Labour inspection

Executive course on Strategic Compliance Planning

Under the Rural Sectors Project, the ILO and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) have collaborated and convened Regional Directors for an executive course to develop Strategic Compliance Plans for the labour inspectorate to better protect vulnerable workers.

Together with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the International Labour Organization (ILO) held an executive course on Strategic Compliance Planning for Regional Directors. The course helped DOLE regional offices create Strategic Compliance Plans that address the root causes of non-compliance and build compliance drivers.

The Executive Course was made possible through the Improving Workers’ Rights in the Rural Sectors of the Indo Pacific, with a Focus on Women (ILO Rural Sectors Project), which is funded by the United States Department of Labor (USDOL).

The course aimed at supporting DOLE develop practical strategies to better protect vulnerable workers, particularly in regionally dominant industries, based on the following specific objectives:
  • to enhance the capacity of DOLE Regional and Programme Managers of the labour inspection programme in developing and implementing Strategic Compliance Programmes incorporating a varied mix of interventions addressing drivers of compliance and non compliance, as well as the ILO’s labour standards and guidelines on labour inspection;
  • to reinforce knowledge of the participants on the legal and technical aspects of the visitorial and enforcement power; and
  • to generate regional inputs and recommendations on priority rules, regulations, and guidelines to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the visitorial and enforcement power, particularly DO 183-17 ( on labour inspection) and DO 198-18 ( Implementing Rules of the OSH Law).
Strategic Compliance Planning (SCP) is an ILO-promoted methodology that enables labour inspectorates formulate, sequence and operationalize broader thinking and action, that will help labour inspectorates attain the goal of sustained compliance.

Exploration of the labour inspectorate's mandate, resources, and enforcement and compliance data, strategic identification of issues and setting of targets, identification of drivers of compliance and non-compliance, exploration of stakeholders, and various modes of intervention to address drivers of compliance and non-compliance, such as labour inspection, are needed.

In terms of interventions, the Strategic Compliance Planning approach encourages a combination of actions from communications, political and systemic to complement labour inspection activities.

Director Khalid Hassan of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines in his statement said, "While DOLE has made progress in labour inspectorate reforms, there are still sectors and categories of workers facing serious decent work deficits, such as rural workers linked to big businesses’ supply chains, women workers, young and elderly workers, informal sector workers and those in ambiguous employment relationships".

DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma acknowledged the ILO’s message and recognized that "beyond enforcement, there must be more positive results rather than insisting on compliance. We (in DOLE) will avail of technical advisory visits (TAV), in addition to labour inspection and OSH investigation to reinforce our labour standards enforcement mechanisms”.

DOLE anticipates that TAV will further complement the goals of ILO interventions, including those under the ILO Rural Sectors Project, in promoting improved labour laws compliance, occupational safety and health and gender equality in rural sectors.

The executive course brought together all DOLE Regional Directors and regional focal points of the labour inspection programme in all of the country’s 16 administrative regions, including those coming from the target regions and areas of the Project – region V (Camarines Norte), XI (Davao), XII (General Santos) and XIII (Surigao del Norte).

Involvement of DOLE regional directors are critical due to their field experience and overall technical supervision role on labour inspectorate planning, target setting and reporting. Labour inspection focals are also critical since they serve as programme managers of the labour inspection programme of DOLE in the region responsible for monitoring and reporting.