BAGUIO City Councilor Leandro Yangot is seeking added protection for volunteers.
"In order to raise awareness in the benefits of volunteer work and discourage haphazard forms of dismissal and discrimination," Yangot said.
Yangot’s proposed law aims to protect volunteers.
"No employee may be terminated or demoted with respect to the terms and conditions of employment due to the employee’s absence or tardiness for the purpose of serving as a volunteer firefighter or providing voluntary emergency medical services as part of a response to a disaster," he said.
The prohibition applies to an employee serving as a volunteer firefighter or those providing emergency medical services.
"No employee may be in any other manner discriminated against if the said employee, in the scope of acting as voluntary emergency worker, responds to an emergency phone call or text message during work hours that requests the persons volunteer emergency services," the proposed law adds.
The Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act provides there should be an established local disaster risk reduction management office (LDRRMO) in every province, city, municipality and a barangay disaster risk, development, implementation and coordination of disaster risk management programs within their territorial jurisdiction.
The LDRRMO aims to develop, strengthen and operationalize mechanisms for partnership or networking with the private sector, civil service organizations and volunteer groups.
"Since time immemorial, the spirit of volunteerism is regarded as a benevolent and humanitarian activity where services are offered for free and all heart. In the City of Pines, it is not surprising to get a glimpse of volunteers, regardless of race, creed and color who use their lives to help improve the quality of others," Yangot said.
"In the matter of using one's skills and time to give back to the community, a volunteer can suffer drawbacks in the many areas of life such as work, an inability to cover for living expenses and even health, as in the case of volunteer garbage haulers of the city who depend on scrap and recyclable materials for their daily sustenance," the alderman added.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on March 13, 2018.
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