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Advocacy on OSH violations penalties now in full blast

Cebu City, Philippines. The member-establishments of the various Tripartite Industrial Peace Councils (TIPCs) and Industry Tripartite Councils (ITCs) in Cebu have been invited by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-7) to a series of learning sessions on implementing safety and health in the workplace.

According to DOLE-7 Regional Director, Atty. Johnson G. Cañete, the TIPC/ITC member-establishments became the first recipients of the series of orientations on Department Order No. 198, Series of 2018 otherwise known as the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. No. 11058 Entitled “An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof.”

The IRR, which took effect on 24 January 2019, spells out the penalties, which would be imposed once violations under the Occupational Safety and Health Standards are noted during inspection.

“This IRR will guide us in the enforcement of the law. This will equip our labor inspectors on what to look and check once they conduct the inspection,” he said.

However, on giving weight to the importance of social dialogue as a primary tool in advocating various pronouncements and new legislations, Atty. Cañete stressed that it is only but fitting for the DOLE to explain and apprise its partners, the employers, of the repercussions they might face once the OSH Law is violated.

“Rather than solely relying on conducting inspection to check on companies’ compliance to labor laws, the Department of Labor and Employment takes full advantage of social dialogue. We maximize our partnership with the various TIPCs and ITCs in the Region and use it as tool of communicating what is expected from them insofar as ensuring safety and health in every workplace,” he said.

The passage of the new law and its IRR, he said further, reinforced the idea that safety could never be compromised nor is negotiated when there is danger lurking in all corners of the workplace.

He cautioned all companies in Central Visayas of the penalties awaiting them once they are found willfully violating the law. Department Order No. 198 provides the penalties for the following violations, to wit:

·        Registration of establishment to DOLE- PHP20,000.00;

 

·        Provision of job safety instruction or orientation prior to work- PHP20,000.00;

 

·        Provision of workers’ training (first aid, mandatory worker’s training, mandatory OSH training for safety officers and health personnel)- PHP25,000.00;

·        Provision of safety signage and devices- PHP30,000.00;

·        Submission of reportorial requirements as prescribed by OSH Standards- PHP30,000.00;

·        Provision of safety officer and/or OH personnel- PHP40,000.00;

·        Provision of certified personnel or professionals required by the OSH Standards- PHP40,000.00;

·        Establishment of a safety and health committee- PHP40,000.00;

·        Formulation and implementation of a comprehensive safety and health program- PHP40,000.00;

·        Provision of information on hazards and risks- PHP40,000.00;

·        Provision of sanitary and welfare facilities- PHP40,000.00;

·        Use of approved or certified devices and equipment for the task- PHP50,000.00;

·        Provision of PPE or charging of provided PPE to workers- PHP50,000.00;

·        Compliance with DOLE issued Work Stoppage Order (WSO)- PHP50,000.00; and

·        Compliance to other OSH Standards- PHP50,000.00

Advocacy-seminars have already been conducted among the member-establishments of ITC-Construction and ITC-Education. Another orientation would take place on 15 February for ITC-Hospitals; on 21 February for ITC-Wholesale/Retail; and on 22 February for ITC-Shipbuilding and Ship Repair.

“The TIPCs/ITCs from other provinces will follow suit very soon. We are just waiting for them to finalize their schedule. These Region-wide advocacy-orientations are purposely done to equip our partners with the right knowledge of the new law. More than anything else, we want them to voluntarily comply and not wait for the labor inspectors to visit them and check on their compliance,” the DOLE-7 finally quipped.

A forum on D.O. 198 would also be happening tomorrow, 11 February, among the labor inspectors of the DOLE-7.

 

End//LSenarlo-Taniza

For more information on this report, you may contact Luchel SenarloTaniza, Regional Labor Communication Officer at telefax number (032) 266-2792 or you may send an email at dole_centralvisayas@yahoo.com.

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2019-02-12
SALOME O. SIATON
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