MANILA – The labor group Federation of Free Workers (FFW) on Wednesday welcomed the new law which gives special powers to President Rodrigo Duterte to help mitigate and prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country.
“In times like the Covid-19 pandemic, FFW is of the opinion that the President must be given flexibility in the use of government funds and logistics necessary and proper to carry out appropriate response to address a national emergency subject to a time limit and other restrictions,” the FFW said in a statement.
The group, as well as its affiliates and charter unions, particularly in the health sector, also thanked the Senate and the House of Representatives for the passage of pro-health worker provisions in the law.
“Though there might be some objectionable provisions like the “spreading of fake news” which is not defined in the law and the susceptibility to corruption in dispensing funds, overall the law is beneficial to our people for urgent medical, food and financial assistance and to mitigate and prevent the spread of the dreaded disease,” it added.
The group said their union members in the health sector and who are now in the frontlines welcome and appreciate the cash aid for health workers and indigent families affected by the pandemic.
The FFW also said cited as beneficial certain provisions of the law which provide for the grant of financial assistance to affected sectors.
These include a PHP5,000-PHP8,000 monthly allowance for each of the 18 million low-income households; PHP100,000 for public health workers who contracted the disease and PHP1 million for all medical practitioners who died from Covid-19.
“More than ever, FFW is one with Nagkaisa Labor Coalition’s call to continue demanding transparency, accountability, and equity in the implementation of anti-Covid-19 programs outlined in the law. FFW reiterates that the Bayanihan Act of 2020 must be matched by katapatan on the part of the Office of the Chief Executive and all the implementing agencies while people’s collective vigilance must be maintained by the citizenry,” it added.
Republic Act No. 11469 also known as “Bayanihan To Heal As One Act” was signed by the President on Tuesday. (PNA)