Revilla seeks to double leave benefits of gov’t officials, workers

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. is seeking to increase the number of leaves of government workers and officials and institutionalize rehabilitation leave.

Revilla seeks to double leave benefits of gov’t officials, workers

Under Senate Bill No. 1821, Revilla seeks to expand the leave benefits of state workers and grant them rehabilitation leave for a maximum period of six months. According to Revilla, the leave benefits and privileges of government employees was made as a “reward” for their services rendered. He continued that as the task of working in the government has become too challenging, the leave benefits are now considered “highly necessary” for them to rest and recuperate.

“However, over the years, work in the government has become enormous that the leave benefits are considered not as an incentive but highly necessary for rest and recuperation to provide renewed vigor and energy to employees who have been subjected to strenuous and stressful work,” the bill stated.

Expanded vacation and sick leaves

Currently, state workers are allowed 15 days of vacation leave and 15 days of sick leave. Once the Expanded Leave Benefits Act is passed, the number of leaves will be doubled to a total of 30 days vacation leaves and 30 days sick leaves annually with pay. It is exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and holidays without limitation as to the number days of vacation and sick leave that they may accumulate.

“The 30 days vacation leave shall be inclusive of the three (3) days Special Leave Privilege (SLP) and the five (5) days Forced Leave (FL),” the bill stated.

Those who will be entitled to the expanded leave benefits are officials and employees of the national government, local government units, government-owned or controlled corporations and state universities and colleges, regardless of employment status.

However, teachers are excluded from the said leave benefits except those designated to perform non-teaching functions.

Rehabilitation leaves

According to the bill, rehabilitation leave is for government workers who need to go on leave after they “sustained wounds or injuries while In the performance of their official duties and those whose Illness was aggravated due to their working conditions.”

Revilla said there is currently no law supporting prolonged leave for state workers who fall into illness while at work or undergo treatment for long periods of time, e.g cancer.

“State workers suffering from this kind of illness or disease need to be provided with reasonable time to go through their treatment. Prolonged illness or sickness consumes the employees’ accumulated leave credits (sick leave and vacation leave credits), most often leaving them on Leave Without Pay (LWOP), if their accumulated leave credits are exhausted,” Revilla said.

Under the bill, state workers will be entitled to a maximum period of 6 months over wounds and/or injuries sustained while in the performance of official duties; or sickness or illness resulting from or aggravated by working conditions or environment. A medical authority will recommend the duration, frequency and terms of the rehabilitation leave for the government worker.

Revilla said that by expanding the leave benefits of state workers, we are supporting them to improve their services and freeing them from the burden of LWOPs or leave without pay.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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