Workers hail bills for added leaves

By SHERWIN DE VERA
www.nordis.net

BAGUIO CITY — Militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) welcomed the House of Representatives’ (HoR) passing of two proposed laws over the week, giving additional number of paid leave for workers.

Lawmakers approved House Bill (HB) No. 4113 on its second reading and HB 6770 on it third and final reading on August 28 and 29 respectively. The former seeks to give 100 days of paid maternity leave to workers in private and public establishments, while the latter proposes increasing Service Incentive Leave (SIL) from five to ten days.

“Yung pagpapasa ng mga panukalang batas na ito ay resulta ng malawak na at sustenidong pagkilos ng mga manggagawa upang igiit ang kanilang mga batayang karapatan sa empleyo at benepisyo,” said Luke Bagangan, spokesperson of Kumilos na Manggagawa, a network of workers group led by KMU.

He said that while they are happy with the HoR’s action, the Lower House is yet to make good of President Duterte’s promise to end contractualization and uplift the lives of workers.
“Itong paid leave, bagamat nakakatulong ay maihahalintulad sa kakarampot na dagdag sahod,” he added.

Primarily authored by Gabriela Women’s Partlylist, HB 4113 or the100-Day Maternity Leave Law, provides 100 days of paid maternity leave for pregnant female workers. The pregnant employees can avail of this, whatever her civil status is, and whether she delivers the child naturally or by caesarian section. A provision also guarantees the mother’s security of tenure that prohibits the employer from terminating or demoting her from her work.

When passed into law, HB 6770, authored by Baguio City Representative Mark Go, will amend part of the country’s Labor Code, giving 10-day SIL to employees who has rendered at least a year of service. The leave incentive is mandatory, however, employers who are giving
sick or vacation paid leave of at least 10 days are deemed compliant.

Meanwhile, KMU Cordillera Spokesperson said increasing the days of paid leave is okay and good for the workers “pero mas significant ang pagbabawas sa burden naming mangagawa kung bibigyan atensyon ng Kongreso ang usapin ng sahod at contractualization.”

“Mas makakatulong si Cong. Go kung magpanukala siya ng legislated wage increase at pagbabawal sa lahat ng porma ng kontraktwalisasyon,” he explained.

Cabangon also urged the Baguio lawmaker to support the proposed P750 national minimum wage (HB 7787) authored by the Makabayan lawmakers.# nordis.net

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