BALANGA CITY, Bataan – Some 70 safety practitioners from Bataan and other Central Luzon provinces recently participated in the first Regional Consultation for the Updating of the National Occupational Safety and Health Profile (NOSHP).
Jerry Borja, information officer of DOLE Region 3, reported that 50 companies operating within Central Luzon were represented in the said consultation held at the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLEs) regional office in San Fernando City, Pampanga.
DOLE Regional Director Atty. Ana Dione said that the consultation was initiated by the International Labor Organization (ILO), through the implementation of its SafeYouth@Work Project.
“This project, anchoring the slogan: “Building a Generation of Safety and Healthy Workers,” is a global project funded by the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) which focuses on improving national legislation, regulations, policies, and programs to better address the safety and health of young workers ranging from 15 – 24 years old,” Dione explained.
National Project Coordinator Katherine Brimon, who was formerly the DOLE Assistant Secretary for Employment and Policy, further expounded on the SafeYouth@Work Project’s role in the Philippines.
“In our country, the project’s scope of work is to provide technical assistance to the DOLE in updating the country’s action plan on OSH, particularly integrating issues or concerns young workers are confronted with and identifying strategies and programs to address them, thus, the need for our stakeholders to take active participation in the updating of the national OSH profile,” Brimon explained, adding:
“It is only fitting that this region’s safety practitioners, who comprise tripartite partners, industry, private and public sector, academe, professional, and non-government organizations, were invited to this consultation to share their personal experiences and get their inputs in helping us update the region’s OSH profile.”
DOLE Assistant Regional Director Geraldine Panlilio, in her welcome message, urged for a fruitful discussion towards contributing to the region’s share in the updating of the NOSHP.
“Our safety practitioners in Central Luzon play a significant role in contributing to the ILO’s goal of developing and updating the National OSH Profile and Action Plan, through the SafeYouth@Work Project, in order to raise awareness and importance of occupational safety and health to young workers,” Panlilio said.
OSHC Executive Director Engr. Noel Binag said that the OSHC published its first OSH Profile on September 2006–a basis used in developing the national OSH medium-term plan 2006-2010.
“This profile was a well-appreciated initiative of the country, but with new challenges faced in OSH implementation, it needs to be updated to better capture arising OSH issues and concerns, especially those pertaining to young workers,” Binag said, adding:
“The NOSHP 2017, which will cover the period from CY 2011 – 2018, will review how stakeholders are responding to the national OSH system and program and will analyze the OSH implementation at national, regional, and establishment levels.”
Dr. Dulce Estella-Gust, former OSHC Executive Director and current National Consultant for the ILO’s SafeYouth@Work Project, facilitated and moderated the consultation workshop process.
Safety practitioners were divided into 3 groups or sectors and tasked to gather key OSH issues, concerns, and gaps, helpful in updating the national OSH profile and action plan.
Group A focused on the discussion of emerging OSH Trends and Progress: OSH Information and Progress in National Action.
Group B, for its part, had a lengthy discussion on the Legal Framework on OSH and the National System and Network.
Group C, on the other hand, discussed and provided a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis and recommendations concerning Focus Sectors/Industries.
The Summary of Workshop Presentations for Central Luzon, along with those gathered from other select-areas, will be compiled by the OSHC in developing an updated National OSH Profile.
The Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC), along with the DOLE Regional Office No. 3, provided additional technical assistance and support during the said consultation.
Other similar regional consultations already set this coming September 2017 will include Metro Manila (Luzon), Cebu City (Visayas), and Davao City (Mindanao).