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DOLE authorizes resumption of labor inspections

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has resumed its regime of labor inspections following an order giving authority to its personnel to renew the conduct of the department’s regular labor inspections on private establishments.

Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma recently signed Administrative Order No. 31-2023 authorizing DOLE personnel to conduct labor inspections starting February 1, 2023.

The department suspended labor inspections for the holidays as DOLE focused on wrapping up labor standard cases all over the country.

The new administrative order activates the department’s corps of inspectors which includes: labor inspectors (LIs), labor inspection auditors (LIAs), technical safety inspectors (TSIs), hearing officers (HOs), and sheriffs.

Each inspection unit, a system replicated down to the department’s regional and field offices, is provided with a “general authority,” a listing of the minimum qualifications and standards of deportment that qualifies an inspector to conduct an inspection.

For labor inspectors, authority is only provided to DOLE personnel who have passed the basic training course, at least have a rank of Labor and Employment Officer III (LEO III), and do not have pending administrative or criminal cases.

Technical Safety Inspectors are required to be registered professional engineers and holders of a Professional Regulation Commission license and the required safety inspection training.

For the conduct of mandatory conferences, only designated hearing officers are allowed to conduct hearings for inspections. The order also outlined the functions of sheriffs which traditionally includes the enforcement of writs, serving notices of garnishments, and executing final decisions.

The administrative order also authorized regional directors to issue their respective “authority” to their respective labor inspectors.

For this year, DOLE’s labor inspections on private establishments is expected to last up to December 31, 2023.

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