The labor department said workers have to assert their right to be treated with dignity, and ensure that they are provided with a safe working environment free from all forms of harassment.

In a recent dialog with workers in Vitas, Tondo, Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod stressed that Department Order 183, series of 2017 was issued primarily to ensure higher level of employers’ compliance on the provisions of the Labor Code such as those pertaining to regularization; payment of salaries and remittance of social security and other benefits, and occupational safety and health standards.

Under the order, routine inspections and complaints inspections or occupational safety and health standard investigations can be conducted in accordance with the visitorial powers of the labor secretary or his duly authorized representatives.

Routine inspections shall be conducted in priority establishments or those engaged in hazardous work, employing children, and engaged in contracting and sub-contracting arrangements, employing over ten employees, or establishments as may be determined by the DOLE Secretary as priority.

The dialog was attended by workers from Harbour Center Port Terminal, Inc., Grasials Corporation, and SLORD Development Corporation.

Eldefonso Bello, president of the Samahang Manggagawa sa Harbour Center, said HCPT sources over 1,000 workers from different manpower agencies that they complain of receiving below minimum wage rate and non-remittance of SSS contributions.

Also, employees of SLORD had similar complaints and violations of occupational safety and health standards.

Maglunsod said the DOLE will exhaust all applicable measures as provided for under DO 183 to compel employers to comply with all labor standards, including regulations on contracting and sub-contracting arrangements. There may be delays he said, due to procedures such as prolonged mandatory conferences and resolutions of complaints but workers vigilance and unity is essential for their welfare.

He also encouraged the workers to avail of the DOLE livelihood programs to help their families gain decent livelihood opportunities to boost their incomes.

###Con Gonzales

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