Relative to the approval and issuance of the new OSH Law which just took effect on the 24th day of January 2019, Romblon Field Office conducted a one-day orientation on Republic Act No. 11058 and DOLE latest issuances cum Provincial Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (PTIPC) and Industry Tripartite Council (ITC) reactivation held at DOBS Events Place, Tabing-dagat, Odiongan, Romblon on March 28, 2019.

The orientation was attended by a total of 143 participants representing the 128 establishments in the province. Mr. Carlo B. Villaflores, Field Office Head of Romblon FO, gave strong emphasis on the high level of compliance of all establishments not only in the General Labor Standards but as well as on the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Standards. This is to prevent the employers from penalties of non-compliance to labor laws. To promote compliance, Mr. Villaflores committed to hold an orientation to employers in the islands of Romblon, Romblon and Sibuyan. Engr. Melanie P. Banayos, Supervising LEO from Bureau of Working Conditions presented the Department Order No. 198-18: 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”. Prior to the discussion, participants were assessed on the level of their compliance by accomplishing the OSH checklist indicators. Participants were informed on the needed compliance under the new law. At the end of the discussion, Engr. Banayos assisted the participants on how to prepare the Occupational Health Program applicable to their respective workplaces. This will enable each participant to come up with OSH Program as one of the compliance required under Sec. 12 of DO 198-18.

Discussion on Wage Order No. RB-MIMAROPA-09 and Department Order No. 126-13: Revised Guidelines on the Conduct of Facility Evaluation followed and presented by Mr. Romeo E. Opis, Board Secretary VI of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board. An issue rose where there is an arrangement wherein the employer provides the meals and lodging of the employees that has been a long practice in the province. It was also addressed during the discussion of facility evaluation wherein greatly helped the employers in understanding the policy. And to provide the participants with new issuances on labor laws, Mr. Philip D. Ruga, TSSD Chief of DOLE MIMAROPA Region, discussed the Department Order No. 195-18: Rule Amending Section 10 of Rule VIII of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code on Wage Deduction and Department Order No. 170-17: Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 10911 otherwise known as “Anti-Age Discrimination in the Workplace. Participants were enlightened that age is not an issue anymore in the employment sector for as long as the applicant/employee is competent to perform the work. Participants also understood the distinction between the legal from illegal deductions being applied by employers.

On the last part of the activity, Romblon’s PTIPC convened and presided by Mr. Villaflores. The PTIPC was able to reorganize its officers since the Vice-Chairman for Employers and Vice-Chairman for Employees were already inactive, resolved to elect new set of officers. The new set of officers will hold its meeting the soonest time possible to formulate plans and activities to strengthen tripartism in the province.

End/Sarah Jane B. Ferranco