MANILA A party-list lawmaker on Thursday called for a higher budget for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in 2019 to ensure the full implementation of the recently-signed Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) law.
Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus said it would be impossible for DOLE to conduct safety inspections across the country, as mandated by the OSH law, with only about 800 labor inspectors covering more than 900,000 establishments.
She made the call as the House appropriations committee conducted its deliberation on DOLE's PHP13-billion proposed budget for 2019.
The OSH Law aims to ensure a safe and healthful workplace for workers by affording them full protection against all hazards at work.
Under the law, DOLE or any authorized delegate shall conduct inspections and monitoring of compliance to occupational safety and health standards in all establishments in the country, including those inside special economic zones (SEZs) where workplace accidents usually occur but are covered up by companies.
"Kailangan ang karagdagang badyet para palakasin ang regulasyon nito sa mga kumpanya, lalo sa usapin ng kaligtasan ng mga mangggawa (Additional budget is needed to strengthen this regulation, especially in terms of ensuring the workers' safety)," de Jesus said.
"Otherwise, the intention of the law to enforce stricter compliance to OSH standards will be defeated," she added.
De Jesus said additional budget is also needed for mandatory OSH training, noting that part of the budget for the training is sourced from the Employees' Compensation Commission, which is financed by contributions from workers and employers.
"Walang regular na pondo ang gobyerno para rito (The government does not provide regular funding for this)," she said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency