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Concepcion backs DOLE’s call to private sector employers, but insists it should be voluntary

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion has expressed full support to the Department of Labor and Employment’s call to private sector employers to give appropriate paid isolation and quarantine leave program for COVID-19 affected workers, but he insisted that it should be voluntary.

“This is one initiative that needs to be supported by all fronts. Secretary Bello’s directive is very commendable as it directly addresses some concerns of our workers, especially this pandemic,” said Concepcion, referring to the Labor Advisory No. 1 issued by DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

In his order, Bello also urged employers to also allow their workers who are classified as close contact, suspect, probable, or confirmed case of Covid-19 to complete home isolation or facility-based quarantine. The said paid isolation or quarantine leave for workers is separate from their regular leave benefits, according to Bello.

Concepcion however proposed that the private sector must shoulder only half of the paid isolation and quarantine leave program for the employees as many businesses are still struggling to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

“In times like this, we in business are not doing well. Some who are doing well will consider this but let’s be flexible those who cannot. But those who can even support with half, that would be great help,” he said.

Nevertheless, Concepcion said the intention of Bello’s order is commendable and should be supported for the sake of the workers who are badly affected by the pandemic.

The Go Negosyo founder said Bello’s order will provide workers with peace of mind because their salaries are assured while they undergo quarantine.

“The main concern of our workers is they won’t be paid their salary when they undergo quarantine. Bello’s order would allay that worry as they are now assured of their daily wage while in isolation,” Concepcion said.

He added that workers will now be encouraged to declare the true state of their health as they won’t have to worry about lost wages while in quarantine.

“Sad so say, some workers don’t divulge to their employers they experience COVID-related symptoms as they are more worried about losing part of their income. This order, if implemented by private sector employers, would also help quell the spread of COVID-19 among our workforce,” Concepcion said.

Concepcion then appealed to the private sector to heed DOLE’s call for the sake of the workers, who are also risking their lives to keep the economy going amid the pandemic.

“If we consider our workers an integral part of our business, then we must walk our talk and heed the call of Secretary Bello,” he said.

As they have done in the past, Concepcion said this is another opportunity for the government and the private sector to work together in addressing the effects of the pandemic.

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