Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday announced that Task Force Valenzuela, whose task is to conduct a joint assessment /inspection of manufacturing establishments in Valenzuela City, has started its work yesterday pursuant to Department Order No. 145-15.
“The Task Force, which we have constituted last 28 May 2015, has started its assessment yesterday,” said Baldoz, citing a report of DOLE National Capital Region Director Alex Avila.
“Initially, the Task Force will cover 332 establishments, in addition to the 3,156 establishments that two other bodies—the Valenzuela City Inspection and Audit Teams and the DOLE-DILG-BFP Joint Assessment—will assess/audit until the end of July, or a total of 3,588,” Baldoz added.
Baldoz issued D.O. 145-15 on 28 May 2015 pursuant to Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC) Resolution No. 5 Series of 2015 which supported the Valenzuela TIPC initiatives on the Kentex fire incident and which called for an announced inspection of all establishments in Valenzuela City to ensure compliance with the requirements of building, company, and business permits, D.O.18-A, and occupational safety and health standards.
The Task Force is composed of Labor Laws Compliance Officers (LLCOs) of the DOLE-NCR; five personnel of the Occupational Safety and Health Center; four personnel of the Bureau of Working Conditions; 19 representatives of the Nagkaisa! Labor Coalition; and representatives of the Formal Labor and Migrant Workers Sector of the National Anti-Poverty Commission.
Baldoz said Task Force Valenzuela has 19 teams, with one Labor Laws Compliance Officer (LLCO) in each team who are either mechanical or electrical engineer. The Nagkaisa! Labor Coalition has 24 representatives to the Task Force, while the National Anti Poverty Commission has five representatives.
The labor and employment chief explained that initially, the Task Force will assess 48 pre-identified priority manufacturing establishments in Brgy. Ugong, Valenzuela.
“After Brgy. Ugong, they will cover some 284 establishments which have undergone technical safety inspection (TSI) last year. If they still have time, they might also complete the assessment of establishments already covered by the Valenzuela Field Office teams,” said Baldoz.
Avila, in his report, said the DOLE’s LLCOs have undergone safety training and will conduct full assessment of the companies assigned to them, including TSI if the LLCO involved has the capability to do so.
Another complementary body that is dealing with the aftermath of the Kentex fire incident, according to Baldoz, is the joint DOLE-DILG-Bureau of Fire Protection inspection team that President Benigno S. Aquino III has ordered to be created last week.
Secretary Baldoz said that the DOLE’s joint assessment with the Bureau of Fire Protection in Valenzuela and Quezon Cities has also begun yesterday, with 150 LLCOs from the NCR, CAR, Regions 2, 3, 4-A, 5 and 8 attending a coordination meeting with the fire marshals and team members at the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) before the start of the joint assessment.
“We have 60 LLCOs in Valenzuela City and 90 LLCOs in Quezon City. Initially, they will conduct joint assessment with BFP personnel of 568 high-risk establishments in Valenzuela and 169 establishments in Quezon City,” said Avila in his report.
“After a week, they will proceed to jointly assess 1,007 low-risk establishments in Valenzuela City and 1,192 unclassified establishments in Quezon City,” he added.
In addition, the DOLE-NCR chief reported that the DOLE-NCR has four LLCOs embedded in the four teams of the Valenzuela City Inspection and Audit Teams, the local government unit-based inspection body.
“These LGU teams have covered thus far 220 establishments, 180 of which were found to have OSH violations and 21 establishment refused entry to the teams. Of the 220 establishments, 17 were no longer operating, while three were undergoing assessment by the LLCOs,” Avila further said.
Finally, Avila reported to Baldoz that he had re-activated the DOLE-NCR quick response team (QRT) to handle business closure situations. This, he said was the offshoot of the closure by the Valenzuela city government of a company, First Millennium Enterprises, which resulted to the displacement of 25 workers.
“The 25 workers have already filed with us a request for assistance under the Single Entry Approach, and I deemed it wise to re-activate our QRT, headed by Assistant Regional Director Irma Valiente, with DOLE CAMANAVA field office Director Andrea Cabansag, Au Halcon, and two other personnel as members,” Avila reported.