Labor group Defend Job Philippines on Feb. 8, 2020 said that the Health and Labor departments should prioritize the safety concerns of frontline health workers, who will lead the upcoming quarantine of repatriated Filipinos from China at the Athlete’s Village in New Clark City on the ground.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
Labor groups urges DOH, DOLE to ensure health workers' safety amid quarantine
Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - February 8, 2020 - 6:13pm

MANILA, Philippine — Labor group Defend Job Philippines said that the Health and Labor departments should prioritize the safety concerns of frontline health workers, who will lead the upcoming quarantine of repatriated Filipinos from China at the Athlete’s Village in New Clark City on the ground.

RELATED: Filipinos repatriated from Hubei to be quarantined in New Clark City

“The welfare and best interests of our labor force must be on top of the government’s priority in dealing and controlling the spread of the coronavirus as they were those in the frontline and were directly exposed to health vulnerabilities,” Defend Job Philippines spokesperson Thadeus Ifurung said in a Saturday release.

He said that government and private employers alike should "sincerely and religiously implement" the Occupational Safety and Health Act (Republic Act 11058) in order to safeguard the health of Filipino workers, especially those who will provide health and other related services directly in New Clark City.

The said law mandates every employer, contractor, subcontractor and other manager to keep their workers free from hazardous conditions, informed about present hazards, the right to refuse unsafe work and the provision of personal protective equipment among other guaranteed labor rights.

The labor group suggested measures like providing hand sanitizers and personal protective equipment like face masks. It also suggested every workplace maintain a clinic with at least one resident doctor and licensed registered nurse, as prescribed by law.

RELATED: Quick questions — and answers — on the novel coronavirus

“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,” Ifurung said.

The labor rights advocate said that government and private employers should have concrete plans in response to the recent outbreak as part of their safety and health programs in place.

There are a total of 215 cumulative PUIs for 2019-nCoV ARD in the Philippines, according to the Health Department’s situational report on Friday noon.

At least 57 PUIs have tested negative, while 155 test results are still pending.

A total of 184 PUIs are currently admitted and isolated while 17 have been discharged under strict monitoring.

2019-NCOV DEFEND JOB PHILIPPINES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT DOH DOLE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
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