Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday directed the Employees’ Compensation Commission to prescribe the guidelines for the implementation of the Labor Code provision penalizing employers who fail to comply with any law, or to install and maintain safety devices, or take other precautions for the prevention of injury.

Baldoz issued the order during the 2nd Visayas Occupational Safety and Health Summit in Tagbilaran City, which she attended as keynote speaker.

“Perhaps unknown to many, Art. 200, Title II, Book IV of the Labor Code of the Philippines penalizes an employer to pay the State Insurance Fund a penalty of 25 percent of the lump sum equivalent of the income benefit payable by the Social Security System to the employee if it is proven the employer had failed to comply with any law on safety and health, or to install and maintain safety devices, or take other precautions for the prevention of injury. I have already instructed the ECC to prescribe the guidelines for the strict implementation of this provision,” said Baldoz.

Title II of Book IV of the Labor Code pertains to the Employees Compensation Commission.

The labor and employment chief said safety and health is everyone’s business and preventing accidents, injuries, and illnesses in the workplace must be everyone’s concern and priority.

“In today’s workplaces, with the implosion of technology and modern methods of production, the DOLE finds it more than a need to strengthen measures to ensure the safety and health of workers. It is a must,” she said.

According to Baldoz, employers are required to comply with safety and health measures in the workplace in accordance with the Labor Code and the Occupational Safety and Health Standards being implemented by the DOLE’s Occupational Safety and Health and the Bureau of Working Conditions.

“The consequence for employers who are not complying with the required safety and health standards is grave, because it is life that is at stake here,” explained Baldoz.

She further said the implementation of Art. 200 of P.D. No. 626 is an expressed policy under the Employees’ Compensation Program that seeks to strengthen the DOLE’s efforts to prevent work accidents, injuries, and illnesses.

She explained further that the with full-blast implementation of the new DOLE Labor Law Compliance System, the technical assistance visit, investigation, inspection, and enforcement of labor laws aimed at improving work conditions, among others, will now be tighter and focused.

“Through the LLCS, our labor law compliance officers who are trained on the developmental and regulatory approaches to elicit voluntary compliance with labor laws and health and safety regulations, including child labor laws, will now be able to identify employers who fail to comply with any law, or install and maintain safety devices, or take other precautions causing the employee’s injury or death,” she said.

In her speech, Baldoz, thus, encourage employers and health and safety practitioners to work with the DOLE and other partner-stakeholders to achieve the national goal of zero accident in all workplaces.

“Do not treat health and safety as an expense. Consider it as an investment,” she said.

END

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