Compliance with labor pay laws in Bicol now at 70%—DOLE

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LEGAZPI CITY—The numbers say it all. Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol has recorded a staggering 70.6% compliance with labor standards from establishments in the region, according to a report submitted by Regional Director Nathaniel V. Lacambra to DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz.

With such figure, DOLE Bicol is confident that is performance will far exceed its target this year.

“The figure is just so high that even we (DOLE) were amazed,” RD Lacambra exclaimed.

The increase in compliance, Lacambra said, can be attributed to three major factors.

First is the efficiency of the Labor Laws Compliance System (LLCS) by which DOLE Bicol’s Labor Laws Compliance Officers (LLCOs) gained the respect of establishments’ owners thereby soliciting voluntary compliance to labor standards.

Second is the effectiveness of the DOLE Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) convergence programs such as Labor and Management Cooperation (LMC) advocacy programs.

Third is the active involvement and partnership of the local media in DOLE RCC’s One Agency, One Vision, One Mission advocacy strategy, in which the 11-attached agencies are active in conducting provincial press conference and pro-active tri-media advocacy regarding issues on labor pay rules.

“These factors have greatly contributed to the very significant increase in labor standards compliance,” he stressed.

Records show that among the 1,814 establishments which have been assessed by DOLE Bicol from January to October, 1,280 (70.6%) were labor standards compliant and only 534 (29.4%) establishments found to have deficiencies.

Furthermore, 67.20% of the 534 establishments found with violations have voluntarily corrected its deficiencies within the 10-day remediation period.

“Here you can see the respect of establishments’ owners not just to the LLCS but to DOLE Bicol. They are already initiating correction of their deficiencies voluntarily. […] We don’t need to issue any order of compliance thus saving time and resources of the government and providing Bicolano workers faster solution to their pay concerns,” he added.

Often, the labor laws which establishments fail to adequately comply with are the ones on pay rules, including minimum wage, overtime, holiday and premium pay.

Deficiencies on service incentive leaves (SIL) and social welfare benefits (SSS, Philhealth, Pag-Ibig) were also recorded.

Most establishments however, upon receipt of the Notice of Results (NR) issued by the LLCO, immediately and voluntary correct such deficiencies.

“Well, this is good news. It means that establishments in Bicol are aware of their responsibility as employers,” DOLE Bicol Assistant Regional Director Atty. Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla remarked.

On the other hand, recorded deficiencies on Social Welfare Benefits, especially on non-remittance or non-payment of deductions, are immediately forwarded by DOLE-Bicol to the concerned office like the SSS, Philhealth and Pag-Ibig.

“Actually we just received a letter of gratitude from Philhealth Region V for always forwarding to them the list of companies with which our LLCOs have deficiency on Philhealth contribution rules,” Trayvilla said.

Aside from the aforementioned three major strategies, which are believed to have contributed to the increase in compliance to labor standards, DOLE Bicol is also closely coordinating with the business centers of LGUs to monitor new establishments being opened in the area.—by Raymond Escalante
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