that fail to comply with OSH standards must be held liable for non-compliance with the safety of the workers, especially in life-threatening disasters, the partylist group stated.

Meanwhile, Mendoza called on the private sector to temporarily ignore their “no work, no pay” policy in this time of emergency.

“How will our workers be able to protect themselves and their families if the No Work, No Pay scheme is retained? It is impossible for some to make it through the roads to reach their places of work,” Mendoza said.