MANILA — Labor group, Defend Job Philippines on Friday called out for the government and private employers to “ensure and prioritize the safety of Filipino workers across the country at all cost,” after the Health Department confirmed the first 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-n-CoV) case in the country.
The group said that the welfare and best interests of our labor force must be on top of the employers’ priority in dealing with the 2019-n-CoV issue as their workers were those in the frontline of the production processes and were directly exposed to health vulnerabilities.
“Our Republic Act 11058 or the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) clearly states provisions in dealing with this kind of emergency situations. What the government and employers must do is just sincerely and religiously implement the law to protect and promote the safety and health of the Filipino workers, both in public and private sector,” said Gerardo Serue, Defend Job Philippines spokesperson, in a statement on Friday.
Serue said that employers should include plans on how to deal with the 2019-nCoV to their current safety and health programs.
Defend Job Philippines also urge the government to mandate all public and private employers to implement a universal mandatory general medical check-up and health plan for all of their workers, whether regular, contractual or seasonal employees.
They also suggest to provide personal protective equipment to their workers including facemasks, hand sanitizers and the like and maintain clinic in every workplace with at least one resident doctor and licensed registered nurse, as prescribed by law.
“In this kind of situation, the government, through its Labor Department, must ensure strict compliance of private and public employers to the law on occupational safety and health standards. No life of any single worker must be put to danger and casualty due to the State and employers’ negligence against their employees,” said Serue. (Stacy Ang/IAMIGO/CPH)