Although the ordinance allows women temporary reprieve in the workplace, it does not seek to reduce women’s multiple burden at home. In fact, Ibuyan pointed out that the ordinance will help working women serve their families better.
BY MARILOU M. AGUIRRE
Posted by Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 1, February 3-9, 2008
DAVAO CITY – For eight months now, Marilyn Cabig, 18, has been working as a sales lady at the Gaisano Mall; first, as a watcher in the food court, and later, as sales assistant in the fancy department, where toiletries, cosmetics and trinkets are sold.
From the time that the mall opens at 10 a.m. in the morning to the time it closes at eight p.m. at night on Sundays to Thursdays; and at nine p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, employees like her are only given an hour’s break for lunch and a 30-minute break for snacks.
These are the only time they are allowed to sit down.
She said they all have to bear standing for more than eight hours a day, or, management issues a voucher, deducting fifty-pesos from their salaries.
Jonalyn dela Cruz (not her real name), 24, said both her past and present employers never allowed their employees to sit down while on duty.
A single mother, de la Cruz used to work for Victoria Plaza mall in 2003 and the NCCC mall in 2007, but unlike the Gaisano mall, where she has been working in the last two months, all she received for sitting down while at work from her previous employers were warnings.
Here, they’re issued a voucher for salary deduction when they violate the no-sitting policy, de la Cruz said.
For sales ladies like them, the city ordinance requiring employers to provide seats to their female employees and workers is a piece of good news.
It was authored by first district Councilor Edgar Ibuyan, head of the City Council’s committee on labor and employment opportunities. The ordinance, approved on final reading by the City Council, will slap a fine of 1,000 to 5,000 pesos ($24.58 to $122.91 at an exchange rate of $1=P40.68), or an imprisonment of one month to six months, depending on the discretion of the Court, on employers violating the provision.
“What we need is an opportunity to sit down or rest,” Cabig said. “Standing the whole day is so exhausting,” Cabig said.
Ibuyan told Davao Today he used to observe sales ladies standing up for very long periods every time he was out window-shopping.
“I pitied the women who are pregnant,” said Ibuyan, who was barely 200 days in office. “With the ordinance, employees can sit down and take a rest without fear,” Ibuyan said.
But although the ordinance allows women temporary reprieve in the workplace, it does not seek to reduce women’s multiple burden at home. In fact, Ibuyan pointed out that the ordinance will help working women serve their families better.
“Many of these women are also mothers and wives who could no longer perform their equally important tasks at home after the hard day’s work,” he said. “The ordinance will not only protect the health of women workers, but it will also serve the families as well.”
Ibuyan said the ordinance will boost Davao city’s fame, not only as a child-friendly city and one of Asia’s most livable, but also as a worker-friendly city.
The ordinance adapted the definitions of employer, employee, persons and wages provided in Article 97 of the Philippine Labor Code. Davao Today / Posted by (Bulatlat.com)