Labor group: Air purifiers on employees is a financial burden

By: Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | September 09,2021 - 06:09 PM
air purifier

A personal air purifier

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A labor group in Cebu is pleading to Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to reconsider requiring employees of establishments allowed to operate under General Community Quarantine with heightened restrictions (GCQ-hr) to wear personal air purifiers at all times.

In Executive Order 42 issued by Garcia on September 7, 2021, employees of all operating establishments must wear face masks and personal air purifiers at all times.

Businesses are also required to install air purifiers for their establishments relative to the space of their offices, stores, restaurants, and others.

The Partido Manggagawa Cebu Chapter told CDN Digital that the policy will be a burden to minimum wage workers since the price of a personal air purifier can range from P600 to P2,000, almost twice to four times the minimum wage for a Cebuano.

“Mahal kaayo ba. Imbes nga ipalit og mga panginahanglan. Another burden nah na. We appeal to the Capitol nga policy kay it tend to give false confidence nga if naa ka ana, protected na ka,” said Dennis Derige, spokesperson of the Partido Manggagawa.

The labor group lamented why the Capitol had not consulted any of the stakeholders such as the workers on this policy when they will be the most affected by the requirement.

He noted that many people who lost their jobs in the past months are just getting new jobs, and if employers would require each to buy an air purifier, many workers may not be able to afford such luxury.

“Ngano walay consultations sa stakeholders like employers, employees nga kami may maapektuhan. Okay ra mi ana if saw-on sa employers ang bayad sa air purifiers pero I doubt if mosugot pud ang employers ana nga additional capitalization naman pud na. Burden ra gyod na para sa mga Sugbuanong trabahante,” he said.

Furthermore, Partido Manggagawa said there is no scientific proof of the effectiveness of the personal air purifiers and may only invite complacency among the public who wears them and eventually causing another surge.

The Department of Health (DOH) had made a statement in October 2020 that personal air purifiers are not in any way substitute to face masks, face shields, and social distancing and should not be a requirement.

“In the first place, wala pay scientific evidence nga nagprove nga kanang air purifiers makatabang na nga mapugngan ang COVID-19. Bisan preventive, walay proof. Not less than the Department of Health ang nag-ingon ana,” said Derige.

The labor group plans to write a letter to the governor in hopes that she would reconsider the policy and be more “sensitive” to the economic situation of workers and not force them to make an unnecessary purchase.

Derige hopes the governor would opt to heed their cries amid the struggles of the pandemic. /rcg


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Air purifiers just ‘band-aid’ solutions, says Cebu transpo group


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TAGS: air purifiers, Cebu‬, COVID-19, Department of Health, Executive Order 42, face mask, face shield, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, labor group, Partido Manggagawa Cebu Chapter

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