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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Warning: Beware of Fake Labor Inspectors

Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) Regional Director Raymundo G. Agravante forewarns employers in Metro Manila of the modus operandi of “pseudo” labor inspectors who ride the tide of project LEAP to extort money from companies found with violations on core labor standards.

DOLE implements Project Labor Enforcement and Action Program (LEAP) to achieve a 70 percent target in employer’s compliance with the minimum wage and other labor standards. Project LEAP is an intensive inspection program that uses a zonal approach in spot checking establishments employing 10-199 workers.

For three weeks now, DOLE-NCR is inspecting establishments in the Metro Manila to find out if companies are complying with core labor standards and impose corrective measures for violators in line with the labor and employment agenda of Pres. Benigno Simeom C. Aquino III.

“Our Labor Inspectors are issued with a corresponding DOLE ID, the Project LEAP ID and brings with them the duly signed Inspection Authority as they perform their duty. Very soon, employers can also check at the DOLE-NCR website the names and pictures of inspectors involved in Project LEAP so they can avoid fake individuals pretending to be Labor Inspectors who extort money from them. We are in the process of refining some technicalities in the posting of their pictures in the website to effect transparency in inspection,” said Director Agravante.

While awaiting for the web postings, employers can call the DOLE-NCR Technical Support and Service Division on Labor Relations and Labor Standards (TSSD-LRLS) at telephone number 339-2017 or the Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) at telephone number 527-3000 local 307 to 308 to check the identity of Labor Inspectors who visit their establishments.

Currently, there are 56 labor inspectors visiting different establishments in the cities of Makati and Pasay, the inspection team will move from one district to another in the succeeding months. The DOLE-NCR Inspectorate is augmented by labor inspectors coming from other regions like Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 1, Region V and from the Bureau of Working Conditions.

More than 6,000 establishments in Metro Manila will be subject for inspection until the end of November 2010. Labor Inspectors will verify employers compliance as to; minimum wage, 13th month pay, holiday, premium, overtime and night differential pay, leave and other benefits like SSS, Pag-ibig and Philhealth contributions. Firms found with violations will be issued with a Compliance Order and a labor standards case will be filed in the event the employer fails to correct them.

During the first two weeks of Project LEAP in Makati and Pasay, there were 1,001 establishments inspected out of the 1,100 target or a 91% accomplishment rate. Three hundred fifty four (354) were found with Labor Standards violations, six hundred forty seven (647) were Labor Standards compliant, and thirteen (13) establishments complied with plant level corrections, which brings the compliance rate to 65.93%.

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