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The Institute for Labor Studies’ researcher Bernard Mangulabnan completed his paper titled “Proposing an Inter-Agency Cooperation Framework for the Conduct of Special Assessment Visits of the Department of Labor and Employment.”

The DOLE Special Assessment Visit of Establishment (SAVE) is one of the modalities that can be undertaken by the Labor Secretary to pursue the provisions of Article 128 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended. In basic terms, Article 128 articulates the visitorial and enforcement powers of DOLE Secretary or his duly authorized representatives to: (a) visit establishments “at any time of the day or night whenever work is being undertaken” and to have full access to employers’ records of their workers; and (b) assess their compliance with the prevailing minimum labor and occupational safety and health (OSH) standards, and issue compliance or work stoppage orders, whichever is applicable, based on the findings of labor laws compliance officers made in the course of their inspection.

Mr. Mangulabnan noted that although there is already a directive from the Office of the Labor Secretary to include a research framework in SAVE, there is no precedence in which a research has been tied up with SAVE. He also observed that before the issuance of A.O. 486, the ILS is not a regular member of the SAVE team, and most SAVEs in the past were undertaken without any clear and explicit role of research in the process of crafting policy recommendations to the Secretary. Activities in the current SAVE framework cover mostly the labor laws assessment and compliance side, and a convergence with an ILS research is yet to be determined. He viewed A.O. 486 as an opportunity for ILS to expand its research support mechanisms, of bridging policy research and practice, as well as to promote a culture of research with other DOLE agencies. The Institute recognizes that this is part of the broader agenda of evidence-based policy making by the Secretary and his concern for enhanced accountability and better guidance for policy decisions.

The paper will be presented during the 5th DOLE Research Conference, organized by the ILS, which continues to serve as a venue for researchers to highlight their research findings in contribution to evidence-based decision making across the Department.

The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) is the policy research and advocacy arm of the Department of Labor and Employment. For more information on this story, please contact the Advocacy and Publications Division at 527-3490.