Labour inspection audit

Technical Memorandum: the Philippines

The purpose of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the labour inspection system at both national and regional levels with a view to providing DOLE with recommendations to support the preparation of a performance improvement plan to reform, revitalize, and restructure as necessary, the entire labour inspection system.

This audit of the labour inspection system in the Philippines was conducted at the request of the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) through its Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC). The Bureau is the focal point of the nation’s labour inspection system and is responsible for the formulation and development of labour standards for working conditions and safety and health.

The audit and its follow up provide an opportunity for the Philippines to consider the ratification of various international standards to support the reform of its labour inspection system. The audit and its follow-up will also contribute to the outcomes of the ILO Decent Work Country Programme for the Philippines.

The audit process involved a series of interviews with key informants as well as a review of various documentation and legislation. Interview sessions were conducted with employer groups as well as individual employers, with trade unions and individual workers, and with government officials in DOLE headquarters, regional offices, as well as other government agencies

The audit report contains a number of important findings and recommendations for the consideration of government and the social partners, including the future of the Labour Standards Enforcement Framework (LSEF), the role of government agencies other than DOLE in the inspection system, the role of the private sector in labour inspection, the role of trade unions and employers’ organizations as well as workers and individual employers in inspection activities, the recruitment and training of inspectors, and the use of computer technology to support the work of labour inspectors.

The report also makes recommendations that extend beyond the labour inspection system itself. These include the need for a comprehensive labour protection policy that strikes a suitable balance between economic efficiency issues, on the one hand, and decent work issues on the other, and the need for revision and consolidation of labour laws.