DOLE assists small firms to increase compliance with safety, health norms

Published by rudy Date posted on January 18, 2021

by January 15, 2021, 2:37 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino, Manila Bulletin, 15 Jan 2021

Only 77 percent of the 72,000 establishments inspected last year were found compliant with occupational health and safety standards, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said Friday.

Labor Undersecretary Benjo Santos Benavidez said this means that some 23 percent are non-compliant.

He said, however, that the compliance rate later increased to 92% after said establishments were given technical assistance by the Labor department.

“Because of the technical assistance and advice that we give especially to small businesses…the compliance rate increased to 92 percent,” said Benavidez during the Laging Handa forum.

As to those firms who continue to be non-compliant, he said, they may be asked to pay penalties.

“We will not hesitate in imposing penalties if they insist on not following the health protocols,” said Benavidez.

The Labor official urged workers to report companies that refuse to comply to the health protocols versus COVID-19.

“Our lines are open for complaints and reports from the public regarding non-compliant companies,” Benavidez said.

The DOLE and Department of Trade and Industry issued Interim Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in April 30, 2020.

DOLE and DTI later issued a Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04, or the Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19.

Required under the guidelines are the use of face masks, physical distancing of at least one meter, recording of body temperature, disinfection and sanitation routine practices, and signages on safety measures are required, among others.

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