SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
A lawmaker has filed a bill seeking to provide additional special leave credits of 15 days a year with full pay to every legitimate spouse-employee of an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in the private and public sectors.
Rep. Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David (4th District, Manila) said House Bill 6196, to be known as the Special Leave for Overseas Workers’ Spouses Act, shall help ease the heavy demands of the double-role played by the OFW’s spouse.
Bonoan-David said families of OFWs bear the pain of separation from loved ones who have to travel thousands of miles to earn a living.
"An OFW's spouse plays the role of both father and mother back home and like a single parent, they attend to the needs of their families single-handedly," Bonoan-David said.
Under the measure, employees availing of the leave privilege shall submit to their employer a copy of their marriage contract, information as to the nature and place of work of the overseas worker concerned and a copy of the overseas worker's passport.
Not covered by the measure are employees who have absences without official leave, who are on vacation, sick, on forced or study leaves or those who have already availed of other forms of leaves allowed by law and those whose services are necessary to prevent the loss of life and damage to property, brought about by serious accidents, fires, floods, typhoons, earthquakes, epidemics or other disasters.
Employers in non-government institutions granting the leave benefit shall be accorded income tax deduction from their gross income for each taxable year, based on the actual cost paid by the employer.
"Private establishments are required to keep separate records of their employees who have availed of this leave benefit for purposes of claiming tax credits," Bonoan-David said.
Under the bill, any person, corporation, trust, form, partnership, association or entity found violating the proposed act, responsible officers/employees face a fine not exceeding P50,000 or imprisonment of 30 days to six months.
The Secretary of Labor and Employment and the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission shall within thirty days from the effectivity of the proposed act, issue such rules and regulations necessary for the proper implementation of the provisions of this law.