Bontoc, Mountain Province – Regular employees of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) of the Bontoc Municipal Government are now entitled to hazard pay.
The Sangguniang Bayan passed Ordinance No.330, s. 2021, granting other bonuses and allowances (hazard pay) to regular employees of the MDRRMO.
The ordinance stipulates that most of the time, MDRRMO personnel stake their lives to give humanitarian assistance or save the lives of those affected by calamities.
Mayor Franklin Odsey approved the ordinance recognizing that said employees are among the human resource of the Bontoc Municipal Government who are exposed to hazardous work areas as they attend to emergency operations where their lives are placed at risk.
He added that the hazard pay is equitable compensation for the services they provide and due to the environment where they are being exposed in the performance of their assigned duties and responsibilities as disaster risk reduction and management workers.
The ordinance states that all regular employees of the MDRRMO shall be entitled to the prescribed hazard duty pay which shall be P1, 000 per month regardless of their period of exposure.
It was stipulated in the ordinance that affected personnel shall be entitled to receive their hazard pay starting February 2021 irrespective of the date of its approval and affectivity.
Section 3, Article 8 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the State shall protect labor, promote full employment, provide equal opportunities regardless of gender, race, or creed and regulate employee-employer relations.
DBM National Budget Circular No. 451, series of 1996 provides that compensation premium or allowance may be provided for officials and employees, who, because of the nature of their work, are exposed to hazards.
Further, provisions of the circular explain that those in work areas where rescue operations or evacuations had to be carried out due to natural calamities, where the rescuers are directly and exposed to harm, danger, or occupational risk or perils to life in the course of performing their duties, may be covered with the prescribed hazard duty pay.
Under the circular, officials and employees who are directly involved in rescue operations shall be entitled to hazard duty pay at the maximum rate per month regardless of the period of exposure.
The municipal ordinance passed by the Sangguniang Bayan was sponsored by Councilors Jerome Tudlong, Jr., and Alsannyster Patingan.
By Alpine L. Killa