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Bello: DOLE deployed 5,000 workplace inspectors amid COVID-19

The Labor Department has mobilized 5,000 workplace inspectors to ensure the occupational health and safety of Filipino workers as the country continues to reopen its economy sans the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine.

"Minobilize namin 'yung 5,000 inspector namin lalung-lalo na ang mga occupational health and safety inspector. Mayroon po tayong limang libo, naka-mobilize po iyan," Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said during the Laging Handa briefing on Friday.

He said these inspectors were deployed to check if employers are implementing the minimum health standards to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace.

"'Pag hindi po sumunod sa mga protocol, puwede naming i-recommend ang kanilang stoppage of operation," Bello warned.

So far, there are no establishments yet that was meted out with the said punishment, according to the Labor chief.

"In fairness naman kapag sinabihan namin sila na bawal ang ginagawa nila, sumusunod naman sila," he said.

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the government's COVID-19 response, revealed last month that workplaces are the most critical areas for COVID-19 infections as employees were supposedly not well-oriented yet with the minimum health protocols.

As of September 17, the Philippines has 276,289 COVID-19 cases—63,408 are active, 208,096 have recovered, and 4,785 died. — Dona Magsino/RSJ, GMA News