Department of Labor and Employment
February 16, 2023
DOLE holds successful 2-day Labor Inspection Summit, announces new labor inspection strategy
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) held a successful labor inspection summit last week at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, following the resumption of its labor inspections and a recalibration of its inspection program.
The summit, the first of its kind since 2015, gathered all DOLE regional directors, service office heads, and the department’s 900-strong labor inspectors to formulate more strategic approaches and strengthen the technical and managerial capabilities of its inspection workforce.
In his address, Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma lauded the department for its 2022 inspection milestones and for increasing the compliance rate in both labor standards and occupational safety. Last year, DOLE inspected more than 80,000 establishments, achieving an eight percent jump from the previous year benefitting almost 4.5 million workers.
However, the labor secretary urged the inspectors “to do more” in DOLE’s duty of making sure that businesses and industries follow labor standards as well as health and safety practices—one of the department’s pillars of ensuring social justice for workers. Further, the secretary emphasized that we are commemorating the World Day of Social Justice on 20 February 2023.
Laguesma said that the summit was organized to “refocus inspection priorities toward industries and sectors based on the risks and hazards to which (workers) are exposed and not only on numerical targets.” The secretary, who is on his second stint to head the labor portfolio, said that “regional offices tend to lean towards micro and small establishments in an effort to meet numerical targets.”
Saying that targeting small businesses “is not bad per se, the department’s updated strategic inspection framework calibrates the logic whether inspection is the most appropriate intervention DOLE can offer to improve the situation of these enterprises and their workers.” He said the new tack will include technical advisory visits (TAV) combined with other interventions as an integral part of the new inspection framework.
Laguesma added that the new inspection strategy will also improve the quality and depth of DOLE inspections. “We would like to see DOLE inspectors look more closely at substantive matters such as compliance with rules on working hours and proper payment of benefits,” including a “non-negotiable” stance on occupational safety and health to follow the spirit of the country’s newly passed occupational safety and health law.
Highlights of the summit held on February 9-10, 2023 included a recognition ceremony for regions that performed well in the enforcement of the country’s labor standards and the application of safety and health laws in the workplace throughout the country in 2022.
The award for best labor standards and workplace safety enforcer went to DOLE Region 7 followed by DOLE Region 3, DOLE Region 10, DOLE Region 12, DOLE Region 1, and DOLE Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
DOLE National Capital Region (DOLE NCR) was recognized as the top performer in ensuring occupational safety and health among all regions followed by DOLE Region 6, DOLE Region 11, DOLE Region 1, DOLE CAR, and DOLE Region 9.
DOLE NCR also bagged the award for attaining the highest case disposition rate and for implementing the best labor inspection program in 2022 followed by DOLE Region 11, DOLE Region 12, DOLE Region 4B, and DOLE Region 13.
DOLE Region 6 and DOLE Region 3 were both recognized for having the most efficient case management followed by DOLE Region 5, DOLE Region 11, and DOLE Region 8. ###