Baldoz wants urgency in labor laws compliance system implementation; issues new guidelines to regional directors and program managers

Impatient to see fast and concrete results and desirous for an effective and efficient compliance assessment under the new labor laws compliance system, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday signed Administrative Order directing all DOLE regional directors and program managers to, among others, determine their assessment priorities, complete their respective assessment targets for 2014 by adjusting their work standards, or the ratio of regional LLCOs vis-à-vis the number of establishments that need to be covered, and augment their personnel, either with non-labor laws compliance system personnel or with technical safety inspectors, conducting assessment.

In the order, Baldoz also prescribed five Compliance Assessment Modalities that regional offices can resort to, either in combination, separately, or simultaneously, to ensure that all the target establishments for the year have been visited and extended assistance towards compliance with all labor laws.

The five modalities are as follows: (a) zonal assessment; (b) in-house OSH assessment; (3) assessment by Industry; (4) Ecozone-wide assessment; and (5) assessment of  establishments with Labor-Management Councils and convergence programs.

“The implementation of the new LLCS comes from a very clear mandate from the President, that we have to implement all labor laws. This is the reason why he gave the DOLE 372 new plantilla positions for Labor Laws Compliance Officers, and we cannot shirk from this responsibility,” Baldoz said upon signing the order.

In her order, Baldoz also prescribes an Equivalency of Incentivizing Compliance Program’s Certificate and Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs).

“This is pursuant to a memorandum dated 21 July 2014, wherein the Tripartite Certificate for Compliance with Labor Standards (TCCLS) shall be deemed equivalent to a Certificate of Compliance (CoC). Thus, establishments issued with TCCLS shall no longer be subjected to assessments and shall be considered, or counted as, compliant with labor laws and OSH standards,” she stated.

In this regard, the order says that establishments nominated for the Secretary’s Award or those with valid TCCLS, Gawad Kaligtasan at Kalusugan (GKK), Child Labor-Free Establishment (CLFE), Labor-Management Committee Awardees, and Productivity Olympics finalists and champions under the Incentivizing Compliance Program,  shall likewise be considered equivalent to COC under the LLCS. However, the  awarding agencies are required to include the BWC in the validating team.

For organized establishments with subsisting and duly-registered Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs), the DOLE regional director may issue the CoC on GLS and Labor Relations upon evaluation of the terms of the CBA, which should be compliant with minimum labor standards and labor rights.

However, as part of DOLE technical assistance, compliance with OSH standards must be verified together with the OSH Committee at the workplace prior to issuance of OSH COC.

In determining the regional offices’ assessment priorities, Baldoz, through the order, prescribes a set of criteria that regional directors and program managers may consider from the list of establishments provided by the Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC).

These are establishments considered to be: (1) engaged in hazardous work; (2) employing child employees; (3) engaged in contracting and subcontracting arrangements (Principals and contractors); (4) Philippine-registered ships or vessels engaged in domestic shipping; (5) employing 10 or more employees; and (6) other priority establishments covered by issuances.

The latter refers to establishments such as (a) those registered under the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB); (b) bus companies; (c) enterprises with valid or expired collective bargaining agreements (CBA); (d) signatories to the Integrity Pledge of the Makati Business Club (MBC); (e) enterprises in industries covered by Voluntary Codes of Good Practices (VCGP); (f) enterprises enrolled under the Kapatiran Program; (g) enterprises which are the subject of complaints of workers for labor standards violations and those reported by media and other credible sources for serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS); (h) enterprises with “imminent danger” situations based on reports and those which are generally known as maintaining hazardous and oppressive working conditions (sweatshops); (i) enterprises involved in work-related fatalities/catastrophes; and (j) enterprises where accidents occurred resulting in serious injuries as reported in the media.

In augmenting personnel, Baldoz has ordered all LLCOs to fully utilize the LLCS-Management Information System through the mobile application installed in their IT gadgets that allows real-time reporting.

“Should the available gadgets be insufficient, LLCOs can conduct assessments using printed checklists and encode the results through the web application immediately or within forty-eight (48) hours after the conduct of assessment.  I task the BWC to monitor and report on the extent of the usage of the system,” Baldoz said.

She also said that non-LLCS personnel who have already been trained and have passed the examination (including LEO II and other plantilla positions) from the regional offices, the Central Office, and other DOLE attached agencies, may be authorized to perform enforcement activities for the rest of the year, subject to the requirements under D.O. 131-13, in view of the need for additional manpower to undertake assessments in some areas.

“For this purpose, the regional offices should submit to me, through the BWC, a list of non-LLCS personnel to be tapped to do assessment. Aside from conducting technical safety inspections, licensed mechanical/electrical engineers, either registered or professional, are also tasked to conduct joint assessments and compliance visits,” Baldoz further said, adding:

I have already directed the regional offices and the Human Resource and Development Services (HRDS) to complete the full complement of LLCOs and I want a status report ASAP,” she said, recalling the memorandum she signed on 22 April 2014.

She reiterated the submission of accomplishment reports on the LLCS on or before the 5th and 10th day of every month, respectively.

She also emphasized that regional offices and other concerned DOLE agencies should provide, free of charge, appropriate technical assistance and services to establishments with noted deficiencies to assist them in complying with labor laws.

“Such assistance shall be counted as success indicators used in monitoring the ROs’ performance in the implementation of the LLCS. To further improve our services, the nature of technical assistance provided, shall be specified and reported to BWC for monitoring and evaluation,” she finally said.

END

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