DOLE chief vows to run after corrupt officials

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A department-wide revamp is forthcoming at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to get rid of incompetent and corrupt officials who are coddling and protecting the interest of unscrupulous employers in exchange for bribe money.

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Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd disclosed on Sunday that “heads will roll” and administrative charges will be filed against erring labor inspectors and officials as part of the cleansing process, which will be implemented early next year.

Bello issued the warning in wake of reports that some labor inspectors have turned blind and deaf to rampant violations of labor and safety standards in workplaces.

“I will reorganize some of the people in the department, including labor inspectors,” he said.

“Aside from losing their jobs, inspectors will face administrative charges if found guilty of accepting bribes from employers,” the Labor secretary said.

Bello has also ordered a performance audit to validate all derogatory reports and information he received about some labor officials, particularly those performing quasi-judicial functions.

He, however, gave his assurance that all those who honestly and diligently perform their duties would remain but those with derogatory reports should go based on results of the validation process.

Reported violations include the current working states of salesladies in big malls and other establishments who are prohibited to sit down or take short breaks while on duty.

The Labor department is looking at abuses of various hospitals in the country where on-the-job trainees are being compelled to do regular jobs and do extended work despite their prescribed training hours without being paid.

The department has received reports that there are private hospitals that require nurses to pay before the latter are allowed to undergo training with and gain experience from them.

“This is a clear violation of labor standards… Hospitals should be screened properly by our labor inspectors,” an irate Bello said.

“For our inspectors to allow that is the highest form of incompetence and dishonesty,” he added.

Bello assured that the Labor department will continue to fight for the rights and protection of workers.

He urged the public to report or file a complaint at Hotline 1349 on erring labor officials for immediate action.

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