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BAGUIO CITY– Some restaurant and hotel owners in the city questioned the Cordillera Office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-CAR) for allegedly giving undue favor to a private safety training organization in the provision of basic occupational safety and health trainings for hotel and food industry.
Sources, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, disclosed that DOLE-CAR regional director Ronnie Exequiel Guzman allegedly endorsed the safety training proposal submitted to them by JJDC Occupational Safety and Health Consultancy for the aforesaid safety training for hotels and food industry despite the alleged presence of other safety training organizations providing similar trainings.
The source pointed out that the endorsement given out by the DOLE-CAR official is a clear violation of civil service rules and regulations because such endorsement is giving undue favor to a certain company despite the presence of other safety training organizations that could provide similar trainings for hotel and food industry.
Republic Act (RA) 11058 and its implementing rules and regulations which took effect on January 25, 2019 stated that all safety and health personnel shall undergo the mandatory orientation or training on occupational safety and health as prescribed by DOLE. Minimum prescribed training or orientation for all safety and health personnel – mandatory occupational safety and health applicable to the industry – advance or specialized occupational safety training course relevant to the industry.
Under the proposal of the said company being offered to hotel and restaurant owners together with the attached DOLE-CAR endorsement, the 5-day training for hotel and food industry has a course fee of P7,000 to cover the cost of the venue, food, training materials, taxes, professional fees, local taxes and the other administrative cost of the said training.
Director Guzman clarified that the endorsement that he issued is for the safety training module prepared by company and not for the JJDC itself conducting training as that is only recommendatory.
He added that while there are many safety training organizations providing occupational safety and health courses to the different businesses in the city, the safety trainings are focused on industry settings wherein the same is not reportedly applicable to the hotel and food industry, thus, the DOLE-CAR made a request to the company to come out with a module for specific industries such as hotel and food industry which they were able to do.
“We also made similar requests to the different safety training organizations to formulate safety training modules for specific industries such as hotel and food industry, transport, among others so that the safety officers of establishments will be provided with the appropriate trainings,” Director Guzman stressed.
The DOLE-CAR official claimed that one of the reasons for the occurrence of accidents in the workplaces is that the safety officers do not actually possess the right trainings thus DOLE-CAR requested concerned safety training organizations to craft the appropriate modules for specific industries for the training of concerned safety officers.
Guzman pointed out hotel and food industry owners could opt not to attend such safety training but they must ensure that there will be no accidents in their workplaces due to ill equipped safety officers.