justice for Kentex workers, blames partial privatization of labor
May 15, 2015
CITY – Partial privatization of labor inspection, weak certification
process and the endemic problem of corruption down to the local levels
have consigned workers to precarious working conditions, including
unnecessary deaths and accidents, the labor coalition Nagkaisa said in
The statement was issued in reaction to the statements made by the
lawyer of Kentex Corp. and the labor department that the company has
been compliant with safety standards.
Also this morning, members of Nagkaisa such as the Bukluran ng
Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Sentro ng Nakakaisang Manggagawa (Sentro),
Partido Manggagawa (PM), and the Trade Union Congress of the
Philippines (TUCP) offered flowers as an expression of sympathy and
solidarity for the dead workers at the Kentex factory in Valenzuela
In a protest rally held afterwards, labor groups reiterated their call
that aside from compensation, criminal liabilities be exacted among
the perpetrators of this terrible crime, including the violation of
other labor standards at Kentex.
According to Nagkaisa convenor Josua Mata, the relaxation of labor
inspection through “self-assessment” under DOLE’s Department Order No.
57-04 has rendered toothless the supposedly tough safety standards
required in workplaces.
The conduct of self-assessment, according to Mata, is voluntary and is
based from a labor standard checklist conducted by representatives of
employers and workers.
“This partial privatization of labor inspection promoted evasion
rather than voluntary compliance, while self-assessment conducted by
the management in generally non-unionized workplace simply won’t
work,” said Mata.
This self-assessment, according to TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay, is
followed by a weaker compliance certification process under the
jurisdiction of DOLE’s regional offices.
On his part, Partido Manggagawa (PM) chair Renato Magtubo noted that
the DOLE’s “Labor Laws Compliance System” (LLCS) inaugurated in 2013
and the hike in the number of labor inspectors to almost 600 is still
not working. An audit by the International Labor Organization in 2009
revealed that with only 193 labor inspectors to inspect 784,000
companies, an establishment gets inspected only once every 16 years.
“A big loophole in the so-called LLCS is the focus on ‘voluntary
compliance’ and ‘self-assessment’ by employers. Voluntary compliance
and self-assessment means that the government is asking the wolf to
guard the sheep. No wonder the sheep get slaughtered,” Magtubo
BMP President Leody De Guzman averred that endemic corruption at all
levels aggravates the problem of compliance.
“Regulatory capture has always been the antidote to strict compliance
to regulation in this country,” said De Guzman.