June 17, 2024

Labor Sec. Silvestre H. Bello III has issued Administrative Order 11, s. 2022 authorizing the resumption of nationwide labor inspections after temporarily suspending it in December to ensure compliance with labor laws.
The order has authorized the department’s labor inspectors to conduct routine and complaint inspections, occupational safety and health standards investigation, and special inspection in establishments until Dec. 31.
With the issuance of the order, DOLE regional directors were tasked to issue the corresponding authority to inspect and investigate specific establishments or workplaces. There are more than 600 labor inspectors authorized to conduct labor inspection activities in establishments nationwide and 126 technical safety inspectors to conduct technical safety inspection of boilers, pressure vessels, internal combustion engines, elevators, hoisting equipment, electrical wirings, and mechanical equipment installation.
Technical safety inspectors who are registered mechanical and electrical engineers are also directed to conduct initial review and evaluation of mechanical and electrical plans for the issuance of permit to operate for mechanical equipment and certificate of electrical inspection for electrical wiring installations.
For the understanding of a non-technical person like myself, the technical safety inspector is someone who is a registered or professional engineer and has undergone technical safety inspection trainings.
In the same order, for the case of the DOLE-Cordillera Director Nathaniel Lacambra has authorized hearing officers tasked to conduct mandatory conferences after the lapse of correction for violations of general labor standards, occupational safety and health standards and contracting and subcontracting by establishment and in workplaces.
There are also regional office personnel designated as sheriff who will take charge in the enforcement of issued writs of execution, implementation of decisions, and performance of final decisions and orders.
Directives by the DOLE secretary contained in AO 14, s. 2022 has mandated foreign nationals labor inspectors (FNLI) to validate alien employment permits (AEP), verify the company’s legitimacy, and monitor the establishment’s compliance with Joint Memorandum Order (JMC) 20-04A or the Department of Trade and Industry and DOLE supplemental guidelines on workplace prevention and control of the Covid-19, and also inspect the list of AEP applicants, the list of foreign nationals working at the time of verification, and the roster of local employees.
In the regional offices, FNLI are authorized by the regional directors to conduct inspection related activities in establishments employing foreign nationals, conduct validation of AEP, monitoring in line with the implementation of Department Order 221, s. 2021 or the Revised Rules and Regulations for the Issuance of Employment Permits of Foreign Nationals, the visitorial and enforcement power under Article 128 of the Labor Code and the JMC 20-04A.
During the verification inspection, the FNLI will verify the legitimacy of the company (business permit, Securities and Exchange Commission registration, operating or not); list of AEP applicants, if any (to be certified by the company representative that they are indeed hiring them); list of foreign nationals actually working at the time of verification and the roster of local employees.
An AEP is a document issued by DOLE which authorizes a foreign national to work in the Philippines.It covers all foreign nationals who intend to engage in gainful employment in the Philippines, foreign professionals who are allowed to practice their profession in the Philippines pursuant to Section 7 (j) of the Professional Regulation Commission Modernization Act of 2000; holders of Special Investors Resident Visa, Special Retirees Resident Visa, Treaty Traders Visa (9d) or Special Non-Immigrant Visa (47(a)2) for as long as they occupy any executive, advisory, or technical position in any establishment.
Exempted are members of the diplomatic services and foreign government officials accredited by the Philippine government; officers and staff of international organizations of which the Philippine government is a cooperating member; all foreign nationals granted exemption by special laws and all other laws that maybe promulgated by Congress.
For the complete list of those exempted from securing AEP; requirements for AEP application; grounds for denial, suspension or revocation of AEP, among others, visit www.ble.dole.gov.ph or visit www.car.dole.ph.