DOLE halts labor inspections to settle pending cases


To settle pending standards cases and prepare the inspection program for 2022, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has suspended all inspection activities this month.

In Administrative Order No. 269, series of 2021, Secretary Silvestre Bello III directed all DOLE regional directors to temporarily cease all labor inspection activities starting December 1, according to a news release on Sunday.

Exempted from the suspension of inspection are Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Covid-19 Monitoring, including those under the Department of Trade and Industry; complaint inspections; OSH standards investigations; technical safety inspections, such as inspection of boilers, pressure vessels, and mechanical and electrical wiring installation; and inspection of any establishment or industry as directed by the agency.

Such activities shall be conducted in strict observance of minimum public health standards.

DOLE regional directors must ensure that all results of inspection activities are uploaded to the Management Information System before the end of the year.

In preparation for the resumption of inspection activities, regional directors are also directed to submit the list of inspectors recommended for inclusion in the 2022 General Authority and foreign inspectors recommended for issuance of the 2022 travel order.

“Consistent with the minimum qualification standards, the labor inspector recommended for General Authority must be holding at least a permanent Labor and Employment Officer III plantilla position and must have attended and passed the 10-day basic training course for labor inspectors,” Bello stated.

The labor inspector must also have a “very satisfactory” performance rating for the last two periods and must have no pending administrative or criminal case.

Personnel who passed the Basic Training course and have been previously issued with General Authority but were not included in the 2021 list may also be recommended.

The conduct of routine inspections shall resume upon issuance of the 2022 General Authority for Labor Inspectors.

As of October 31, a total of 56,332 establishments were inspected by DOLE.

The initial compliance rate was at 84.18 percent on general labor standards, 57.93 percent on OSHS, and 95.81 percent on minimum wage.

After the inspected establishments have implemented the necessary corrections, the compliance rate rose to 90.47 percent on general labor standards and 67.01 percent on OSHS.

Among the notable violations on general labor standards pertain to record-keeping, Pag-IBIG (Home Development Mutual Fund) coverage, and remittances to Pag-IBIG, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Social Security System.

Common violations on OSH include the absence of the first aider, safety officer/s, fire safety inspection certificate, registration of establishment, and annual medical report.

Source: Philippines News Agency