DOLE suspends routine labor inspections during Christmas holidays


Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz. FILE PHOTO/Jay Morales/Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA—To avoid “temptations” that may turn the gift-giving season into a form of corruption, the Department of Labor and Employment on Friday suspended routine labor inspections from December 1 to January 14, 2013.

Routine inspection activities intended to ensure labor standards are met in work places such as factories will resume on January 15, 2013.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz signed and issued Administrative Order No. 406, Series of 2012, directing all DOLE regional directors to suspend all labor inspection activities in their areas, including the conduct of training and advisory visits (TAVs) and self-assessment (SA) activities.

“Inspection is suspended to avoid and minimize any activity that might lead to the abuse by the labor inspector of his inspection power during the Christmas holidays, such as soliciting gifts, or other forms of graft and corruption,” Baldoz said.

However, Baldoz said three types of activities are not covered by the suspension order.

These are the investigation of labor standards complaints which shall, in all cases, be speedily disposed of; technical safety inspection (for example, inspection of boilers, pressure vessels, mechanical, and electrical installation); and urgent inspections/TAVs that may be called for because of compelling circumstances.

In the case of the third activity, the Regional Office concerned must first seek the approval of the labor secretary before any such inspection/TAV activity may be conducted.

The moratorium on routine inspection does not mean, however, a “break” for the department’s labor inspectors.

Baldoz said the suspension will enable labor inspectors to dispose of pending labor standards cases and prepare for the implementation of the department’s labor enforcement program for the following year.

Priorities for inspection in 2013 shall be business process outsourcing establishments and call centers; construction sites; contractors and sub-contractors with expired registration or are not registered; security, janitorial, and manpower agencies; establishments employing minors; shipbuilding and ship repair; bus transport; establishments engaged in the so-called ‘5-5-5′ practice; and hazardous and highly-hazardous establishments.

Baldoz said inspection of domestic ships/vessels shall also be included as a priority for inspection, pending the issuance of the rules and regulations governing the employment and working conditions of domestic seafarers.

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