By Leslie Ann Aquino
Only very few complaints have been received by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regarding how companies comply with health protocols.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III speaks during the ASEAN Labor Ministers' Retreat in Davao City. (Keith Bacongco)
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III also explained that they are still following a skeletal workforce setup, amid the prevailing community quarantine due to COVID-19.
"We received very few regarding the compliance with health protocols. First, we are still unable to inspect because we are still in skeletal workforce,” he said in a Malacañang press briefing on June 2, Tuesday.
Bello then explained the process once there’s a complaint.
“We give them a notice and require them to comply. We give them 15 days to comply. After that, if they still didn’t comply there will be an administrative penalty,” he said.
The Labor department earlier reminded employers to follow health protocols set in the interim guidelines on workplace prevention and control of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which they jointly issued with the Department of Trade and Industry.
Bello said all the things provided in the guidelines to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus in workplaces must be observed strictly for the safety of workers.
Released on May 1, among the responsibilities of employers included in the guidelines are: provide the necessary company policies for the prevention and control of COVID-I9 in consultation with workers; provide resources and materials needed to keep the workers healthy and the workplace safe such as masks etc; designate the safety officer to monitor COVID-19 prevention and control measures; enhance health insurance provision for workers; where feasible, provide shuttle services and or decent accommodation on near-site location to lessen travel and people movement; enjoin the hiring from the local community; and put up a COVID-l9 Hotline and Call Center for employees to report if symptomatic, and daily monitoring scheme of our “suspect” employee condition.