By Glazyl Masculino
BACOLOD CITY – Mayor Evelio Leonardia has urged businessmen here to show compassion to the daily wage earners who will be affected by the effects of lessened economic activities due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Leonardia made the appeal to business establishment owners and employers after having consultation with a group of business owners here on March 19 regarding the plight of the employees.
In an Executive Advisory dated March 22, Leonardia said that it was with deep concern that he pleads to the business owners, if possible, that they extend at least one month of gratuity pay for their employees in addition to the usual salaries and 13th month pay.
“The negative impact of the COVID19 pandemic on businesses cannot be overlooked,” Leonardia said in his advisory, but he also pointed out that the welfare of low-income earners should be of “equal concern” so they could sustain the needs of their families during the quarantine period.
Leonardia said in the advisory that gratuity pay will be an act of favor and voluntariness on the part of the businessmen or employers.
It may not necessarily take the form of money or cash but in whatever way it may be given to alleviate the hard times of the employees, like food, medicine, health supplements or anything of equivalents monetary value, he added.
Leonardia said that his recommendations “shall cost the business sector money, but during this time of crisis, our employees must also be aided to survive.”
“Nothing is obliged inasmuch as kindness and gratefulness cannot be mandated,” the mayor said. Leonardia believed that such compassionate act shall surely soften the impact of the crisis on these employees.
The advisory also pointed out that employees may “reciprocate to be grateful on what may be provided by their employers.
He also urged all non-essential businesses to adopt flexible work arrangements by reducing the number of working days for their out-of-town employees.
An executive advisory is simply a recommendation of the mayor and does not carry the effect of law.