DOLE enhances occupational safety in Bicol


LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional office here through its Occupational Safety Health Center (OSHC) has intensified its campaign to promote occupational safety and health among Bicolano workers.

Lawyer Alvin Villamor, DOLE regional director, in an interview on Tuesday said they aim to promote compliance with Republic Act (RA) 11058, (An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards), raise awareness on programs and services of the department and encourage participation in the 11th Gawad Kaligtasan at Kalusugan (GKK).

“We include this campaign in the conduct of DOLE trainings, seminars and other activities with the participation of employers and workers, to increase the compliance with OSH standards, and to establish safety culture in the workplace, as our part of our commitment for the protection of the rights of workers and employers as well,” Villamor said.

He is confident that compliance with the said law will also be observed by private establishments in the region.

Following the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for implementation of RA 11058, a massive information campaign has been conducted during OSH trainings, labor-management fora, and labor education services.

Just recently, a public information campaign was held in Casablanca Hotel here attended by more than 300 private employers and workers from various industries in the region, and some government personnel in the public health sector.

Engr. Roberto Aranas, DOLE Supervising Labor and Employment Officer, discussed the salient features of Department Order 198-18 (Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 11058) including the Duties and Rights of Employers, Workers and Other Persons, OSH Programs of all covered workplaces, Composition of OSH Committee, Requirements on OSH personnel and facilities, OSH Administrative Reportorial Requirement, Workers’ Welfare Facilities, Joint and Solidarity Liability of Employers and Contractors/Subcontractors, Incentives to Employers and Workers, and Prohibited Acts and its Corresponding Penalties.

Aranas also gave emphasis on the details of Section 29 of the said order which states that “…any willful failure or refusal of an employer, contractor or subcontractor to comply with the OSH standards shall be penalized accordingly…”

Failure or refusal of an employer, contractor, or subcontractor to comply with the law will be meted with a fine ranging from PHP20,000 to PHP50,000 depending on the administrative violation committed.

In addition, “an employer, contractor or subcontractor who is found to have repeatedly violated the same prohibited act shall be penalized with the corresponding fine plus an additional fine equivalent to 50 percent thereof for every instance of repeat violation.”

Moreover, “if any of the following acts is present and there is non-compliance, the penalty of PHP100,000 administrative fine shall be imposed separate and in addition to the daily administrative fine imposed”.

The DOLE also stated that when the violation exposes the worker to death, serious injury or illness, the imposable penalty will be PHP100,000. (PNA)