De Lima reiterates call for legal protection of licensed volunteers when responding to emergency situations

(Eagle News) — Senator Leila de Lima has refiled a measure seeking to protect licensed volunteers from liability in the performance of their duties should anything happen.

In refiling Senate Bill 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 should any issue arise in emergency situations.

“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, to be exempted from liability in the performance of their duties, a volunteer should be 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.

She said those 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 be held liable under the proposed law.