Baldoz orders free training for local building officials on construction health and safety
Informed that local building officials and engineers have raised the issue of their need to be trained on occupational safety and health, and that they lack knowledge and awareness on the Memorandum of Agreement-Joint Administrative Order (MOA-JAO) on Construction Safety, Labor and Employment Secretary ROSALINDA DIMAPILIS-BALDOZ had directed the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC), an attached agency of the DOLE, to immediately provide them with free training, which is to include topical discussion on the DOLE requirement, the Construction Safety and Health Program.
“One of the most prominent issues raised by some 80 building officials and engineers from local governments of Region 3, 4-A, and the National Capital Region during last week’s seminar workshop of the DOLE and the LGUs on the implementation of the MOA-JAO on Construction Safety was the lack of training of these officials on construction safety and health. Immediately schedule this kind of training,” Baldoz said in an instruction to OSHC Executive Director Ma. Teresa Cucueco.
She instructed Dir. Cucueco to partner with the Bureau of Labor Relations and the Philippine Association of Building Officials in mobilizing the support of the Construction Industry Tripartite Council, as well as of the Regional Construction ITCs, to the training workshop, in the implementation of MOA-JAO, and the reactivation of the Task Force Safety Patrol Team.
To DOLE regional directors all over the country, Baldoz also directed them to intensify their advocacy and awareness-raising activities on the MOA-JAO to address the lack of knowledge of local chief executives, building officials, city and municipal engineers, as well as the general public on the issuance.
“Use all forms of media to drum up publicity and understanding of the MOA-JAO,” she instructed.
The DOLE organised the seminar workshop on the implementation of the MOA-JAO on construction health safety in the aftermath of fatal construction accidents in January and this month in Bulacan, Taguig, and Bataan.
The seminar was aimed at clarifying issues regarding construction health and safety, particularly the requirement of occupational safety and health regulations for a DOLE-approved Construction Safety and Health Program, or CHSP.
Held at the OSHC, the activity was attended by 80 building officials and engineers and representatives of the DOLE, Philippine Export Zone Authority, Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board, Construction Manpower Development Foundation (CMDF), as well as workers’ organizations.
In her report to the Secretary on the outcome of the seminar workshop, Director Cucueco said many of the issues raised by the participants pertained to the CHSP requirement, the Task Force Safety Patrol, the frequency of the conduct of its joint on-site verification, and the gray areas in the implementation of the MOA-JAO.
“The seminar workshop also dealt with administrative concerns on the CHSP, such as application, processing time, and monitoring of its implementation,” said Cucueco in her report.
“Even the lack of knowledge of LGUs about the Task Force Safety Patrol and the uncooperative behaviour of contractors and owners of construction sites were discussed,” she added.
Director Catherine Legados-Parado of the Bureau of Working Conditions and Engr. Gerardo Macalinaw of the DPWH delivered updates on the MOA-JAO, and on the new Labor Laws Compliance System. PCAB and the CMDF, represented by Engrs. Rene Fajardo and Joji Valenciano, also gave their respective presentation on construction trends and updates. Atty. Liza Hernandez of the Professional Regulations Commission shared the monitoring being done by the various Engineering Boards of construction projects.
A highlight of the seminar workshop was a Skype tele-conference with the Cebu Contractors Association which shared best practices in working with LGUs and the DOLE.
One of the concrete agreements arrived during the workshop was the non-approval of CSHP for projects already completed.
“This was not up for further discussion. The DOLE-approved CHSP should be submitted before a single post in any construction is erected. But the DOLE needs to formalise and put in writing the status of the CSHP, if approved or not, and, in case of denial, stating the reason for it,” Director Parado said.
On the frequency and composition of the Task Force Safety Patrol inspectorate teams and its composition, the agreement was that it will conduct joint on-site verification on a quarterly basis, with coordination among the LGUs and the DOLE regional offices.