Councilor pushes stress burnout leave

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

ILOILO City Councilor Candice Magdalane Tupas filed an ordinance granting file leaves due to stress burnout to regular employees of the City Hall.

The proposed ordinance hurdled the first reading during the regular session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) on Tuesday.

According to Tupas, it is high time that such ordinance should be passed since burn out was recently declared as a medical condition by an international health journal.

“It’s a new condition. Before burnout might be deemed normal, now people are aware of the stress that we have in our life. A lot of us, especially in City Hall cannot really take on the stress every day,” she lamented.

The condition has no specific or distinct symptoms and can actually be caused by depression. Hence, it must be addressed, Tupas emphasized.

“Doctors cannot check and will never know. You feel sad sometimes or you don’t feel well, burnout can also be caused by depression. It has become a medical term but a condition of many symptoms, that is burn out, and that is something that we need to address. We are trying to control depression which will cause other problems like anger management problems and suicide,” she said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in its International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health problems recognized “burnout” as a medical condition.

WHO defined burnout as a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed and the result of deep, long-term stress that hasn’t been dealt with, either by the sufferer or their employer.

According to WHO, burnout has the following components: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job, or reduced professional efficacy.

Once the ordinance is passed, Tupas said the employees need to secure a medical certificate from the City Health Office to file for a leave of absence.

“So what they are supposed to do before they take a leave of absence, I suggest that they go to our City Health officers and seek consult and then they will be given a medical certificate then he/she is able to get his stress leave,” she said.