BAGUIO CITY– The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring business establishments to provide seats for female employees in the city and providing penalties for violations.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated employers shall provide seats for their female employees while on duty or during prescribed working hours and while in the performance of their work, provided that, the same shall not affect and will not compromise the worker’s efficiency in doing or complying with their duties.
The ordinance added one chair shall be provided for every 5 female employees and in the case of establishments whose number of female workers is below 5, one chair shall be provided to them.
Under the ordinance, the employer shall not deprive their female workers to take a seat and be seated at a reasonable time while in the performance of their work to provide efficient and quality service to their clients or customers.
Further, the employer shall not reprimand, suspend or discharge his or her employees whether male or female, for having testified, or prevent any of its employees from testifying, on the complaint filed by any female employee or worker against the employer for any violation of the local legislative measure.
The ordinance mandated the City Social Welfare and Development Office to ensure that the provisions of the measure shall be strictly implemented and complied with by all private establishments operating within the jurisdiction of the city.
Moreover, the same office will be mandated to submit an annual report to the City Mayor and the City Council on the status of the implementation of the ordinance; to receive complaints in any form from any female employee against her employer for any violations of the ordinance and to investigate the same and make the necessary findings and recommendations to the City Mayor and the City Council and to promulgate rules and regulations, if necessary, for the effective implementation of the measure.
The ordinance stated any employer found violating any of the provisions shall upon conviction be fined not less than P1,000 nor more than P5,000 or by imprisonment of not more than one month or more than 6 months or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.
In case the violator is a juridical entity, the president, general manager or the individual entrusted with the administration at the time of the commission of the violation, shall be held responsible or liable for the violation.
In light of Section 132 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, Yangot explained the local government aims to initiate, giving meaning to, and set standards that will ensure the safety and health of women employees and workers and in the same vein, the city aims to achieve better working condition for women laborers as part of reproductive health care approach at all levels of health care delivery in relation to family planning and child bearing.
By Dexter A. See