Cebu City, Philippines (05 June 2023). In a bid to guide and assist the micro-establishments become compliant with the labor laws, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has launched its Technical and Advisory Visit or dubbed as TAV.
Just last week, DOLE-7 started the rollout of its TAV in the different provinces of Central Visayas with the Negros Oriental Field Office (NOFO) and the Tri-City Field Office – covering the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapulapu- kick starting the initiative.
In Negros Oriental, the first three (3) TAV sessions, which were conducted from 29-31 May 2023 produced 477 participating micro-establishments.
“We conducted our TAV activities at the 2nd Floor of the Public Market Building in Dumaguete City. We are very thankful to the LGU of Dumaguete City for the assistance they extended to us that made our first TAV activities very successful,” said DOLE Negros Oriental Field Office OIC-Ma. Teresa D. Tanquiamco.
Tri-City Field Office (TCFO) Chief, Marites G. Mercado, for her part, said that they tallied a total of 122 micro-establishments participating in their TAV activities that were held last 30-31 May 2023. “I would like to commend all our labor inspectors at the TCFO for exerting best effort. My sincere thanks also goes out to LGU Mandaue City for giving our labor inspectors a space for the TAV at the Mandaue City Public Market,” she said.
The Cebu Provincial Field Office (CFPO) headed by OIC-Vivencio E. Lagahid also started conducting the TAV sessions last week in the municipality of Daanbantayan, Cebu with some 75 micro-establishments in the area joining.
Meanwhile, Bohol Field Office (BFO) Chief, Maria Eloida O. Cantona revealed that they have already coordinated with the various LGUs in the province of Bohol for the conduct of the TAV, which is due to start anytime within the month.
“In line with the strategic directions of DOLE, we now delve into the provision of a just, inexpensive and expeditious correction of noted violations of establishments and secure their compliance with labor standards through the TAV,” said DOLE-7 Regional Director, Lilia A. Estillore.
Underscoring the move of the Department of not subjecting the micro-establishments to inspection right away but to guide and herd them first towards compliance, Director Estillore said, “We are now promoting a developmental approach among micro-establishments to ensure that they understand the rules and regulations that they have to abide by; they are made aware of their accountabilities and responsibilities as employers; and they observe and adhere to labor laws voluntarily.”
Taking center stage under the TAV set-up are micro-establishments or those that employ with 1-9 employees.
During the Labor Inspection Summit held in Manila early this year, Labor and Employment Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma was heard saying, “Targeting small businesses is not bad per se, the department’s updated strategic inspection framework calibrates the logic whether inspection is the most appropriate intervention DOLE can offer to improve the situation of these enterprises and their workers.”
During the TAV, the labor inspectors or the assistant labor inspectors as representatives of the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment shall provide micro-establishments with labor education focusing on the General Labor Standards; Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS); Child and Family Welfare Program; Productivity Toolbox; and other DOLE policies and programs.
Under the newly-issued Department Order No. 238, Series of 2023 or the Rules on the Administration and Enforcement of Labor Standards Pursuant to Article 128 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, As Renumbered, And Republic Act No. 11058, DOLE administers and ensures enforcement of the Labor Standards and other labor laws through the following:
- Technical and Advisory Visit (TAV);
- Labor Inspection; and
- Occupational Safety and Health Investigation.
“Right after the conduct of the labor education, our labor inspectors or assistant labor inspectors will now assess whether or not the participating micro-establishments have compliance gaps based on the prescribed checklist. When gaps or deficiencies are noted, employers need not be worried because they will be assisted in coming up with an action plan and they will also be given time to comply,” added the Regional Director.
Micro-establishments with compliance gaps will be required to accomplish the action plan indicating the interventions and further technical assistance needed. “Establishments will be given 3 months from the date of receipt of the action plan to correct the noted non-compliances,” she continued.
Inspection among said establishments, she emphasized, will only happen under the following circumstances:
- Unjustifiable failure to attend the TAV session despite receipt of two (2) invitations;
- Failure to accomplish the TAV checklist after receipt of two (2) notifications; and
- Failure to prepare an action plan.
“Moving forward, we shall be capacitating our assistant labor inspectors, who will be rendering assistance to our labor inspectors in doing the TAV. We are also inclined to regularly provide coaching and mentoring sessions to our labor inspectors and every personnel involved in this endeavor. Rest assured that DOLE-7 will do its best to do the TAV right and do it right the first time,” said Director Estillore.
For the year, DOLE-7 will conduct the TAV among more or less than 9,000 micro-establishments all over the region.
“Through the TAV, we hope to foster a culture of voluntary compliance with labor laws among these micro-establishments in Central Visayas,” the regional director finally said.
End//LSenarlo-Taniza with reports from NOFO, TCFO, CPFO and BFO
For more information on this report, you may contact LuchelSenarloTaniza, Regional Labor Information Officer, by sending an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.