Press Release
April 30, 2006


Senator Manny Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party, calls for enhanced safety and health standards for workers as he joins Filipino laborers in commemorating Labor Day today (May 1.)

"Besides decent wages that should consider in the fluctuating prices of basic commodities and other economic factors, it is the responsibility of employers also to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplace and environment," says Villar.

Villar cites, "The occupational safety and health of workers in the workplace has a significant role in national economic development considering that personal injuries, illnesses and death arising out of workplaces result in reduced production, wage loss, medical expenses and disability compensation payments."

To this end, Villar filed Senate Bill (SB) 621 which seeks to institute an occupational safety and health code, thereby revising and consolidating occupational safety and health laws and standards for the protection, maintenance and enhancement of the physical, mental health of workers and for other purposes.

"We have to admit that there are still employers out there who subject their employees to physical danger and health hazards. We should protect workers from such situations, even the overseas Filipino workers who may be maltreated, abused or made to work in accident-prone areas," adds Villar.

According to Villar, "I also know that labor authorities and other concerned agencies are doing their best to protect Filipino workers, we just have to continuously enhance and revise our laws to be more attuned to the needs of the times."

In the aftermath of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Angelo dela Cruz's abduction in Iraq, for instance, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Department Order 63-04 that ordered all "land-based" OFWs performing cross-border assignments in whatever capacity should be covered by work hazard premium pay not lower than 100% of their basic salary and additional insurance cover of not less than US$35,000.

Villar also filed S.B. 768 or the Worker Protection Warnings Act that seeks to provide for uniform warnings on personal protective equipment for occupational use. "The lack of uniform warnings has brought confusion to both employers and employees on the proper use of protective equipment and unnecessarily increases workers' exposure to work-related injuries and illnesses," cites Villar on his bill.

News Latest News Feed