• DOLE sets review of occupational safety standards

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    THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to upgrade occupational safety and health standards (OSHS) to ensure compliance with labor laws and issuances and other social legislations.

    The DOLE, through Acting Secretary Ciriaco A. Lagunzad 3rd, on Monday came out with Administrative Order (AO) No.21 creating a technical working group that will review existing OSHS in workplaces.

    The panel will also determine whether there are overlapping mandates among government agencies in relation to the enforcement of OSH standards and ultimately draft and recommend amended OSH standards.

    The OSHS was formulated in 1978 and revised in 1989. It was created in compliance with the constitutional mandate to safeguard workers’ social and economic well-being as well as their physical safety and health.

    “Part of our agenda is (to) ensure adherence to occupational safety and health standards. We, at the DOLE, are bound to protect and respect all rights at work as a precondition for promoting decent work,” Lagunzad said.

    The technical working group shall make an inventory of OSH standards and OSH-related issuances vis-à-vis international rules, regulations, and practices. It shall also conduct focus group discussions and tripartite island-wide consultations.

    The DOLE will continue to observe stricter implementation of the Labor Laws Compliance System (LLCS), specifically on monitoring the establishments’ compliance with mandated social benefits, specifically, SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig payments and remittances.

    Chaired by Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) Director Ma. Teresita S. Cucueco, the technical working group is composed of Occupational Safety and Health Center Executive Director Noel C. Binag, Employees’ Compensation Commission Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis, Institute for Labor Studies OIC-Executive Director Mary Grace Riguer, Bureau of Labor Relations Director Benjo Santos Benavidez, DOLE-National Capital Region Director Johnson G. Cañete, DOLE-Regional Office No. 3 Director Ana C. Dione, and DOLE-Regional Office No. 4A Director Ma. Zenaida Angara-Campita, as members. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL

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