Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the DOLE Call Center, which can be reached through (02) 527-8000, from 6:00 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. Mondays to Fridays, or through email at email@example.com, continues to receive complaints and inquiries on occupational safety and health concerns, including deficiencies or violations by private sector establishments.
“I am glad the public is getting to know of the assistance being provided by the DOLE Call Center if they wanted to air or communicate complaints on on occupational safety and health standards in their workplaces. This is a sign of vigilance,” said Baldoz.
“We appreciate the people who call or email the DOLE Call Center and encourage the public to avail of the services of the facility in bringing to our attention OSH standards deficiencies in the workplaces,” she added.
Baldoz made the observation after Director Nicon F. Fameronag of the Labor Communications Office, which supervises the DOLE Call Center, reported that an employee of Novistelle International Corporation in Novaliches has informed the Center that her company is not providing protective equipment, like face masks and safety gears, to all workers.
Novistelle International Corporation specializes in the manufacture of school, restaurant, and office furniture and interior design products, using wood, fiberglass and metal, for sale in the local and export markets.
Claiming to have over a hundred workers, the company operates at two factories, one in Tandang Sora and another in Old Sauyo Road, Quezon City.
“Although the company provides some workers with face masks and safety gear, these are not the proper safety protective masks because obnoxious and odorous smell of chemicals used in furniture manufacture can still be smelled or breathed by the workers. Thus, a few of them have gotten sick of tuberculosis,” the complainant said in an e-mail to the Center.
Apart from the lack of protective and safety equipment, the complainant also said the company’s facilities, such as the elevator in the production area, and the tools and equipment, such as the grinder, were already defective and have caused accidents.
“May naputulan na po ng daliri na mga manggagawa sa Novistelle, pero wala pong ginagawang remedyo ang kumpanya,” the complainant said.
Director Fameronag informed the Secretary that the DOLE Call Center had immediately endorsed to DOLE National Capital Region Regional Director Alex V. Avila the said complaint.
“We have already alerted Director Avila and requested him to dispatch a Labor Laws Compliance Officer to assess Novistelle’s compliance with OSHS and to check on the reports the company have been submitting to the DOLE,” Fameronag said.
Last month following the fire incident at the rubber slipper manufacturing facility of Kentex Manufacturing Corporation that claimed 73 lives, Secretary Baldoz had asked the public to participate in a massive citizen-driven monitoring of all business establishments’ compliance to occupational safety and health standards, and to report violations of occupational safety and health standards to the DOLE Call Center and other DOLE regional offices, so that these can be acted upon immediately.
END/vheng r. almazora