The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance granting hazard pay to all city paid workers exposed to occupational hazards in the city and appropriating funds for the said purpose.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that it will be a declared policy of the city government to protect its workers and provide them an equitable compensation based on the principle of equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value.
The ordinance shall apply to all city paid workers under permanent, temporary or casual status, and contractual personnel who are exposed to occupational hazards and who have rendered at least one year of continuous and faithful government service.
Under the proposed ordinance, employees who are actually stationed in hazardous work areas shall be entitled to hazard duty pay at the rate allowed by the City Budget Office.
However, those who work on part-time basis shall receive half of the amount received by full-time personnel in the same situation.
The ordinance defined hazardous work areas shall refer to difficult, distressed or isolated work areas or hardship posts characterized by distance, inconvenience of travel due to bad roads and conditions of the terrain, isolation, and accessibility and extreme weather conditions as may be declared by the City Mayor; work areas which entail risk or danger to health and safety due to direct unavoidable exposure to hazardous pollutants as may be declared by safety and health task force or the City Mayor and work areas which entail risk or danger to health and safety due to direct unavoidable exposure to communicable or contagious infectious diseases, combustible, dangerous, noxious odor or toxic chemicals as declared by the safety and health task force or the City mayor.
The ordinance stipulated that the fund to implement the said measure shall be sourced from any available funds of the city government subject to accounting and auditing rules and applicable regulations.
The ordinance tasked the City Mayor’s Office to form a special health and safety task force that shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations necessary to implement the pertinent provisions of the said proposed measure.
According to the proposed measure, to address the call of the time, it is but fitting for the city government to grant hazard pay to protect its workers.
Section 3, Article 13 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the State shall protect labor, promote full employment, provide equal work opportunities regardless of gender, race, or creed and regulate employee-employer relations.
On the other hand, some cities put into question whether it is critical to put a figure on danger but experts believe that to fill in top talent to important but difficult or dangerous working conditions, the practice is necessary.
The ordinance argued that by granting hazard pay to field workers who are affected by occupational hazards, the city government makes them feel that they are being taken care of, especially that it is their lives that are at stake.