After the recent tragic news revolving around natural disasters, many people became frantic and worried. Some unfortunate communities and families still mourn up until this day. With the simultaneous flow of natural disasters like earthquakes and typhoons, many of our countrymen are affected.
Back in October of this year, Senator Leila De Lima pushed a 5-day calamity leave law which grants a total of five (5) days for workers who have been negatively affected by natural disasters.
In a statement given by Senator de Lima, she said that she is refiling the bill after it had failed to pass in the previous 17th Congress. Back on November 5th, she said that when the measure gets approved and enacted, it can help a lot of employees to cope with what mother nature has struck to them.
What does the bill entail?
Taking from its name, the bill entitles employees and workers of both the public and private sectors to be granted a 5-day leave; some sort of an “emergency leave” with pay per year. Therefore, the 5-day calamity leave law will be given to workers who can provide documents of them being negatively bothered and affected by a natural disaster.
The bill states that this leave can either be applied for a straight five (5) working days or could be staggered.
The special emergency leave can be applied for five straight working days or on staggered basis and will not be deducted from the employee’s leave credits.”
Effectivity of the 5-day calamity leave law
The availability of the leave would be available when President Rodrigo Duterte declares the measure officially. However, since the law hasn’t been inked yet, employers have the option to grant their employees any type of emergency leave should they be stricken by a natural calamity.
As of the moment, the act still stands as Senate Bill (SB) No. 1123 and is yet to be approved and signed. Therefore, it is still up to the employers whether or not they’ll allow such an act to happen.
Who can avail the 5-day calamity leave law?
Should the measure be duly signed and formalized, employees and workers who have been stricken by the disaster badly could avail it. Those who:
- Have been stranded because of a flood, typhoon, or an earthquake
- People/families who felt the wrath of an earthquake or typhoon
- Became sick because of a natural disaster
- Workers who would take care of immediate family members
- Workers conducting cleanup or repairs of damaged houses
As you can see, the measure is generous enough; it offers a wide frame on who can avail it. Victims are not just those who had their homes wrecked or flooded; it also considers those who have been stranded and who became ill because of natural disasters.
The process, as per the bill, is simple. When a worker or an employee files the leave, it could be within ten (10) days from the time when the calamity had hit them; from the time when it officially struck them or their families.
Basically, it’s flexible because it would allow people to have ample time to prepare and to recover.
There were, however, important notes that need to be discussed under the measure should it be enacted into law. As per the statements of the 5-day calamity leave law, workers, employees, as well as the employers should consider the following:
- Unused leaves cannot be converted to cash or to any kind of other leave (vacation leave, sick leave, etc.)
- If the time frame exceeded 10 days, the grant might be disqualified
- You need to clarify it with your employer first since it hasn’t been enacted yet
- Documentary proof is required to be presented when applying for the leave
Senator De Lima, Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare, and Rural Development Chair said that the effects of natural disasters and calamities to our countrymen is slowly taking its toll. It cannot be avoided and therefore, the Philippine government should be the one to make adjustments.
The profound environmental effect of natural disasters and/or calamities to the nation is inevitable, and it is for that reason this proposed measure seeks to at the very least soften the blow of the unforeseen and the inescapable.”
Many of our countrymen would be merry when the bill gets enacted into law. In fact, the 5-day calamity leave law would be life-changing especially to those workers who reside in areas prone to typhoons, earthquakes, and storms.
Let’s wait for the official announcement on when they’ll formalize the 5-day calamity leave law – if they will. For now, let’s hope that private sector companies would be considering this option for it to be effective even in an internal basis.
Source: CNN Philippines