Cebu City, Philippines. Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III has lifted the work stoppage order (WSO) issued to establishments engaged in the manufacture and sale of pyrotechnic devices and firecrackers.
According to DOLE-7 Regional Director Exequiel R. Sarcauga, the lifting order was received by the Regional Office on 16 December 2016 and was immediately served at 7:00 P.M. on the same day.
“We were on the second day of our Year-End Performance Assessment Exercises in Lapu-Lapu City when we received the lifting order from the Secretary. Considering how important it is for establishments and individuals concerned of knowing that the WSO has already been lifted, we immediately sent two of our labor laws compliance officers to serve the lifting order,” he said.
The lifting order, he added, was received by the local chief executive of Babag, Lapu-Lapu City, Barangay Captain Epifania B. Augusto, who said that they’re very happy receiving the good news.
There are 111 establishments, mostly managed by sole proprietors, which can now proceed to the manufacture and sale of pyrotechnic devices and firecrackers.
It can be recalled that on 29 November 2016, the DOLE, in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and the local government unit of Babag, conducted a forum and orientation on the rules and standards in the regulation of the production, sale or distribution of pyrotechnics and firecrackers.
“We likewise make sure to accommodate additional requests for orientation including those from the sellers of firecrackers coming from other parts of Cebu,” added Director Sarcauga.
On 18 December, Sunday, the DOLE facilitated another orientation among firecrackers distributors from Cebu City and Cebu Province.
There are more establishments in the pipeline waiting for the Work Stoppage Order (WSO) recommendation, he noted. “Once they are able to comply with all requirements not only of the DOLE but also that of the PNP, BFP, and of their respective LGUs, then we will do our best to send the recommendation for the lifting of the WSO to the Secretary the soonest,” he said further.
According to him, the compliance of concerned establishments located in Babag included the following, namely: attendance to Fireworks Safety Seminar and to the Occupational Safety and Health Awareness Training; and securement of Barangay Clearance and the business permit issued by the local government of Lapu-Lapu City
“On our end, we found out that concerned establishments had no employees and were not yet selling firecrackers at the time of the assessment. However, we also noted of some deficiencies under the General Labor Standards or GLS,” said the DOLE-7 Head.
He said that Bello gave instructions to all Regional Offices to conduct assessments on establishments, which were not yet engaged in the manufacture and sale of pyrotechnics and firecrackers at the time of DOLE’s assessment. He added that the LLCOs will start doing assessment on said establishments at the time of their business operation.
Noted deficiencies with GLS and Occupational Safety and Health Standards and other labor laws, rules, and regulations shall be rectified pursuant to the procedures and within the correction period prescribed under Department Order No. 131-B Series of 2016.
For those who might employ sellers of firecrackers, the DOLE forewarned them during the orientations of the necessity of enrolling workers to the social protection benefits.
Sarcauga said that the DOLE coordinated with concerned agencies in order to assist establishments in terms of having would-be employees covered by SSS, Philhealth, and PAG-IBIG.
For more information on this report, you may contact Luchel Senarlo-Taniza, Regional Labor Communication Officer at telefax number (032) 266-2792 or you may send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org