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Senator Leila de Lima filed a measure seeking to provide a 10-day paid leave incentive for qualified private and public sector employees who test positive for COVID-19.
Senate Bill No. 2148 mandates paid COVID-19 leave during the duration of the pandemic for those who contracted the virus and need to undergo quarantine.
Aside from protecting the welfare of both the workers and their families, the measure also ensures occupational safety and avoids the spread of the virus in workplaces, de Lima said.
Under the measure, workers who will apply for the pandemic leave must submit necessary medical records and other proof of eligibility to their employers for immediate action.
Work despite the pandemic
"Filipinos valiantly choose to work, to provide for their families and to save the economy, despite the danger this pandemic poses," the senator said in a statement.
"Thus, it is only right that these employees be provided with the incentive of having paid leaves when they are confirmed to be COVID-19 positive and they need to undergo quarantine or isolation.”
Some 4.5 million Filipinos were left without a job in 2020 following the implementation of community quarantines. This rose the unemployment rate to 10.4 percent, the highest in 15 years.
"With the colossal and detrimental effects of the pandemic, employees are forced to stay in a job that is low paying despite health hazards due to the virus and consequences of contractualization," De Lima said.
"Those who are gainfully employed, while fortunate, struggle to do their jobs by personally reporting to their workplace despite risk of acquiring the virus on the way to and from work and even in the workplace itself," the senator added.