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DOLE urged to stop inspections of firms

FORMER Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) undersecretary Josephus Birondo Jimenez has requested the government to stop inspection of business establishments to revive the once strong economy.

Jimenez said that because of the lockdowns to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, several firms are facing bankruptcy and have even trimmed down the number of employees to survive.

He said that it is sad to note that DOLE inspectors will go there and put findings of violations and impose fines from P200,000 to P300,000.

“We should have moratorium this time because of abnormal market movement and the economy suffered negative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for all the four quarters of 2020,” Jimenez said.

He said he has nothing personal in his comments in radio and newspapers especially that DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III, DOLE 7 Director Salome Siaton and DOLE 7 Assistant Regional Director Lilia Estillore are his friends.

He added that while some business establishments are now open, they have less or no sales at all because the people have no money to buy and millions of workers lost their jobs. Some people whose savings are depleted can hardly pay the rental of their houses.

“While we are on abnormal times and we are on crisis, we should not run after micro, small and medium enterprises because they strive to pay payroll obligation. They even have problem where to get money to pay taxes. If DOLE will run after them and impose big fines, the more that their business will collapse,” Jimenez said.

He said the government must even help the business sector because the businessmen are the ones employing people and paying taxes which are the bloodline of the government. It seems that with the wrong timing in running after businesses for labor law violations, the government is adding problem to the economic sector.

If there are violations, the employees will go to DOLE and complain, not that DOLE inspectors will advise the employees to sign complaints against their employers. ELIAS O. BAQUERO