The Bureau of Labor Relations is currently conducting a series of joint Tripartite Executive Committee (TEC) and Technical Working Group (TWG) meetings to draft the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (R.A.) 11058 entitled “An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof”.
The ongoing consultations have been ongoing since October and is expected to extend up to December. .
The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), as one of the representatives under the TEC and TWG, has been actively participating in the consultations.
Since the OSH Act ensures that the provisions of the Labor Code, domestic laws and internationally recognized standards on occupational safety and health are being fully complied with by employers, ECOP is guided by three (3) fundamental issues which it believes must be fully considered in the IRR, as follows:
(1) Applicability to micro and small enterprises– ECOP submits that considering the disparity between the workers employed in micro and small compared to the medium and large, a different standard should be applicable to the MSEs.
(2) As to the penalties for non-compliance – ECOP has been consistently stating the constitutional provision that “No excessive fines should be imposed”. As such, the imposable penalties indicated under the IRR should comply with this constitutional provision.
(3) As to the application and enforcement of the penalties – ECOP reiterates time and again that before each penalty is imposed, due process must be followed. Due process is a fundamental right of every individual which is recognized internationally under customary international law. In the absence of due process, the imposition of a penalty shall be void and without legal effect.