PH New Labor Laws Inspection System Wins $1-M US Grant

MANILA – The United States’ Department of Labor gave the International Labor Organization (ILO) a $1-million grant for the Philippines’ new labor laws compliance system (LLCS), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said in a news release over the weekend.

“Washington has already announced the award of the technical assistance grant. This is a very welcome gift to the Philippines and will boost the implementation of the DOLE’s new labor laws compliance system which President Benigno S. Aquino III himself had endorsed with his grant of 372 new plantilla item positions for labor laws compliance officers—with electronic gadgets to boot—to boost our capacity to ‘enforce all labor laws’ as the President himself had directed us at the DOLE,” Baldoz said.

She said the technical assistance grant is another affirmation of the efficacy of the new labor laws compliance system, a tripartite-endorsed, ILO-assisted, revolutionary reform program in labor inspection which she had initiated in 2013 and shepherded to successful implementation throughout the last two years.

What is the LLCS?

The LLCS, embodied in Department Order 131, S. 2013, is a combination of developmental and regulatory approaches in the enforcement of labor laws and social legislation, and is described as the first of its kind in the world.

“This new labor laws compliance system encourages voluntary compliance with all labor laws, including safety and health regulations, and fosters labor-management cooperation through social dialogue,” Baldoz said.

“With the system, the DOLE is no longer feared, unlike in the previous labor enforcement system where business owners regard the DOLE’s corps of labor inspectors as ‘police officers’ looking for violations,” she added.

The labor chief said that at the first full-year of its implementation, the LLCS has already shown its tremendous impact in terms of the number of establishments that has been jointly assessed by the LLCOs and workers’ and management’s representatives.

What are the effects of the new system?

As of November 2014, a total of 69,749 establishments all over the country, or 90.08 percent of the targeted establishments of 76,766, have been covered under the LLCS. Of this number, 60,479 establishments, covering 333,136 workers, have received assistance from 539 LLCOs. The covered workers themselves received benefits amounting to P69.425 million from plant-level restitution.

Also during the same period, 11,628 establishments have been awarded Certificates of Compliance on general labor standards, occupational safety and health; 8,852 establishments have been issued CoC on general labor standards; 8,229 establishments have been issued CoC on occupational safety and health; and 934 establishments were issued Labor Standards Compliance Certificates.

Baldoz, last September, had also declared Luisita Industrial Park in Tarlac as the first labor laws-compliant economic zone in the country. In November, she declared Guimaras and Boracay as the first labor-laws compliant tourist destinations. Shortly before Christmas, she likewise declared Cebu Light Industrial Park and Mactan Economic Zone 2 in Central Visayas as labor laws-compliant zones, and the San Miguel Brewery Mandaue Plant and Coca Cola FEMSA Mandaue as labor laws-compliant companies.

“Markers in these labor laws-compliant establishments and economic zones now proudly bear the stamp of the new labor laws compliance system. The LLCS, for which the US DOL grant is intended for, is a work in progress, but so much has already been accomplished,” Baldoz remarked.

Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose L. Cuisia Jr., who had brought the news of the technical assistance grant, said the award was yet another initiative that reflects the enduring strategic partnership between the Philippines and the United States.

In a statement to the media, Cuisia commended the DOLE, particularly Secretary Baldoz, who vigorously negotiated for the approval of the technical assistance award on behalf of the Philippines.

The grant is intended to help improve the effectiveness of labor inspections in the Philippines, particularly in the areas general labor standards, occupational safety and health, and labor rights.

In selecting the Philippines for the technical assistance, the US DOL’s International Labor Affairs Bureau noted the number of steps taken by the Philippines to increase staff and enhance technology in labor inspections. It said the grant will assist in these efforts by improving labor law compliance and labor rights monitoring.


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