BAGUIO CITY– The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the region and the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) have started the information education caravan to promote compliance with the newly-signed law on occupational safety and health standards, an official said on Tuesday.

“This is a public information campaign for the whole region to raise awareness and promote companies’ compliance to the implementing rules and regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Law,” said DOLE Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Regional Director Exequiel Ronie Guzman in a press conference.

Republic Act (RA) 11058 or “An Act strengthening compliance with occupational safety and health standards” was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on Aug. 17, 2018.

Coinciding with the press conference was an orientation attended by company owners and members of the management on the implementing rules and regulations of the law.

Guzman said the law provides for penalties in cases of violations.

“If the employers, contractors, sub-contractors violate this law they will be penalized with PHP100,000 for every day that they will not correct and comply with the rules,” he said.

He said the count on the number of days the company is in violation starts from the day the employer is notified or when DOLE issues an order to comply.

He said the DOLE will be tapping the local government units (LGUs) and other stakeholders in the region to inform sectors about their health and safety rights as employees.

“We want to ensure a safer workplace for our employees because it is their right regardless of the industry they are in,” he said.

The law states that workers have the right to be informed about safety hazards in the workplace. They have the right to refuse unsafe work, right to report accidents, and right to be provided personal protective equipment at the expense of the company.

Aside from having these rights, with the passage of RA 11058, employees have the right to know the content of the law stating their rights and the employees are mandated to inform such rights to the employees.

Guzman said Baguio has registered a 97-percent compliance rate to the labor laws, memorandum and circulars issued by the department.

“Business establishments and other companies here in the city are very compliant especially if they are informed,” Guzman said.

He added that they will be giving attention in providing information to the construction industry due to its high susceptibility and risk to accidents and exposure to health problems.

END/with reports from  By Pamela Mariz Geminiano, PNA