Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday lauded the DOLE Regional Office No. 11 for the completion of its own Occupational Safety and Health Program and Safety Policy.

“An injury-and accident –free workplace has always been a quest and responsibility of the DOLE.  This quest and responsibility applies to both workers in the private sector, as well as to the DOLE’s own personnel.  We believe that compliance with occupational safety and health standards should always start in our own backyard,” said Baldoz.

DOLE Regional Office No. 11 Director Joffrey Suyao reported to the Secretary that the regional offices’ Green our DOLE Program Committee had conceptualized the Occupational Safety and Health program and Safety Policy in February this year.

“The first draft was completed in August and we launched the program on 15 September,”  he said in his report.

The program, encapsulated in a manual, was formulated in a bid to instill a culture of safety and health in the regional office.

“It is us, for sure, who will implement the OSH program, “Suyao said.

Suyao, as chair of the regional office GODP committee, is assisted by Asst. Regional Director Veberando Cebrano, vice chairman.  The committee has for its members safety officers who each acts in his respective field,  from mediator to safety first aiders, among the few.

“The DOLE, through its agencies and regions, recognizes and bears the responsibility for employees’ safety and health.  There is a constant need for joint effort between the Department and its people for a more effective delivery of service to its clients,” Baldoz said.

The regional office’s Health and Safety manual consists of Safety and Health Promotion and Education. It sets-out the responsibilities of personnel in the office in assuring that safety is implemented at all times.  It also requires the development of a safety bulletin to inform personnel of different health-related concerns in the workplace.  It also assigns persons responsible of maintaining the bulletin.

The Manual also discusses procedures and requirements in cases of accidents in the workplace, and the appropriate investigation on the matter; health programs for the employees; adequate housekeeping for each offices;  emergency contingencies; emergency flow chart of procedures in cases of fire, earthquake, bomb threat or incidence, typhoon or storm, flood or inundation, and robbery threat; analysis of job hazards;  and the appropriate penalties for offenses or violations of the Manual’s provisions.

“In an effort to simplify and laymanize the safety and health program for our personnel, we came up with this Manual,” Director Suyao said.

“Compliance is well-expected from a well-informed public, much more if they can see that it is implemented by the government itself.  They will be more encouraged,” Baldoz observed.

The ceremonial signing of the manual was held on 15 September 2014 in Davao City, headed by Davao Regional Office Director Joffrey M. Suyao and Assistant Secretary Ma. Gloria A. Tango.

“Davao region is just one among the DOLE’s 16 regions.  I hope to see the same in the other regions’” Baldoz said in urging other regional offices to follow this notable initiative of the DOLE regional Office.

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