In line with the labor department’s advocacy on safe and healthy workplaces, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III called on both employers and workers to become occupational safety and health champions by formulating practical OSH programs at plant levels.
“The call to be OSH champions is timely as we endeavor to inculcate the culture of safety and health in the daily tasks of both workers and employers. I call on you, however, to go beyond one million OSH champions. We must promote OSH as a way of life for all Filipinos,” said Bello during the 16th National Occupational Safety and Health Congress at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
The labor chief noted that the number of those willing to partner with the government in ensuring the safety and health of workers is growing as demonstrated by the thousands of participants who attended the Congress.
To boost the government’s campaign against violations of OSH standards, Bello highlighted the passage of Republic Act 11058 or An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards.
“Our labor inspectors are under strict order to enforce our regulations. Stiff penalties shall be imposed upon employers who violate them. At the same time, however, we must help them comply with the regulations,” he also said, adding that the labor department is issuing the guidelines of the OSH law soon.
Attended by safety and health experts from different companies, professional groups, occupational safety and health networks (OSHNets), and workers’ unions, as well as government representatives, the NOSH Congress is a biennial activity spearheaded by the Occupational Safety and Health Center, an attached agency of the DOLE.
Since 1990, the Congress served as a venue to generate and exchange essential information on workplace safety and health.