Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd has revised the rules on the administration and enforcement of labor laws to further strengthen their implementation mechanism and secure a high level of compliance in workplaces.
Bello issued Department Order (DO) 183 granting visitorial powers to labor inspectors, particularly the Special Inspection Team, in conducting routine inspections and complaint inspections or occupational safety and health (OSH) standard investigation in any establishment.
Routine inspections shall be conducted in priority establishments engaging in hazardous work, employing children, engaging in contracting or sub-contracting arrangements and employing 10 or more employees.
A complaint inspection shall be conducted when there is Single Entry Approach (SEnA) and when there is a request for conciliation-meditation proceedings at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board to validate or verify violation of labor standards.
SEnA is a system that prescribes a 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation service to effect a speedy, impartial, inexpensive and accessible settlement procedure of all labor issues or conflicts, thus prevent them from ripening into full-blown disputes.
In case of anonymous complaints, the assigned labor inspectors shall conduct a surprise visit to the establishments that are subject of the complaints to validate reported violations.
Meanwhile, the conduct of OSH standard investigation will be ordered by the Regional Director within 24 hours from receipt of information on the existence of imminent danger or dangerous occurrences.
In case the accident is grave and requires technical assistance, the Regional Director should recommend to the Secretary of Labor the creation of a composite team composed of the Bureau of Working Conditions, the Occupational Safety and Health Center and the Employees Compensation Commission to be dispatched immediately for investigation.
A work stoppage order will be issued to establishments that are found to be non-compliant with the OSH standards, posing imminent danger to the health and safety of the workers.
Mandatory conferences shall also be conducted within 10 days after the lapse of the ten-day correction period of violations of general labor standards and contracting and sub-contracting rules.
Establishments that failed to correct labor violations within the remedial period shall cause the immediate issuance of a compliance order.
In case of a compliance order issued on the regularization of workers, the employment of the workers shall not be terminated while the appeal is pending.