The National Wages and Productivity Commission, an agency under the Department of Labor and Employment, has recently posted on Facebook about "workers' right to refuse unsafe work."

Citing Republic Act No. 11058, or "An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Providing Penalties for Violatios Thereof," the post reads: 

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"The worker has the right of refusal to work without threat or reprisal from the employer if, as determined by DOLE, an imminent danger situation exists in the workplace that may result in illness, injury, or death, and corrective actions to eliminate the danger have not been undertaken by the employer."

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Should you be in an area that's affected by the eruption of the Taal Volcano and you feel that heading out to work will compromise your safety, know that your employer cannot force your attendance. As Section 6 of Republic Act No. 11058 notes, "The employer or safety officer cannot require the workers to return to work where there is continuing imminent danger. A worker may also refuse to work until the lifting of the Work Stoppage Order (WSO) after implementing the appropirate corrective measures.

"Workers affected by the existence of an imminent danger situation may be temporarily assigned to ther areas within the workplace provided there is no impending issue with safety ahd health."

PHIVOLCS has already warned about ashfall in the following places in its January 13 3:20 a.m. bulletin:

  • Tanuan, Batangas
  • Escala, Tagaytay
  • Sta. Rosa, Laguna
  • Dasmariñas, Cavite
  • Bacoor, Cavite
  • Silang, Cavite
  • Malolos, Bulacan
  • San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan
  • Meycauayan, Bulacan
  • Antipolo, Rizal
  • Marikina, Metro Manila
  • Muntinlupa, Metro Manila
  • Las Piñas, Metro Manila
  • Parañaque , Metro Manila
  • Quezon City, Metro Manila
  • San Juan, Metro Manila
  • Makati City, Metro Manila
  • Taguig City, Metro Manila
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The agency has also reported "a total of 52 volcanic earthquakes in the Taal region as of 12:49 a.m." More earthquakes have been recorded since.

If your employer refuses to allow you skip work even when presented with danger and hazards, you can report him or her to the Department of Labor and Employment through its 24/7 hotline: 1349.

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