DOLE and AFAB’s partnership towards becoming an LS Compliant Zone
AFAB, Mariveles, Bataan – With efforts to become the first Freeport Zone in the Philippines to be hailed as a Labor Standard Compliant Zone, the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), in partnership and guidance of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office No. 3, through its Bataan Field Office, recently concluded an orientation on the Labor Standard Compliant Program, held at the auditorium of the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB).
DOLE Regional Director Raymundo G. Agravante reported to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz that 90 representatives from 50 different locators of the said Freeport zone, comprising human resource practitioners, union officers and members, management representatives, as well representatives from different government agencies such as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), PhilHealth, Social Security System (SSS), and local government units, attended the said orientation which covers the topic on the DOLE’s Incentivising Compliance Program and the Kapatiran WISE-TAV Program.
AFAB Chairman, Atty. Deogracias Custodio, told company representatives present during the orientation that the AFAB is working closely with the DOLE in sustaining and maintaining industrial peace in the FAB with the end goal of attracting more investments which will generate more employment opportunities.
“One of our priorities this year is the idea of the AFAB becoming the first Labor Standard Compliant Zone in the country. With the help and support of the DOLE, we will be able to change the industrial relations climate of this Freeport Zone, which was known then for its various labor and union disputes by transforming it to an industrial relations friendly environment. This would mean more investments and employment opportunities for our jobseekers, not only in here the province, but the rest of the region as well,” said Custodio. Assistant Regional Director Geraldine Panlilio, for the DOLE’s part, said that the DOLE will exert all efforts in ensuring that the AFAB’s dream of being a labor standard compliant zone will become a reality.
“We are slowly veering away from regulations by partnering with labor and management groups, together with our AFAB key officials, on a more developmental approach, through our programs such as the Voluntary Code of Good Practices (VCGP) and Kapatiran WISE-TAV, in ensuring compliance to labor standards and occupational safety and health standards,” said Panlilio.
Yolanda Bugay, Supervising Labor and Employment Officer of the DOLE’s Technical Support and Services Division, presented an overview of the DOLE’s Incentivising Compliance Program, otherwise known as the Tripartite Certification Compliance with Labor Standards (TCCLS).
According to Bugay, TCCLS is a newly created award by the DOLE that will be given to establishments, through nomination, which are found to be compliant with general labor standards (GLS), occupational safety and health standards (OSH), and child labor law.
Bugay also noted that establishments here at the FAB can be nominated in the said program through the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) the Regional Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC), or through direct application to the DOLE Regional Office or DOLE Field Offices, where establishment is operating.
A Tripartite Certification Committee (TCC), which composes the Labor Secretary Labor/Regional Director, employee, and labor sector representative, will act as the compliance auditor and body that will ensure the integrity of the certification process and awarding system.
A certified establishment, according to Bugay, is entitled to the following incentives:
1. Shall qualify for the Labor Secretary’s Award and Tripartite Seal of Excellence. 2. Access to DOLE technical assistance and services. 3. Entitle to use the TCCLS in promotional activities and advertisements of its products and services. 4. Included in the DOLE’s priority mailing list.
Aside from the TCCLS, Bugay also presented an overview of the KAPATIRAN WISE-TAV: Para sa Mas Ligtas, Malusog at Produktibong Manggagawa, also known as the “Big Brother – Small Brother Concept,” which fosters the Filipino culture of brotherhood, is the DOLE’s flagship tripartite partnership program anchored on the International Labour Organization's (ILOs) Work Improvement in Small Enterprises (WISE), which is proven to link productivity and product quality to a safer and healthier workplace. DOLE Bataan Field Office head Leilani Reynoso, meanwhile, facilitated the workshop and action planning exercises where participants were made to identify issues and gaps, which include wage benefits and other socials benefits, faced by labor and management among locators, service providers, and security agencies here at the FAB.
As a result, both the DOLE and AFAB committed to partner in the future conduct of series of seminars which will include topics on General Labor Standards, Occupational Safety and Health, Special Leave for the Magna Carta for Women, and D.O. 18-A or otherwise known as the rules and guidelines in the implementation of labor contracting, among others. Company representatives, on their part, expressed their full support on the DOLE and AFABs initiative to become a labor standard complaint zone. They likewise clamored for the proper implementation and tightened monitoring of the said program in pursuit of attaining global competitiveness.
END/J. Miranda-Borja with reporting from Domingo Jimenez and Akbar Tumale