MANILA, Philippines—A bill seeking paid quarantine leave benefits for qualified workers in the public and private sector has been filed in the Senate.
The proposed measure, filed by Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid, will provide for 28 paid quarantine leave benefits per year equivalent to the daily wage rate of affected workers in the public and private sectors.
The grant of paid quarantine leave is applicable to any person who, while performing tasks as required for his/her employment whether in the public or private sector, and regardless of employment status, shall be exposed to or be infected with a highly contagious diseases or dangerous chemical which would require quarantine for a certain period of time.
The qualified worker shall be entitled to paid leave equivalent to his/her daily wage rate during the entire period of his/her quarantine; provided, that the quarantine period shall not exceed 28 days for any given year.
Lapid said that providing a separate benefit for quarantine leave would help workers who risk getting infected, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ang masaklap para sa ating mga masisipag at matatapang na manggagawa, oras na tamaan sila ng sakit gaya na lamang ng COVID-19, hindi lamang sila gagastos sa pagpapa-ospital at pagbili ng gamot, ang ilan pa sa kanila ay walang sweldong matatanggap o nauubos ang leave dahil kanilang mag-quarantine,” the senator said in a statement.
Based on the proposed bill, the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), as applicable, shall reimburse the employer for the payment of its employee’s paid quarantine leaves, provided, that the employer shall shoulder the payment of such quarantine leaves.
In case an employer refuses to grant the paid quarantine leave benefit, they shall be punished by a fine of not less than P30,000.00 but not more than P200,000.00. AAC