DILG: Labella can work from home
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella is nearing a month in his work-from-home set-up as he continues to recuperate from an ear infection he contracted in mid-January 2021.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said that Labella is within his rights to do so as long as he is able to manage the city from the comfort of his home.
DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Bensing III, said there are no regulations that prohibit a mayor from working from home especially during the pandemic.
Considering Labella’s age at 70, Bensing said he may be under a vulnerable condition that would put him at risk of contracting the COVID-19 if he continues to work from the City Hall.
“Kanang work from home depende gyod na sa employer. That is encouraged sa atong omnibus guidelines. Kana si Mayor Labella depende na niya unsa iya policy sa Cebu City Hall kon magimplement og alternative working arrangement.”
“As mayor he is allowed that (work from home) if only to protect himself to be safe from COVID-19. Sa iyang edad, he has to ensure safety. Ang importante nga klaro nga naghatag siyag directive from his home at wala siya nagtago o nagtulog-tulog sa balay,” said Bensing.
Labella has often been criticized for having worked from home this long when the city is still battling a surge of COVID-19 cases.
At some point, even Vice Mayor Michael Rama has encouraged Labella to rest from duties if he could not physically work at the City Hall. This conflict was later resolved when Labella gave Rama the responsibility of overseeing the vaccination program of the city.
In previous statements, Labella said his doctors continue to advise him to stay home as his vulnerable condition would put him at risk if he had to face many people.
He assured the public that he has been overseeing the management of the city from his home in Barangay Bacayan. /rcg
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