Labor group bats for protection of state workers vs COVID-19

A LABOR group has urged the government to protect state workers from the coronavirus after the Civil Service Commission (CSC) said 1,600 employees have died of infection.

The commission and Department of Health should monitor the compliance of agencies with health protocols, the Confederation For Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees said in a statement.

The government should also boost testing and contact tracing, and build COVID-19 vaccination sites at government offices instead of making workers go to local government units, where there is a higher risk of getting infected with the virus, group President Santiago Y. Dasmariñas, Jr. said in the statement.

Government workers “are the frontline workers who are risking their lives to provide direly needed services to the public,” hence their safety from the virus should be prioritized, he added.

He added that the high number of COVID-related deaths among government workers may be due to the fact that many of them are still required to physically report for work. The absence or lack of shuttle services exposes them to the coronavirus, he said.

Face to face meetings are still conducted, health protection provisions are lacking and there is poor compliance with occupational health and safety protocols set by the Civil Service Commission and Health department, Mr. Dasmariñas said.

He said they welcome the provision of a P500 hazard daily pay for government employees, including job orders and contract of service workers, but it should not be limited to areas under an enhanced community quarantine and modified enhanced lockdown.

Workers under a more relaxed general lockdown are also exposed to the virus, he pointed out. He said local government workers should also be entitled to the hazard pay.

“Our colleagues at the local level face the same, if not more, hazards and risks as the rest of us and all means to support them should be given by the Duterte administration” Mr. Dasmariñas said. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago

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