Sen. De Lima Files Measure To Protect Volunteers During Disasters, Emergencies


Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has reintroduced a measure seeking to protect licensed and qualified volunteers from liability in the performance of their noble duties and functions in times of emergency situations, including disasters.

In filing Senate Bill (SB) No. 1285, De Lima said the government should provide a conducive and enabling legal environment for volunteers by placing mechanisms that will protect their rights and award them with privileges for their contribution to society.

“These volunteers deserve to be protected and be given due recognition because of their contribution to society, especially in crisis situations,” she added.

“By setting up a conducive and enabling legal environment for volunteers, it is hoped that this will encourage more volunteers to participate and to take an active role in nation-building,” she added.

While there are existing laws promoting volunteerism in the country, the lady Senator from Bicol explained that none of these legislations ensure specific protection for qualified and registered volunteers responding to disasters and emergencies.

“The current body of legislation does not provide safeguards which can protect the volunteers from liability which may range from fines, detention and even criminal liability, depending on the gravity of the act or omission done by the volunteer in responding to an emergency situation,” she said.

Under De Lima’s measure, no volunteer shall be liable for harm caused by an act or omission if he/she was acting in an emergency, was properly licensed or accredited, acted within the scope of his/her responsibilities, and acted under orders or direction of appropriate government authority.

To be exempted from liability, volunteers must be properly licensed, certified or authorized by the appropriate government authorities or accredited by and registered with the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency prior to deployment.

De Lima, however, pointed out that spontaneous volunteers or untrained persons performing voluntary work who acted in an emergency situation, where there are no government authority or trained volunteers present, in order to assist or care for persons who are in imminent danger, injured, or suffering from an illness, should also not to be held liable for harm under SB No. 1285.

In her proposed measure, to be known as the “Emergency Volunteer Protection Act of 2020,” the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development also sought to grant an additional insurance coverage to all qualified volunteers for disability, medical attention, and even death benefits should they perish in the line of duty.


- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Palace: PRRD Not Interested In Extending Term Beyond 2022

“The President is not interested in extending his term and he leaves it to the Filipino people, the sovereign people to decide if they want to amend the Constitution to suspend elections.”

Mayor Vico: Pasig To Give Away Tablets, Laptops For Students And Teachers

More than 77,000 tablets are set to be given to elementary students and 63,000 tablets for high school students.

Usec. Vergeire: COVID-19 Cases Drop Due To ‘One Hospital, Oplan Kalinga’

"It (One Hospital Command) has given a breather to our healthcare system... We saw the healthcare utilization rate has gone down to level that's still in the warning level but the healthcare system was able to manage and we're able to open units in hospitals to accommodate patients."

Roque: Palace Stands By Order Requiring Face Shields In Workplaces

Employees, to continue wearing face shields in workplaces.

Pres. Duterte Extends Term Of Task Force Overseeing Yolanda Rehab

Duterte extends the term of the inter-agency task force in charge of monitoring rehabilitation and recovery projects and programs in areas affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda until the end of his presidency.

Sen. Drilon Seeks Hike In DOH, DSWD Budgets For 2021

“Maybe at least for 2021, let us give utmost priority to the budgets of the DOH and DSWD... Let us give priority to our social service sector in order to address the pandemic.”

Mayor Lim Launches ‘Buy Local’ Campaign Exhibit

Dagupan City strengthens its efforts to support promote locally produced products or services with the launch of "Buy Local" campaign.

Mayor Zamora Checks Exercise Activities At Pinaglaban Shrine

Mayor Zamora conducts a surprise visit at the Pinaglaban Memorial Shrine to check the people who use the place as an exercise area.

Eleazar: Beerhouses, Bars Still Banned Even In Areas Under MGCQ

Operations of beerhouses and similar establishments remain prohibited even in areas under the most relaxed MGCQ, said Eleazar.

Sen. Angara: Work On Making It Easier For Seniors And PWDs To Vote During Elections

Angara pushes for the holding of early voting for close to 10 million senior citizens and PWDs to ensure greater participation in the electoral process and to reduce the risks on their health due to the COVID-19 pandemic.