Safety and health should be primary concerns in any workplace. The viability of an economy rests on the productivity of its workers. Productivity entails an environment that nurtures workers and ensures their safety. Poor conditions can result to illness, injury, and death.

Book IV of the Labor Code of the Philippines outlines the rules governing health, safety and social welfare benefits. It also sets guidelines on fines and penalties. Chapters I and II of Title I specifically addresses medical and dental services, as well as occupational safety and health (OSH). Most of the responsibility of setting standards is in the hands of the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

The Labor Code has a provision on research and training to promote OSH. In this regard, Executive Order No. 37 was issued in 1987, creating the Occupational Safety and Health Center as a research and training unit to develop OSH policies that are effective, responsive, and sustainable.

The OSH provisions of the Labor Code can be seen as tilted in favor of defining the different work-related injuries or casualties and assigning corresponding benefits for workers and responsibilities for employers. The institutionalization of an OSH program appears to be in need of details. Thus, to effectively promote the welfare of workers, a comprehensive OSH policy is needed. This would minimize work-related casualties and develop a safety- and health-oriented workplace for the benefit of both employers and workers.

Related House Bills:

House Bills 64 (Nograles, K. et al.)


Approved by the House on 2016-12-13, transmitted to the Senate on 2016-12-14 and received by the Senate on 2016-12-14; House designated members for the Conference Committee on 2017-05-29


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