Labor group: Purchasing air purifiers is burdensome

·2 min read

A PROGRESSIVE labor group has urged the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) and the Department of Health (DOH) to intervene in the implementation of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s Executive Order (EO) 41-2021 mandating the wearing of air purifiers by employees of air conditioned and poorly ventilated establishments currently allowed to operate in the Province.

Alyansa sa mga Mamumuo sa Sugbo-Kilusang Mayo Uno (AMA Sugbo-KMU) said in a press statement on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, that the new EO would just add burden on the minimum wage earners, considering that the DOH does not recommend or endorse the use of air purifier because of insufficient scientific evidence that it is effective against Covid-19.

Jaime Paglinawan, AMA Sugbo-KMU chairman, said the Cebu Provincial Government should purchase the air purifiers, not the workers, if it insists on requiring the wearing of the devices.

“We call on the Dole and the DOH to intervene in this mandate. Is this the focus of our government right now? They should focus more on a faster vaccination program, contact tracing, free treatment for Covid positive employees and cash aid, not the air purifier,” Paglinawan said in a statement.

The AMA Sugbo-KMU is pushing for the passing of the House Bill (HB) 9262 (the P100 Daily Wage Subsidy Bill) and the HB 7909 (the Paid Pandemic Leave Bill) among other demands for cash assistance.

The DOLE 7, in an earlier interview, had urged owners of essential establishments in Cebu Province to hold a dialogue with their employees on how they can implement Garcia’s EO on wearing air purifiers.

DOLE 7 Director Salome Siaton said continuing dialogue among employers and employees is the key as they can either share the cost of buying the air purifiers.

Siaton said the wearing of air purifiers is not yet included in the checklist for inspection and joint monitoring of the DOLE and the Department of Trade and Industry.

The Partido ng Manggagawa-Cebu, is also set to submit a written appeal to Garcia on Monday, Sept. 13, for the governor to reconsider her EO. (WBS with PR)

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