Press Releases
DOLE to Central Luzon employers: "Do not compel women wear high-heeled shoes at the workplace."
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO - “Please do not compel our women workers in wearing high-heeled shoes at the workplace.”
This statement, Assistant Regional Director Geraldine Panlilio of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), said to Central Luzon employers in a recent radio interview.
Panlilio, pitching in for Regional Director Atty. Ana Dione, was heard Wednesday morning over DWRW 95.1 FM’s radio program “Talakayan Ngayon,” hosted by Perry Pangan, Boy Santiago, and Albert Lacanlale.
Her message comes after Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III signed a department order heeding a labor union’s call to forbid employers from requiring women in wearing high-heeled shoes at work.
“Department Order (D.O.) No. 178-17, otherwise known as the ‘Safety and Health Measures Who by the Nature of their Work have to Stand at Work,’ signed by our Labor Secretary on August 25, aims to address prevailing occupational safety and health issues concerning the wearing of high-heeled female such as strain on lower limbs, aching muscles, hazardous pressure on hip, knee, ankle, and joints and sore feet, among others” Panlilio explained, adding:
“This D.O. covers workers, who by the nature of their work, have to stand long periods at work or are frequently required to walk such as retail and service employees, assembly line workers, teachers, and security personnel.”
The newly-signed D.O. makes the Philippines, the first country in Asia to ban the mandatory wearing of high-heeled shoes in the workplace.
Pangan, who leads hosting duties of the radio program, lauded the labor agency’s efforts and went on to further site other examples of occupations covered under D.O. to their listeners.  
“This is a very good move by the DOLE and it will indeed benefit workers, particularly women who are working in department or retail stores because they are the ones who are required to stand most of the time at their hours of duty such as sales clerks, promo-disers, and cosmetic sellers,” Pangan explained, adding:
“The new D.O. signed by Secretary Bello ensures that these workers will be allowed to use reasonable foot-wears that will be comfortable but not compromising their tasks at work.”
Panlilio, in addition, clarified that the D.O. also covers other industries which require long standing of work such as those in the manufacturing and services sector.
When asked on how the D.O. will be implemented and whether sanctions or penalties will be imposed to employers do not comply with the order, Panlilio had this to say:
“We will be advocating and implementing this newly-signed D.O. through our usual Joint-Assessments (JA) or through inspection visits based on complaints received from the public. We will give the opportunity and assistance to employers, who were found to be non-compliant, to correct their deficiencies through our remediation period,” Panlilio explained, adding:
“However, those who will ignore or continue to defy the D.O. will be issued an Order of Compliance by the Labor Department and will not be issued with other DOLE certificates or requirements needed for them to operate.”
Panlilio, who said that other sanctions or penalties have yet to be discussed between the Department and all concerned stakeholders, reiterated the DOLE’s call for employers to follow the order.
“We hope that our employers, regardless of industry, would abide by the D.O. and take appropriate control measures to ensure the safety and health of their workers who have prolonged hours of standing while working like providing them the necessary tools that would not affect their efficiency and the opportunity for them to take short rests as well,” Panlilio said.
The new D.O., according to Panlilio, shall take effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
The DOLE Regional Office No. 3 and its Field Offices shall inspect and monitor the proper implementation of this Department Order in establishments covered under its jurisdiction. 
To report any violations to this D.O., the DOLE can be reached through is 24/7 Hotline numbers-- 0925-8150214 or (045) 455-1619, email -- or Facebook account--DOLE Central Luzon.
END/Jerry Borja



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