DOLE and PEZA to assess economic zones on voluntary compliance with labor standards

Date Posted: July 2nd, 2014 09:07 AM

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the DOLE and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) are working closely together in evaluating the compliance of zone locators with labor standards and to incentivize them with a seal of compliance.

"Composite teams of PEZA zone managers and DOLE regional personnel will conduct compliance audit, and in case of deficiency, provide zone locators with technical advisory services, assist them in the immediate correction of violations and in the submission of action plans to effect full compliance.  If declared free of any violations after evaluation, the economic zone can be declared as compliant," Baldoz said in a release.

The technical advisory services that the DOLE provides include advocacy services on the Tripartite Certificate of Compliance with Labor Standards (TCCLS).

The DOLE grants the TCCLS to companies that show commitment and exemplary adherence to General Labor Standards (GLS), Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS), Child Labor Law under Republic Act 9231, and industrial peace, enterprise stability, and competitiveness.

Provided under D.O. 115-A, Series of 2012, the TCCLS is the first level seal of good housekeeping issued to enrolled establishments.

D.O. No. 115-A, otherwise known as the Operational Guidelines on the Issuance of Tripartite Certificate of Compliance with Labor Standards, is a DOLE reform measure that seeks to promote voluntary compliance with labor standards, such as GLS, OSHS, and Child Labor Law by giving due recognition and incentives to compliant establishments pursuant to the DOLE Incentivizing Compliance Program (ICP).

To qualify for a TCCLS, an establishment must meet the following criteria: (a) duly registered with PEZA; (b) it has no pending case with the DOLE involving violations of general labor standards, occupational safety and health standards, and child labor law at the time of the application; and (c) it has no case of fatal accident, permanent total/partial disability, or occupational illness within a period of one year at the time of application.

The TCCLS is part of the Incentivizing Compliance Program (ICP) and is valid for three years. There are now 103 establishments nationwide which had been granted the TCCLS, a requirement to qualify for the National Productivity Olympics, Gawad Kaligtasan at Kalusugan (GKK), and Child Labor-Free Establishment (CLFE) awards. It is also a basic pre-qualification requirement to the DOLE Secretary's Labor Law Compliance Award and the Tripartite Seal of Excellence (TSE).

The Secretary's Award can be acquired when the TCCLS plus two other certificates are obtained by an establishment. On the other hand, the TSE, as provided under D.O. 115- 11, Series of 2011, can be obtained upon acquiring all of the five DOLE good housekeeping certificates: TCCLS, CLFE, GKK, National Productivity Olympics Award, and the Outstanding LMC Award for Industrial Peace.

“A TCCLS is issued to an establishment found to be compliant with the standards. It must also have no pending case or complaint and no fatal accidents, no lost time accidents (NLTA), and with no or minimal first-aid treatment cases for three (3) consecutive years," Baldoz said.

With a TCCLS, a zone locator becomes free from audit for the next three (3) years, unless there is a violation of general labor standards, occupational and health standards, and child labor law.

An attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, the PEZA is tasked to promote investments, extend assistance, register, grant incentives to, and facilitate the business operations of investors in export-oriented manufacturing and service facilities inside selected areas throughout the country.

It oversees and administers incentives to developers/operators of and locators in world-class, ready-to-occupy, environment-friendly, secured and competitively-priced Special Economic Zones.

At present, the PEZA has 17 Agro-Industrial Economic Zones, 197 IT Parks and Centers, 66 Manufacturing Economic Zones, 2 Medical Tourism Zones and 18 Tourism Economic Zones.

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