The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Iloilo City kicked off the first phase of its Project Labor Enforcement and Action Program (LEAP) recently targeting some 2,400 establishments in Western Visayas.
Project Leap is one of the initiatives of the DOLE to "intensify labor standards enforcement via a zonal approach to increase employers’ compliance with core labor standards and to protect workers’ rights."
This is in line with the thrust of the Aquino government to encourage better terms for the workers regarding cash benefits and to improve conditions in the workplace, Manuel C. Roldan of DOLE said.
With the project, DOLE hopes "to increase inspection among priority inspectionable establishments employing 10 to 199 workers."
Phase 1 of the two-phase project kicked off last week while Phase 2 will be on February to November 2011.
The highest number of establishments to be inspected under the first phase will come from Negros Occidental with 1,169 followed by Iloilo and Guimaras with 950; Aklan, 197; Capiz, 56; and Antique, 28 establishments.
The "inspectors will conduct inspection in a specific target area before moving to the next target area. This will enable them to inspect more establishments," Roldan said.
Project LEAP has identified security and manpower agencies, sub-contractors, cooperatives, manufacturing establishments, restaurants and fast food enterprises as priority establishments for inspection.
However, all inspectionable establishments will also be inspected as soon as the inspection of priority establishments are completed.
According to Roldan, the inspection will focus on the core labor standards and compliance with social welfare legislation.
Core labor standards refer to the minimum wage, ECOLA, 13th month pay, holiday pay, service incentive leave, overtime pay and night-shift differential.
The SSS, Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth and ECC coverage will also be inspected as these constitute said benefits for the workers.
Meanwhile, establishments which consistently comply with labor standards for the past three years will be given due recognition.
"Compliant establishments will be excluded from targeted establishments for inspection and they will be cited for consistent compliance with standards," Roldan added.
The DOLE data showed that there are around 3,136 inspectionable establishments in Western Visayas with Negros Occidental having the highest number at 1,708; Iloilo and Guimaras, 1,081; Aklan, 203; Capiz, 95; and Antique, 30 establishments. (PNA)
Aklan Organizes Blood Council.
To address the pressing need for blood and blood products in Aklan brought about by the rising cases of Dengue, the LGU Aklan, the Aklan Medical Society (AMS), the Provincial Health Office and the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH) just came together in a meeting. They organized the Aklan Blood Coordinating Council (ABCC).
The meeting was a result of Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez’ request to AMS through Dr. Cynthia dela Cruz to spearhead the organization of the ABCC through Administrative Order No. 2010-0002 for the establishment and operation of local blood council to support the implementation of the National Voluntary Blood Services Program for Blood Safety and Adequacy, Quality Care and Patient Safety.
Dr. Cynthia dela Cruz suggested that the body should form a TRIAD-like leaders for the ABCC such as the DOH-PHO, Philippine Red Cross and the AMS to serve and spearhead the council. She also suggested the drafting of a Memorandum of Agreement for all the members present to commit to help each other in the formulation and implementation of the ABCC.
The group elected Dr. Cynthia C. dela Cruz of AMS, President; Dr. Emma Cortes, PHO, Vice President; Megs Lunn, Toastmasters International, Secretary; Boy Ryan Zabal, Aklan Press Club President, Treasurer; Dr. Beatriz Diel, AMS, Assistant Secretary Treasurer; Chita Heap, Kool Earth, Press Relations Officer; and Dr. Albert Marin, DRSTMH Lab, Auditor.
The Board of Directors included Aklan Police Provincial Office Provincial Director Epifanio Bragais, Jr.; PA 601st CDC LTC Edgar I. Yerro; Dr. Oscar Hilario of AMS; Pete Ruiz of SEALS Rescue Aklan; and Mrs. Arcely Pelayo, PRC-Aklan Administrator. The Executive Committee is headed by the President. (from the report of Venus G. Villanueva)