It’s the season once more of sun, sea, and sand, and the Department of Labor and Employment has, likewise, energized its Labor Law Compliance System (LLCS) implementation in the tourism industry by lining up for evaluation two more top-notch holiday destinations in the country.
Yesterday, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said that Vigan up north and Siargao down south are prepping up to receive the already-coveted stamp as Labor Law Compliant Tourism Zones. Once they pass the evaluation, they will join the league of four other tourist destinations—two in the Visayas and two in Mindanao—which were the first tourist zones earlier awarded with LLCS Compliance Certificate by Secretary Baldoz herself.
“Vigan and Siargao are two distinctively world-class tourist destinations. Vigan, the provincial capital of Ilocos Sur, is touted as ‘one of Philippines’ most beautiful cities, as it showcases the Spanish heritage of the country.’ It is also declared by UNESCO as a world heritage village.
The island of Siargao in Surigao del Norte, on the other hand, is considered as one of the best surfing destinations in the world. Thus, by further evaluating them within the strict standards of general labor and occupational safety and health standards, we further upscale their distinctions as truly world-class tourist havens,” Baldoz said.
Twitting other regional directors so they may step-up efforts to assess and evaluate tourist zones in their respective regions, Baldoz said she looks forward to Vigan’s passing the LLCS evaluation, the first in Luzon, if ever. Meanwhile, Siargao will be the second to receive such distinction in Mindanao when it passes the LLCS assessment.
“We would like our tourist destinations to be a whole package—they must be beautiful inside and out. They must embody not just the physical charm, but also exemplify integrity and efficiency in operations. Our LLCS adds value to the package because visitors are assured that workers in LLCS-compliant zones work in safe and healthy workplaces and receive their benefits as workers according to standards. With this credence-building, tourist arrivals increase; investments pour in; and subsequently, jobs are generated,” Baldoz explained, adding that visitors, particularly those from developed countries, are very mindful of general labor standards and occupational safety and health and frown upon workers not being paid well and not receiving social security and other benefits.
Secretary Baldoz respectively awarded the Certificate of Compliance under the LLCS to Guimaras and Boracay in November 2014. Early in March, she visited Camiguin and awarded the island “born on fire” its LLCS Certificate—the first labor laws- compliant tourist destination in Mindanao—to the delight of Gov. Romualdez.
Moreover, Dinagat Islands was likewise declared on March 25 as Labor Law Compliant Tourist Destination, the first in Caraga Region. Undersecretary Rebecca Chato, representing the DOLE Secretary, awarded the Certificate declaring Dinagat Islands as Labor Law Compliant Tourism Destination to Governor Glenda B. Ecleo. Department of Tourism Regional Director Letecia Tan and Former Press Secretary Jesse Dureza, along with other national and local government officials, also graced the unveiling ceremony.
Markers were erected in these areas to herald their status as labor laws-compliant tourism zones. Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, thankful to Secretary Baldoz for the DOLE’s LLCS program, expressed her support through a letter to the former.
The LLCS evaluation involves joint assessment wherein establishments, branches, and workplaces are appraised if they are compliant with labor laws and social legislations.
The Joint Assessment is tripartite in approach, which means, it is jointly undertaken by a labor laws compliance officer, employer’s representative, and the representative of the employees using a prescribed assessment checklist. It also covers establishments that had undergone settlement under the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) procedure and accident investigation. The SEnA is a conciliation-mediation method that provides speedy, impartial, inexpensive, and accessible settlement procedure for all issues/complaints arising from employer-employee relations to prevent them from ripening into full blown disputes.
An establishment found to be compliant is awarded a two-year Certificate of Compliance, while an establishment with deficiencies are assisted, free of charge, by the Labor Law Compliance Officer to correct the deficiencies. A verification assessment is finally conducted to validate compliance after a 10-day correction period and/or the agreed Occupational Safety and Health remediation period which should not be more than three months before it is awarded a Certificate of Compliance.