DOLE resumes nationwide labor inspections

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DOLE resumes nationwide labor inspections
© Albert Calvelo/Senate PRIB Secretary Silvestre Bello III presents before the Finance Subcommittee J hybrid hearing Thursday,  October 1, 2020, the proposed 2021 budget of the Department of Labor and Employment which increased by 53.7 percent – from this year’s P17.9 billion to next year’s P27.5 billion. (Albert Calvelo/Senate PRIB)

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has ordered the resumption of nationwide labor inspections for the whole year after temporarily suspending it in December 2021, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Sunday.

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In a statement, DOLE said that through Administrative Order (AO) No. 11, Series of 2022 issued on January 19, labor inspections all over the country shall push through until the end of the year unless otherwise stated.

“Bello authorized the Department’s labor inspectors to conduct routine inspections, complaint inspection, occupational safety and health standards investigation, and special inspection in establishments until December 31, 2022, unless earlier revoked,” DOLE stated.

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The Department said that Bello tasked the DOLE Regional Directors to issue the corresponding authority to inspect and investigate specific establishments or workplaces.

Under the AO, over 600 labor inspectors were given authority to conduct labor inspection activities in establishments nationwide.

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There were 126 technical safety inspectors who were also permitted to conduct Technical Safety Inspection of boilers, pressure vessels, internal combustion engines, elevators, hoisting equipment, electrical wirings, and other mechanical equipment installation.

DOLE pointed out that technical safety inspectors registered as mechanical and electrical engineers are then directed to conduct initial review and evaluation of mechanical and electrical plans for the issuance of Permit to Operate for mechanical equipment and Certificate of Electrical Inspection for electrical wiring installations.

“Technical safety inspectors are labor inspectors who are also registered or professional engineers and have undergone Technical Safety Inspection Training,” DOLE said.

Further, Bello reiterated that only designated hearing officers can conduct mandatory conferences for inspections with noted violations.

There were 485 hearing officers authorized to do the task after the lapse of the correction period for violations of general labor standards, occupational safety and health standards, and contracting or subcontracting rules.

About 115 regional office personnel were also designated as sheriff to enforce issued writs of execution, implementation of decisions, and performance of final decisions and orders.

In December 2021, DOLE said Bello ordered all regional directors to temporarily cease all labor inspection activities in their respective regions to enable the Department to dispose of all pending labor standards cases and prepare the inspection program for 2022.

DOLE reported that a total of 90,327 establishments covering 3.7 million workers were inspected in 2021.

Meanwhile, only 1.62% of companies and establishments were inspected in 2020, which was attributed to the mobility restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to DOLE Undersecretary Benjo Benavidez. —LBG, GMA News

 

This article DOLE resumes nationwide labor inspections was originally published in GMA News Online.

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