Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement which improves the process cycle time on the approval of the Construction Safety and Health Program, a requirement to ensure the safety and health of construction workers in all operations and undertakings in the construction industry.
“The DOLE and the DPWH have joined hands to strengthen existing linkages to promote the welfare of construction workers and the growth of the construction industry, including infrastructure projects and public works, by updating the application process for the CSHP,” said Baldoz.
“In signing this MOA, the DOLE and the DPWH have considered the emerging working conditions, including the increase of work-related accidents, in the construction sites, and we would like to reduce, if not totally eliminate these incidences,” said Baldoz.
Construction Safety and Health Program refers to a set of detailed rules covering the processes and practices that should be utilized in a specific construction site in conformity with occupational safety and health standards, including the personnel responsible and the penalties for rule violations.
The MOA outlines the responsibilities of the DOLE and the DPWH on the approval of CSHP.
Under the MOA, CSHP applications initially approved by the DPWH shall be considered as approved if it was not acted upon on the sixth day following the prescribed process cycle time of five working days from the date of submission of the complete documents. In such case, the DPWH may rely on the CSHP duly approved by concerned DOLE Regional Office and notice posted in its official website.
It states that the DOLE shall provide the DPWH a checklist of requirements for CSHP applications in compliance with DOLE Department Order No.13, Series of 1998. It shall also strictly observe the five-working day period to concur or deny the initially-approved CSHP applications by DPWH.
The DOLE-Regional Office, on the other hand, shall regularly provide the DPWH with a list of approved CSHP applications, indicating therein the project name, location and duration, project owner, general contractor, OSH personnel, and contracts for OSH services appropriate for a particular project, when applicable; undertake the necessary assessment of construction project sites as it monitors the execution of CSHP; deploy Labor Law Compliance Officer (LLCO) within 24 hours from receipt of information, the existence of imminent danger or accident which may result to disabling injury; and notify the DPWH of any work stoppage within 48 hours from the issuance of an order.
For its part, the DPWH shall require the winning contractor to submit the CSHP in accordance with Section 5 of DOLE D.O. No. 13, Series of 1998 which provides that every construction project shall have a suitable CSHP; receive CSHP applications which comply with the complete requirements prescribed by the DOLE; identify and send DPWH regional personnel that shall undergo DOLE orientation on the approval of CSHP.
The CHSP shall also include the provisions and instructions pertaining to the implementation of CSHP in every project bidding documents, specifically under the Instruction to Bidders; decentralize the approval of the CSHP to DPWH Regional Directors/District Engineers where the project site is located in accordance with DPWH rules and regulations; designate a General Construction Safety Officer who shall oversee the full time/overall implementation of the CSHP of the office concerned; and in case of existence of imminent danger or accident which may result or has resulted to disabling injury, inform the DOLE-Regional Director who has jurisdiction over the project site for the conduct of Occupational Safety and Health Investigation (OSHI).
The DOLE-DPWH MOA reinforces Joint Administrative Order 1, Series of 2012 issued by the DOLE, DPWH, DTI-Construction Manpower Development Foundation-Philippine Constructors Association Board, Department of Interior and Local Government, and Professional Regulation Commission and other specific issuances that seek to promote and ensure the safety and health of workers in the construction industry.