ORIENTAL MINDORO – The Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Managers and their staff from the local government units in the province learned the salient provisions of Department Order (DO) No. 198, Series of 2018 during the DOLE and PESO 2nd quarter meeting in Bahay Tuklasan, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro on April 10-11, 2019. DO 198 is otherwise known as the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 11058 entitled “An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof.”

In her presentation, Ms. Mari-jo L. Cordova, DOLE staff, explained that the prescribed occupational safety and health (OSH) standards cover all establishments, projects and sites, and all other places where work is being undertaken in the private sector. The OSH requirements are more stringent under the new Rules and its application depends on the number of workers and on the level of danger or exposure to safety and health hazards in the workplace, whether low risk, medium risk or high risk. Any willful failure or refusal of an employer, contractor or subcontractor to comply with the OSH standards shall be penalized of administrative fines as follows:

Registration of establishment to DOLE ₱20,000.00
Provision of job safety instruction or orientation prior to work ₱20,000.00
Provide worker’s training (first aid, mandatory workers training, mandatory OSH training for safety officers and health personnel) ₱25,000.00
Provision of safety signage and devices ₱30,000.00
Provision of medical supplies, equipment and facilities ₱30,000.00
Submission of reportorial requirements as prescribed by OSH standards ₱30,000.00
Provision of safety officer and/or OH personnel ₱40,000.00
Provision of certified personnel or professionals required by OSH standards ₱40,000.00
Establishment of a safety and health committee ₱40,000.00
Formulation and implementation of a comprehensive safety and

health program

Provide information on hazards and risk (absence of chemical safety data sheet, no written SOP in materials handling, lifting etc., no permitting system for confined spaces/hot works, no lock-out/tag-out system etc.) ₱40,000.00
Provide sanitary and welfare facilities ₱40,000.00
Use of approved or certified devices and equipment for the task ₱50,000.00
Provision of PPE or charging of provided PPE to workers ₱50,000.00
Compliance with DOLE issued WSO ₱50,000.00
Compliance to other OSH standards ₱40,000.00

Understanding the importance of OSH in workplaces, the PESO Managers pledged to support DOLE in its advocacy towards safe and healthy working conditions for the workers in their respective localities. For this purpose, they signed up to attend the Basic Occupational Safety and Health (BOSH) training offered by the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) and be certified as Safety Officers.

To fully equip the PESO Managers with knowledge on labor standards, Engr. Juliana H. Ortega, DOLE Field Office Head, also presented the standards on wages and wage related benefits, and the mandatory social welfare benefits for the workers.

Immediately after the release of DO 198, DOLE Oriental Mindoro Field Office has launched a campaign to ensure compliance of establishments with OSH standards through labor inspection of establishments, orientation and distribution of information materials to different stakeholders. This is in fulfillment of Section 1 of the same DO providing that “the State shall protect every worker against injury, sickness or death through safe and healthful working conditions, thereby assuring the conservation of valuable manpower resources and the prevention of loss or damage to lives and properties consistent with national development goals, and with the State’s commitment to the total development of every worker as a complete human being.”

End/Mari-jo L. Cordova