Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday unveiled labor laws-compliant markers in three Bataan economic zones—the Freeport Area of Bataan; PAFC Petrochemical Industrial Park; and Hermosa Industrial Park—earning the province the distinction of being the first in the country to have all its economic zones certified labor laws compliant under the new Labor Laws Compliance System, or LLCS.
“I am pleased to unveil these markers, indicating our country’s inexorable march towards the path of reform in labor laws compliance,” said Baldoz.
“However, our gladness is tempered by the looming, grim shadow of the fire accident in the Kentex rubber slipper factory in Valenzuela City that killed 72 workers, and which brought to the surface the twin issue of occupational safety and health and general labor standards, including subcontracting, which our LLCS reform precisely seeks to address,” Baldoz said in message before unveiling markers.
“I remember the FAB, formerly the Bataan Export Processing Zone, as a hotbed of labor unrest that earned the country the derisive title of being the ‘strike capital’ of Asia. I am happy to note that that history is behind us now because the Philippines is now known as the ‘industrial peace hub’ of Asia. Much of the credit goes to our workers and management who have matured and now engages in social dialogue, as well as President Benigno S. Aquino III’s labor governance reforms to sustain industrial peace. In fact, I am happy to note that even the unions at the FAB have organized themselves into a Coalition of Labor Unions of Bataan (CLUB),” Baldoz added.
Accompanied by DOLE Regional Office No. 3 Regional Director Ana Dione, Assistant Regional Director Geraldine Panlilio, and other DOLE technical staff, Secretary Baldoz unveiled a marker first at the Freeport Area of Bataan in Mariveles, where Atty. Patrick Lester Ty, Authority of the Freeport of Bataan (AFAB) officer-in-charge; Bataan Vice Governor Efren Pascual, and Mariveles Mayor Jesse Concepcion, hosted her.
“This marker is the seventh such marker we have unveiled in the country since the full implementation of the new LLCS, and it shows our determination and commitment to make the new system work for the benefit of our workers, our employers and investors, and our economy,” said Baldoz.
Before the unveiling, she distributed Certificates of Compliance (COCs) on General Labor Standards and Occupational Safety and Health Standards to worker and management representatives of 47 AFAB companies operating in the zone and employing 11,585 workers. She likewise awarded COCs on GLS and OSHS to the 47 locators’ 20 contractors/subcontractors employing another 6,219 workers.
Baldoz noted that 17 of the locators in the Freeport are unionized. These establishments are Almatech Manufacturing Corporation; Bahrain Fiberglass International, Inc.; Chun Chiang Enterprise Manufacturing Co., Inc.; Dong In Entech K-1 Inc.; Dunlop Slazenger Phils., Inc.; East Cam tech Corporation; Edge Soft Woods Solution, Inc.; Essilor Manufacturing Philippines, Inc.; Medtecs International Corporation; Medtecs Material Tech Corporation; Mitsumi Philippines; Monasteria Knitting, Inc.; Mountaineering Instruments Corp.; Qualitek Delta Philippines; and Universal Weavers Corporation.
“Remembering the lives that have been lost in last week’s fire accident, I urge all of you to reflect on the real meaning and significance of these COCs, that it was you who joined us in the assessment, a process which you have a stake and which you must own now for the welfare of your workers and the competitiveness and growth of your enterprises. Therefore, make sure that the system works,” she explained.
Baldoz next unveiled a labor laws compliant economic zone marker at the Philippine Alternative Fuels Corporation (PAFC) Industrial Park in nearby Brgy. Batangas II, which is home to power/fuel giants Philippine Resin Industries, Inc.; NPC Alliance Corporation; Petron Corporation Mariveles PP Plant; and Team Energy Philippines, with only Petron having a workers’ union.
These four companies have a total workforce of 389. Likewise, Baldoz awarded COCs on GLS and OSHS to the locators’ nine sub-contractors that employ 216 workers. The industrial zone is the 8th economic zone to be certified labor laws compliant.
In Hermosa, Baldoz distributed COCs on GLS and OSHS to Sumi Philippines Wiring Systems Corporation, one of two locators at the 162-hectare Hermosa Economic Industrial Park in Barangay Palihan. A sister company of International Wiring Systems, also a labor laws compliant company located at the Luisita Industrial Park, SPWS manufactures electric wiring harnesses and employs 1,952 workers.
She likewise awarded COCs on GLS and OSHS to the company’s two subcontractors—Salvation Security Agency and Faith in God and to two other subcontractors of Biotech, a zone locator that is not yet operational, MMA Competent Manpower and General Services and W. Security Agency Corporation. A fifth company, SP Deloraya Job Contracting and General Services, a subcontractor of SPWS, has earned its COC in September 2104. Together, these five subcontractors deploy a combined workforce of 1,430 in the industrial zone.
At these events, Baldoz signed memorandum of agreements with the zone management on the continuous monitoring of compliance by the locators with all labor laws and occupational safety and health regulations.
Since the LLCS’ full implementation last year, Baldoz has been going around the country to unveil labor laws compliant markers in economic zones, companies, and even in tourist destinations, to promote and advocate for labor laws compliance among the country’s business establishments under the Labor Laws Compliance System, a landmark reform in labor inspection that veers away from the purely regulatory to a more developmental approach involving the participation of workers and management, where companies undergo joint assessment to assess and evaluate compliance.
As of date, markers have been installed and unveiled in nine economic zones including the three in Bataan. These are Hacienda Luisita Industrial Park in Tarlac; Phividec Industrial Park in Misamis Oriental; Mactan Export Processing Zone II and Cebu Light Industrial Park in Cebu; Baguio Economic Zone in Baguio City, Benguet; and Cagayan Economic Zone in Sta. Ana, Cagayan Valley.