Press Release
October 4, 2022

Tolentino's bill on special emergency leave for victims of calamities timely amid Karding

MANILA - Days after Super Typhoon Karding (international name: Noru) ravaged parts of Luzon, feedback on the extensive damage of the typhoon was reported.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Sunday, October 2, stated that the number of individuals affected by the said typhoon already exceeded one million individuals. The NDRRMC's situational report states that Karding affected 299,127 families in Ilocos, Cagayan, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, and Cordillera. Reported deaths is at 12, 52 injured, and 5 people still currently missing as of date.

The NDRRMC also reported that Karding led to the partial damage of 51,022 houses, while 7,150 houses were destroyed.

As for the agricultural losses, this totaled to Php3.076 billion, with Php304.24 million worth of infrastructure damage.

According to experts, climate change is contributing to the emergence of stronger typhoons. With the Philippines' rapid population growth, the country is becoming more vulnerable to stronger cyclones.

"The threat of natural and man-made disasters is a feature of the Philippine climate and landscape, which is expected to continue because climate change is making weather patterns less predictable and more extreme," said Sen. Francis Tolentino.

Following the onslaught of Karding, Senate Bill No. 652 entitled An Act Providing for a Special Emergency Leave for Employees Affected by Natural Calamities or Disasters, otherwise known as the "Special Emergency Leave Law", is a timely piece of legislation that would help victims of calamities. This Bill was introduced by Sen. Tolentino in July of this year.

The bill grants a five-day special emergency leave with pay to employees directly affected by a natural calamity or disaster and may be availed of within 30 days following the actual occurrence of the natural disaster or calamity. The purpose of this leave may be any of the following: (1) urgent repair and clean-up of damaged house; (2) being stranded in affected areas; (3) disease or illness of employees brought by natural calamity or disaster; or (4) caring for immediate family members affected by natural calamity or disaster.

According to Sen. Tolentino, the bill seeks to grant special emergency leave not just to government employees affected by natural disasters or calamities, but also to employees of the private sector "because a natural calamity or disaster does not differentiate whom it will affect."

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