DTI crafts inter-agency deal on workers’ safety

Published by rudy Date posted on May 25, 2011

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) inked an inter-agency memorandum of agreement (MoA) to strengthen coordination and linkages to promote the welfare of the construction workers and the growth of the construction industry.

Among the signatories of the agreement are the Departments of Labor and Employment (DoLE), Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

Consumer Welfare Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said recent accidents in construction sites call for a need for more safety awareness in the construction sites, strict implementation of the Contractor’s License Law and the monitoring of construction safety and health measures.

“The forging of the MoA intends to address these concerns as it aims to strengthen the inter-agency coordination and harmonize policies and programs to ensure safety and health of construction workers at the same time promote the advancement of the construction sector,” Maglaya added.

Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP) executive director Jesus Motoomull said an inter-agency action plan has been crafted to properly implement the said MoA, which include the review of existing agency requirements on the issuance of building permits by LGUs, contractors’ license by DTI, and approval of Construction Safety and Health Program (CSHP) of DoLE; the creation of an inter-agency task force; and the conduct of advocacy campaign and capability building programs of stakeholders.

The inter-agency MoA clearly defined the commitments and responsibilities of each agreeing agencies. Under the agreement, DTI-CIAP, through its Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB), is committed to embark on a program to instill a culture of safety and health among contractors, which includes the DoLE-approved Constructors Safety and Health Program. PCAB shall also furnish the DoLE-Bureau of Working Conditions the directory of licensed contractors as well as the list of those whose licenses have been revoked.

Moreover, DTI shall offer a one-day orientation and seminar on the hazards in construction work for prospective construction workers, through its Construction Manpower Development Foundation (CMDF).

On the other hand, the DPWH and DILG shall issue a directive to LGUs to include the submission of a DoLE-approved CSHP in the requirement for issuance of building permit, and for LGUs to ensure that only PCAB licensed contractors, subcontractors and specialty contractors will be issued with the permit.

Also, PRC, through its Professional Regulatory Boards shall conduct ocular inspections and monitoring of construction firms and projects, mechanical equipment and electrical installations, in coordination with DoLE.

Motoomull said the PCAB recently passed Board Resolution 144, series of 2011, requiring new authorized managing officers (AMOs), and applicants for change of AMO, and licensees applying for upgrading of license category to undergo the 40-hour Construction Safety and Health Seminar (CSHS) for site safety officer. With the implementation of the resolution, PCAB requires contractors to undergo safety training and appreciation course on safety and health as an additional requirement in the issuance of contractor’s license by the end of April 2011.”

“PCAB is also pushing for the strict implementation of DILG Memorandum Circular Nos. 2004-65 and 65A to ensure that only licensed contractors are allowed to operate,” Motoomull added.

The CIAP is an attached agency of DTI that regulates the operations of construction contracting in the country, promotes and accelerates the growth of the construction industry. CIAP, through PCAB, regulates the construction sector through contractor licensing, registration, classification, categorization and investigation and imposing sanctions against erring contractors in order to promote the safety and protect the interest of the general public from risks of dealing with unreliable and incompetent contractor. –Ayen Infante, Daily Tribune

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