DOLE waives fee for mandatory occupational health and safety training

Marje Pelayo   •   February 1, 2021   •   431

MANILA, Philippines –  Starting this year, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will be offering the mandatory occupational health and safety training in workplaces and enterprises for free.

The new policy which was announced on Sunday (January 31) is pursuant to the directive of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to enhance workplace health and safety.

It also aims to ease the burden on micro, small and medium businesses amid the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Secretary Bello emphasized the need to ensure the health and safety of the workers and employees to boost productivity as the economy reopens gradually.

“We are waiving the training fees being charged to micro and small businesses. The workers in those enterprises have to be assured of their safety and health while at the workplace. This is a big factor to their productivity,” he said.

“This is also a form of assistance to our MSMEs being hardest hit by the restrictions due to the pandemic,” he added.

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) law or Republic Act 11058 makes it mandatory to designate and train safety officers in all business establishments, the number of which corresponds to the number of employees in enterprises. 

A fee of P5,500 per trainee is fixed by Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) for the safety training.

It was a requirement ordered by DOLE In March 2019 following the issuance of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the OSH Law released in January of the same year.

Under the guidelines, all establishments “are encouraged to immediately conduct mandatory workers’ OSH seminars for all workers/employees at no cost to the workers and attendance at such seminar shall be considered compensable working time.”

The OSH Law states that all workers are required to attend an eight-hour OSH seminar which should include a joint employer-employee orientation on safety and health standards.

Nearly 400,000 tourism workers receive P5,000 cash aid from DOLE

Marje Pelayo   •   April 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) approved the application of close to 400,000 tourism sector workers for the one-time P5,000 aid under the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).

As of April 11, the DOLE said 14,301 tourism establishments, organizations, and associations nationwide have applied for the financial aid on behalf of their employees which account for 370,434 beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, a total of 13,123 workers applied individually for the cash aid.

The awarding was led on Monday (April 12) by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat to select beneficiaries in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal in a virtual ceremony.

The Labor Chief encouraged tourism sector workers who were displaced by the pandemic “especially those affected by the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, including the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal to apply for the financial aid” being jointly implemented by the labor and tourism departments.

Of the assistance, P1.2 billion was already remitted to payment centers, while the remaining P719.2 million is awaiting disbursement.

More gov’t offices on lockdown due to COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   March 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The central office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Intramuros, Manila and the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) in Quezon City are on lockdown beginning Thursday (March 18).

Both offices are undergoing disinfection and cleaning activities as measures to curb transmission of COVID-19.

The lockdown will remain until Friday (March 19).

Meanwhile, DOLE offices in BF Condominium and its satellite branch in Antonino Building in Kalaw are also under lockdown after three employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Due to these circumstance, DOLE designated a skeletal workforce until Friday.

Meanwhile, all NAPOLCOM personnel opted to work from home while a receiving personnel will be assigned at the ground floor of the building to accept documents that needed immediate processing.

Normal operations in both government agencies are expected to resume on Monday (March 22).

DOLE orders bus disinfection before every trip

Marje Pelayo   •   March 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is requiring the disinfection of public buses on every trip to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections.

DOLE Assistant Secretary Maria Teresita Cucueco in a statement noted that buses are considered as an extension of the work place among transport workers like drivers and conductors.

“So we are also requiring good ventilation. The air should be diluted so if possible, windows should be opened for at least 15 seconds and there should be disinfection every trip,” she said.

Earlier, DOLE issued new guidelines on ventilation for indoor and outdoor workplaces to protect the public, especially workers, from COVID-19 transmission.

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