A summit for health and safety in construction
DOLE’s OSHC meets with LGUs on construction safety issuances

 

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday lauded the Occupational Safety and Health Centre (OSHC) for ‘drawing into the circle of construction safety and health’ local government units so that they can better understand and appreciate why the DOLE is so serious in ensuring the safety and health of workers in all workplaces, including construction.

 

“It is high time. It is timely. And it is relevant,” said Baldoz as the OSHC convened yesterday a ‘summit’ and workshop on the inter-agency Memorandum of Agreement-Joint Administrative Order (MOA-JAO) on construction safety at the OSHC in Diliman, Quezon City.

 

Baldoz said this observation about the ‘summit’ as the government, through the DOLE, is dealing with a spate of construction accidents that she said were “totally avoidable and preventable” if all stakeholders share a common goal of construction health and safety.

 

Representatives of local governments in the National Capital Region and Regions 3 and 4-A attended the summit cum workshop. Also present were representatives of agency-signatories to the inter-agency MOA-JAO, namely, Departments of Labor and Employment, Public Works and Highways, Interior and Local Government, and Trade and Industry (Construction Manpower Development Foundation and Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board), and the Professional Regulation Commission, who reported on updates and accomplishments since the MOA JAO was signed in 2011. The OSHC reported on the results of the Safety Patrol Program conducted jointly with DOLE Regional Offices in 2012.

 

“It has been four years since the MOA-JAO on construction safety was agreed to be implemented, and it is high time that we check how much has been done in ensuring the safety of our workers in the construction industry. This was an opportunity to review what has been done in local governments and in reinforcing the rules and regulations to strengthen the OSH strategies in this highly hazardous industry,” said OSHC Executive Director Ma. Teresita S. Cucueco, MD.

 

The 2011 MOA-JAO included the commitments and responsibilities of the signatory agencies to harmonize policies and programs that they implement for workers’ safety, health, and protection.

 

For the DOLE, its task was to decentralize the approval of the Construction Safety and Health Program (CHSP) from the Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) to DOLE Regional Offices, which should evaluate CHSP application within five days upon receipt of the complete requirements from the contractor/s.

 

The DOLE Regional Offices, on the other hand, are tasked to conduct the necessary site inspection for verification of compliance, while the BWC shall maintain a data base of all on-going constructions projects and prepare a consolidated monthly report of all inspection activities.

 

The MOA-JAO also require that violations are to be reported to PCAB for blacklisting of errant contractors, pursuant to R. A. 4566 (Contractors’ Licensing Law) and its implementing rules.

 

On its part, the DPWH had issued Memorandum Circular No. 2 on March 2011 instructing all local building officials to require the submission of a DOLE-approved CSHP prior to the issuance of all building permits.

 

The DTI-PCAB requires all authorized managing officers (AMOs) of the contractors to take the 40-hour Construction Safety Training Course as a requirement for the issuance of a contractor’s license. The DTI-CMDF also assists the DOLE by offering a safety and health orientation course for AMOs and the conduct of a one-day safety orientation seminar for construction workers. It is also tasked to develop and institutionalize a data management system for all construction workers and contractors that have undergone construction safety orientation seminar.

 

All LGUs have already been directed by the DILG to comply with the requirements of DOLE’s D.O. 13, s. 1998, D.O. 18 and Rule 1020 of the OSHS and the licensing requirements of the DTI-PCAB. Through DILG Memorandum Circulars 2004-65 and 65-A, all contractors, sub-contractors, and specialty contractors are required to secure first a license from PCAB before engaging in any construction activity in the country.

 

Meanwhile, The PRC provides technical assistance in the conduct of safety monitoring at the worksite, through its Regulatory Boards and in coordination with the Local Building Officials and DOLE Regional Offices.

 

The signatory-agencies to the MOA-JAO have established an inter-agency task force with members composed of DOLE, DTI-CMDF-PCAB, DPWH, DILG, and PRC. Its task was to formulate and recommend policies and measures for the effective implementation of D.O. 13 and the OSHS.

 

Baldoz expressed hope that the ‘summit’ cum workshop has refreshed the participants on their respective roles in the implementation of the MOA-JAO.

 

“It behooves us to see to it that this all-encompassing and comprehensive strategy will result to less or no accident in all construction sites in the country, which is for the ultimate benefit of our workers,” she said.

 

Any question on this release? Please contact Ma. Teresita S. Cucueco, MD, CESO III, executive director, Occupational Safety and Health Center, North Avenue corner Agham Road, Diliman, Quezon City with telephone numbers 929-6036 to 39 and e-mail address: [email protected][email protected]

 

END

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