What is Zonal Assessment? DOLE’s A.O. 404 explains

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said DOLE regional directors and program managers may use the zonal assessment to ensure that they meet their target establishments for compliance visit or assessment this year.

The zonal assessment is one of five assessment modalities prescribed by Administrative Order No. 404, Series of 2014 which Baldoz signed on 18 August to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of implementing the DOLE’s new Labor Laws Compliance System.

“You can use the zonal assessment in combination, separately, or simultaneously, with the other four modalities to meet your target for the year,” said Baldoz.

The other four assessment compliance modalities are (1) in-house OSH assessment; (2) assessment by industry; (3) Ecozone-wide assessment; and (4) assessment of establishments with Labor-Management Councils (LMCs) and convergence programs.

What is the zonal assessment?

Baldoz said this modality involve prioritizing establishments for assessment within a selected zone.

“In using this modality, the DOLE regional office shall prioritize zones or areas which have low levels of compliance based on the records of the regional office. In the preparation of assessment programs, all establishments in these areas should be assessed to maximize utilization of the efforts and the time of our Labor Laws Compliance Officers,” Baldoz said.

“This approach can maximize assessment coverage,” she added.

A.O. 404 specifies the criteria in determining the regional offices’ assessment priorities which regional directors and program managers may consider from the list of establishments provided by the Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC). These establishments are considered to be:

(1)  engaged in hazardous work;
(2)  employing child employees;
(3)  engaged in contracting and subcontracting arrangements (Principals and contractors);
(4)  Philippine-registered ships or vessels engaged in domestic shipping;
(5)  employing 10 or more employees; and
(6)  other priority establishments covered by issuances.

The latter refers to establishments, such as:

(a)  those registered under the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB);
(b)  bus companies;
(c)  enterprises with valid or expired collective bargaining agreements (CBA);
(d)  signatories to the Integrity Pledge of the Makati Business Club (MBC);
(e)  enterprises in industries covered by Voluntary Codes of Good Practices (VCGP);
(f)  enterprises enrolled under the Kapatiran Program;
(g)  enterprises which are the subject of complaints of workers for labor standards violations and those reported by media and other credible sources for serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS);
(h)  enterprises with “imminent danger” situations based on reports and those which are generally known as maintaining hazardous and oppressive working conditions (sweatshops);
(i)  enterprises involved in work-related fatalities/catastrophes; and
(j)  enterprises where accidents occurred resulting in serious injuries as reported in the media.
“The implementation of the new LLCS comes from a very clear mandate from the President, that we have to execute and implement all labor laws. This is the reason why he gave the DOLE 372 new plantilla positions for Labor Laws Compliance Officers, and we cannot shirk from this responsibility. We must implement the new LLCS most effectively and most efficiently, hence, this order, ” Baldoz said.


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