DOLE, ILO team up for orientation and capacity-building for workers and employers on the new LLCS and ILO Convention 81

Over a hundred officials and members of the Regional Tripartite Industrial Peace Councils (RTIPCs), representatives of labor and employers from local TIPCs and ITCs, officers and staff of the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs), officers  of the Regional Conciliation and Mediation Boards of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board, human resource development officers of selected private sector companies, and the regional directors of DOLE regional offices in the island of Mindanao yesterday received, for the first time, a comprehensive orientation on the DOLE’s new Labor Laws Compliance System and on Convention 81 of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

This is the second such activity, organized and conducted by the DOLE’s Bureau of Labor Relations, or BLR,  and supported by the ILO, in as many weeks. The first area-wide orientation was held Friday last week in Manila for the officers and members of the same offices in Luzon. The third area-wide orientation in the Visayas will be held on 30 October in Cebu City.

Top officials of the DOLE, led by Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz and Undersecretary Rebecca Chato, the DOLE’s internal and labor relations cluster head, attended the area-wide orientation. Also attending were DOLE’s Legal Service chief Atty. Romeo Montefalco, Bureau of Working Conditions Director Atty. Catherine Legados-Parado, and Bureau of Labor Relations Director Atty. Benjo Benavidez.

“We hold this area-wide consultation on the new LLCS and Convention 81 to (a) raise awareness on labor laws and regulations; (b) capacitate labor and employers to voluntarily comply with labor laws, (c) advocate the use of feedback mechanisms on the LLCS and the Labor Laws Compliance Officers (LLCOs); and (d) raise awareness on ILO Convention 81 (1947),” said Baldoz who, in her message, explained the general policy thrust of this far-reaching and comprehensive DOLE reform on labor inspection, a principal mandate of the Department.

In her message, Baldoz narrated the history of the reform, how it was conceptualized and why, and how President Benigno S. Aquino III, no less, had personally instructed the Department of Budget and Management to provide the DOLE with a budget and gadgets for 372 new plantilla positions for labor laws compliance officers (LLCOs), formerly labor inspectors, to complement the DOLE’s 202 existing labor inspection positions.

“We have now an integrated framework of voluntary compliance and enforcement of labor laws and social legislations under the Rules on Labor Laws Compliance System as provided for by Department Order No. 131, s.2013,” Baldoz said.

Under the new LLCS, the DOLE has revolutionized labor inspection through a system that encourages labor laws and regulations compliance and fosters labor-management cooperation through social dialogue.

“With the system, the DOLE is no longer feared, unlike in the previous labor enforcement system where business owners regard the DOLE’s corps of labor inspectors as police officers looking for violations,” said Baldoz.

She said the new LLCS is aligned with the principles of ILO Convention 81 (Labor Inspection Convention), which provides for the “establishment of a system of labor inspection responsible for securing the enforcement and bringing to the notice of the competent authority possible loopholes in existing legal provisions relating to conditions of work and the protection of workers in industrial workplaces”.

The ILO’s Convention 81, according to ILO programme manager Diane Respall, is one of the four Governance Conventions that the ILO promotes for universal ratification. Respall, during the orientation, provided an overview of ILO Convention 81.The other ILO officer who attended the orientation is Cerilyn Pastolero, project coordinator.

Director Parado gave the orientation on D.O. No. 131 S. 2013, which included a discussion on the modes of the LLCS implementation. Sonia Delfin, Senior Labor and Employment Officer of DOLE Regional Office No. 11 explained to the participants the LLCS’s assessment checklist, with focus on the general labor standards and occupational safety and health standards. Director Benavidez; officer-in-charge Director Ma. Theresa M. Francisco of NCMB Region 11; and Ruby A. Badilles, Board Secretary of the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board in Region 11, took turns in discussing the other salient aspects of the LLCs, such as labor relations certification, LMC convergence, productivity, compliance committee, and labor and employment education services, etc.

At the end of the orientation, the employers, workers’, and DOLE regional representatives from each region did a workshop on the formulation of an action plan on given scenarios that depict findings of non-compliance with labor standards. The action plan, according to Director Benavidez, will serve as guide to the tripartite partners during the remediation period.

Baldoz said raising the awareness and capacitating the stakeholders on the LLCS is integral to its success and to effective compliance, particularly among labor and employers.

“When we crafted this reform program, we believed that teaching our employers and workers on how to comply, what to comply with, and why they should comply is the key to our effort to cultivate a culture of voluntary compliance at the plant-level. Thus, the DOLE, through the Bureau of Labor Relations and the Bureau of Working Conditions, is going out of its way to “knock on your doors and windows” like the “friendly Electrolux” guy in the neighborhood.

DOLE regional directors Sisinion Cano (Region 9); Raymundo Agravante (Region 10); Joffrey M. Suyao (Region 11); Ofelia Domingo (Region 12); and Johnson Canete (Caraga) were joined in the orientation by RTWPB Board Secretaries Joel Ijirani (Region 9); Atty. Gretchen Lamayan (Region 10); Ruby Badilles (Region 11); Jesse M. dela Cruz (Region 12); and Earl dela Victoria (Caraga).

For the NCMB, Director Reynaldo Foncardas and Supervising Labor and Employment Officer Grace Joyce Bautista (Region 9); Director Florido J. Akut and Junaliza Aragon, Senior Labor and Employment Officer (Region 10); Director Francisco (Region 11); Director Feliciano Orihuela and Senior Labor and Employment Officer Gerie Lampitco (Region 12); and Officer-in-Charge Director Atty. Ligaya R. Lumbay and Labor and Employment Officer Isobel Tabaniag (Region 13) were at the orientation. Gina Ysrael of PHILAMCOP Davao City and Arrine Marie R. Reyes, Conciliator-Mediator were also present.

From Region 9, the RTIPC members representing both labor and management from PERMEX, ZAMSURECO, Mega Plywood, Mega Fishing Corporation, and PCBSI, were at the orientation.

From Region 10, presidents of five unions in SOLE Skyland North, DMPI, Integrated Port of Ozamis, Trine Construction and Metal Industry Corporation, and Philippine Sinter Corporation, were present.

The ITCs of the tourism, banana, construction, maritime, and academe sectors in Region 11 were represented by their vice chairmen. The ITCs of the academe, plantation, construction, were also represented.

Representatives, both from labor and management of the following companies also attended the orientation: ZAMCELCO, Southern Mindanao Colleges, DAVCO Southern Fresh Products, Elim Agri Supply Magnolia Division, Daima Shipping Corporation, and Oro Geometric Builders, were also present at the activity.

END

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