Group urges DOLE to support bill granting sitting breaks for women workers

Aug. 10, 2017

Photo courtesy of Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Emmi De Jesus

DAVAO CITY, Philippines— The Gabriela Women’s Party urged Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to support House Bill 1049 which mandates a regular sitting breaks for female employees in manufacturing and services sectors.

“We welcome DOLE Secretary Bello’s recent pronouncement that he will push for regular sitting breaks for female workers. We encourage him to support the immediate passage of our HB 1049 or the sitting break bill which we have been pushing for years,” Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus said in a statement on Thursday.

Under HB 1049, at least 20 minutes of paid sitting break for every two-hour interval during work hours for women workers will be imposed, without prejudice to those who work while sitting.

“Standing continously for long hours has been proven detrimental to a woman’s health. Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Development (IOHSAD) in its study found out that standing for long hours showed symptoms of disruption in their regular menstrual cycle, including dysmenorrhea and ammenorrhea,” she pointed out.

The militant lawmaker said that “standing for a long period of time is also a major contributor in decreased worker’s performance in the industry.”

“Standing for a long time in heels is a deplorable policy with numerous health and economic repercussions. That is why we in GWP has been pushing for the passage of HB 1049 since the 15th Congress,” the lawmaker said.

According to De Jesus, the bill is pending at the House Committee on Labor and Employment.

HB 1049 states that violators of the mandated sitting break policy will be given five days to comply and shall be punished with a fine of not less than Php 50,000 for the first offense, P100,000 for the second offense, and closure of the business on its third offense.(

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