The labor department is suspending all labor inspection activities in December to focus on attending to all pending labor standards cases for the year and preparing the inspection program for 2023.
In Administrative Order No. 342, Series of 2022, Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma directed all DOLE regional directors to temporarily cease all labor inspection activities in their respective regions starting December 1.
Exempted from the suspension, however, are complaint inspections; Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) standards investigations; technical safety inspections, such as inspection of boilers, pressure vessels, and mechanical and electrical wiring installation; and other inspection activities as directed by the DOLE Secretary.
During the period of suspension, Laguesma encouraged the DOLE regional offices to conduct regional training activities, such as Level 1A: Basic Course for Labor Inspectors.
“This is to ensure that the labor inspectorate is updated with the latest issuances and are highly skilled and equipped to perform their duties in enforcing labor laws and OSH standards,” Laguesma said.
The DOLE Regional Directors are also tasked to ensure that all results of inspection activities are uploaded in the Labor Inspection–Management Information System (MIS) before the end of December, while the Regional MIS focal persons are directed to conduct an inventory of all mobile gadgets and data plan subscriptions used for inspection activities.
In preparation for the resumption of inspection activities next year, all DOLE regional directors are directed to submit the list of Labor Inspectors recommended for inclusion in the 2023 General Authority.
“Consistent with the minimum qualification standards, the labor inspector recommended for General Authority must be holding at least a permanent Labor and Employment Officer III plantilla position and must have attended and passed the 10-day basic training course for Labor Inspectors,” said Laguesma.
The labor inspector must also have a ‘very satisfactory’ performance rating for the last two rating periods and must have no pending administrative or criminal case, the labor chief added.
Personnel who have passed the Basic Training Course and have been previously issued with General Authority but were not included in the 2022 list may also be recommended for the 2023 inspection.
The conduct of routine inspections shall resume upon issuance of the 2023 General Authority for Labor Inspectors.
As of October 31, a total of 74,945 establishments were inspected by the DOLE labor inspectors.
The initial compliance rate is 78.08 percent on general labor standards, 53.96 percent on OSHS, and 94.49 percent on minimum wage.
After the inspected establishments have implemented the necessary corrections, the compliance rate is at 88.24 percent on general labor standards and 72.61 percent on OSHS.
Among the notable violations of general labor standards pertain to record-keeping, Pag-IBIG coverage and remittances, PhilHealth coverage, and SSS coverage.
Meanwhile, common violations of OSH include the absence of the first aider, safety officer/s, fire safety inspection certificate, registration of establishment, and formulation of the company OSH program.