“It is nothing but discriminatory and in times of pandemic where many are hungry, the policy is not only illegal but cruel and inhumane”. The Secretary knows very well the existing no work, no pay policy, CTUHR said in a statement.

The last several days, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III issued confusing statements instead of clarifying concerning no vaccine, no work policy. He said that employers cannot fire his/her employees but can refuse the latter to work, That’s tantamount to dismissal. It also means that Sec. Bello is allowing employers not to pay the salaries of their workers. That is illegal. 

“Enforcement of the laws that protect workers and workers’ pay should be strengthened instead of issuing statements that runs on the contrary, “ says Daisy Arago Executive Director of CTUHR. She underscores that Article 116 of the Labor Code of the Philippines 116 prohibits employers to coerce, force, threaten or hide or other means their employees or workers to avoid or deprive them of their wages. The IATF and DOH weaknesses and ineffective pandemic response cannot and should not be used as justification for not allowing the workers to work as it tantamount to not having tbe much needed salary. 

CTUHR reminds DOLE that it has to be strict in enforcing its  Labor Advisory no. 03-21 that it issued last March (2021) that says no workers shall ne deprive of work, promotion training  and benefits if they are unvaccinated. The Advisory also states that refusal or failure to be vaccinated should not be a ground for discrimination.  Republic Act 11525 does not obliged or required vaccination card for citizens to continue working or look for job. Vaccination is voluntary and besides, vaccine roll out especially in provinces are slow. There is simply no vaccines even if after queueing for hours and hours.

Meanwhile, CTUHR also warn companies / employers thinking or planning to defer or cancel the payment of 13th month pay before December 24. It is illegal, 13th month pay is mandatory, it is part of the wages and not a discretionary benefit.  Workers already earned that and13th month pay is the only source for Christmas or New Year.  Depriving the workers and their families of  13th month is cruel and inhumane. The hunger that lockdowns and quarantine imposed on us is more than enough. The least that we expect from a government is a government that is not only concerned about the recovery of the national economy but also to how to ease the grumbling stomachs of the marginalized. #