Palace: Don’t blame workers for skipping work

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Image source: Manila Bulletin

Malacañang in a press briefing defended employees who are not able to go to work due to transport problems.

Given that public transportation is at halt and limited movement is still being observed in most areas, the palace reminded employers that their workers have no choice in the matter and therefore cannot be blamed for skipping work.

“Kung wala po talaga silang masasakyan (If they really have no means of transport), I don’t think that can be taken against the employee,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) said in its latest guidelines that employers must provide shuttle services or accommodations for their employees if they require them to report, since public transport operations remains suspended in Metro Manila and other areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 31.

If employers cannot provide service vehicles, they might consider not reopening for the meantime.

“It’s a policy decision po, we want to restart the economy but not at the expense of having a second wave,” Roque said.

Metro Manila and the provinces of Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Zambales are currently under MECQ until May 31 while the cities of Cebu and Mandaue in Cebu province remain under ECQ. Meanwhile, the rest of the country was placed under GCQ.

Under the MECQ, there is still no public transport but private cars are allowed as long as only two people sit per row.

Public transport observing strict social distancing will be permitted under GCQ.

Those living in areas under MECQ but work in areas declared as GCQ will also be allowed to travel as long as they are employed in an industry allowed to operate.

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