With the pandemic confronted by businesses and other industries across the region, a learning session on occupational safety and health was initiated by the Manila Field Office of the Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) through the leadership and effort of its Director, Ma. Corazon M. Pepito together with Supervising Labor & Employment Officer Ruby Socorro P. Daquigan and Labor & Employment Officer Ernest Mhel C. Aranda.

The members of the Education Industry Tripartite Council (EITC) and Manila Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (MTIPC) joined the webinar on DOLE-prescribed 10-hour Basic Occupational Safety and Health (BOSH) for Safety Officer 1 (SO1) on September 22 and 23, 2020 respectively.

Deputy Executive Director of Occupational Safety and Health Center, Engr. Jomar Batino was one of the resource persons during the said webinar. As he discussed the salient features of OSH legislations (e.g. DOLE Department Order No. 198-18) and administrative OSH requirements, he emphasized the importance of occupational safety and health especially during this time wherein businesses are operating amid pandemic. He also stressed that companies should always comply with OSH standards.

“We encourage everyone to observe compliance with the policies issued concerning occupational safety and health. Be reminded that when you refuse to comply with OSH standards, you will be penalized. Above that, our workers’ safety should also be prioritized,” said Engr. Batino.

OSH Practitioner Joshua Mar Melgar of FRReal Occupational Health and Safety (FRROHS) Training Services–one of the leading partner agencies of Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC), discussed relevant topics including the General Concepts on OSHGeneral Workplace Safety Hazards and Controls; and Emergency Preparedness and Capacity Building. Although conducted virtually, Melgar still managed to facilitate workshops and activities for the participants to ensure that everyone is getting the gist of the lectures.

“Companies are operating despite the threat of COVID-19 to the workers and we should put our workers’ health and safety first. With or without this pandemic, let’s treat our workers as an asset,” said Melgar.

The webinar concluded with hope that all participants will be certified as SO1 after the post-assessment activities. This initiative is one of the DOLE’s ways to promote labor education toward the promotion of harmonious and cooperative worker-employer relations.

END / Ernest Mhel Aranda