DIWA Rep. Aglipay-Villar pushes for the welfare and safety of Filipino workers

Ensuring the health and safety of Filipino workers – this is the advocacy that Democratic Independent Workers Association (DIWA) Party List Representative Emmeline Aglipay – Villar is pushing for.

According to DIWA Rep. Aglipay – Villar, one of the main loopholes of our constitution is the lack of a legislation that protects our workers and ensures their welfare in terms of health and safety. According to her, it is about time that this is given proper attention in the congress, especially given the significant number of workplace-related accidents tallied since President Benigno Aquino III’s administration.

One of the latest major workplace-related accidents recorded in the country is the Kentex Factory fire in 2015, which claimed the lives of a total of 74 workers. Although the company gave the families of the victims with proper compensation, DIWA Rep. Aglipay – Villar insisted that these accidents could have been preempted if only safety standards were strictly followed. “We should increase the enforcement and visitorial powers of the secretary of labor to ensure that these occupational health and safety standards are followed,” said DIWA Rep. Aglipay – Villar. She added that in order to ensure that companies and organizations will abide by these standards religiously, it is important to legislate laws that will criminalize and apprehend its violators.

Aside from ensuring the enforcement of workplace safety standards, DIWA Rep. Aglipay – Villar asserted that all workers who properly serve their responsibilities should be regularized to put an end to contractualization. “Contractual workers who do the work that regular workers do are essential to the core business of the employers, and should, therefore, become regular employees and receive the benefits attached to it,” DIWA Rep. Aglipay – Villar. According to her, most companies usually use fixed term employments and probationary employments as a tactic to avoid regularizing workers who signed contracts that last no longer than six months.

DIWA Rep. Aglipay – Villar is also pushing for the protection of informal sector workers. She explained that although DIWA has already legislated the Batas Kasambahay bill that aims to protect the rights of domestic workers, there is still a need to widen its scope to include other informal sector workers who also deserve to receive benefits such as Social Security System, Philippine Health Insurance, and PAG-IBIG or Home Development Mutual Fund.