The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday reminded employers that workers who have tuberculosis (TB) must l not be discriminated in the workplace.
“Workers who have or had tuberculosis shall not be discriminated. Instead, the workers shall be supported with adequate diagnosis and treatment based on stages and occurrence of TB,” said Labor and Employment Secretarey Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz.
“Tuberculosis could also be work-related due to direct inhalation of chemicals and dusts in the workplace which are violations of appropriate occupational safety and health standards,” said Baldoz.
She added that workers who have or had TB shall be entitled to work for as long as they are certified by the company accredited doctor as medically fit and shall be allowed to return to work as the illness is controlled.
Baldoz issued this reminder after Princess Naval, a human resource officer of an ink refilling company located in Muntinlupa, sought the assistance of Action Officer Melvin Pelinta of DOLE Call Center S.M.I.L.E. (Serbisyong Magalang, Mahusay na Impormasyon sa Labor and Employment) on the proper implementation of Department Order No. 73-05, or the Guidelines for the Implementation of Policy and Program of Tuberculosis Prevention and Control in the Workplace.”
In her report, Pelinta said that she cited Department Order No. 73-05, DOLE’s response on tuberculosis prevention and control in the workplace. The said department order is mandatory for all private establishments, workplaces and worksites to formulate and implement a TB prevention and control policy and program.
She also added clarified to Naval that appropriate compensation for TB benefits will come from the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC), Social Security System (SSS), and Philhealth.
Naval expressed satisfaction with the information she got from the DOLE Call Center S.M.I.L.E. “Now, I know how to implement this labor and employment policy,” she said.
The DOLE Call Center, which operates on its philosophy S.M.I.L.E. operates from 6:00 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. Monday to Saturday. It’s hotline number is 527-8000.