On September 7, 2022, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) XI conferred the Unifrutti Tropical Philippines, Inc. (Unifrutti) with the Safety Seal Certification, one of the few banana companies in Davao Region to receive such. The certification was issued subsequent to the validation of its warehouse’s compliance with the minimum public health standards and other requirements of the Safety Seal Certification Program pursuant to DOLE-DOH-DILG-DOT-DTI Joint Memorandum Circular No. 21- 01.
The establishment’s safety seal journey started in 2021, setting its sights on integrating the company’s occupational safety and health programs to ensure the well-being of its workforce in the middle of a pandemic.
In a simple awarding ceremony in its main office in Panacan, Davao City, DOLE XI Assistant Regional Director Atty. Jason P. Balais officially presented the Safety Seal certification to Unifrutti President and CEO Alberto Bacani.
“DOLE is here to recognize the efforts of the men and women of Unifrutti to ensure health and safety in the workplace. This safety seal will bring confidence to the public and to the clientele of this establishment when they see this seal posted conspicuously in the premises of the establishment,” said ARD Balais. He also emphasized that Unifrutti has been a stable ally of DOLE in carrying out its programs and services for the people of Davao Region.
In his acceptance message, Mr. Bacani shared how the company eagerly applied for the Safety Seal certification as it has always been a vision to make sure that their workers are protected. “The last three years have really been a learning experience. We developed protocols and regulations conforming with the government standards. The fact that DOLE was able to validate these and confer us with this certification means a lot to us.”
Also present during the awarding ceremony were DOLE Technical Support and Services Division Chief Paul V. Cruz, Unifrutti Vice President John Jude Benito Rabat, AVP/HR-HS Head Alexander Solano, and other heads of offices of Unifrutti.
Unifrutti is one of the active members of the Banana Industry Tripartite Council in Davao Region. Said industry is an economically significant driver and key employment generator in the Philippines, particularly in the region.
As of this writing, DOLE XI was able to award safety seal certifications to a total of 51 establishments in Davao Region. Upon verification of DOLE XI Labor Inspectors, these establishments were compliant not only with the safety protocols imposed under the DOLE-DTI Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 but also with the General Labor Standards and Occupational Safety Health Standards.
The Safety Seal Certification is a voluntary certification scheme that affirms that an establishment is compliant with the minimum public health standards set by the government. The DOLE issues the Safety Seal for the manufacturing, construction sites, utilities (electric, water, gas, air conditioning supply, sewerage, waste management) information and communication companies (private publication, news, movie production, TV, and radio companies), and warehouses.