BALANGA CITY, BAtaan – “Please do not compel our women workers in wearing high-heeled shoes at the workplace.”
Thus, said Assistant Regional Director Geraldine Panlilio of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE Central Luzon) to Central Luzon employers pertaining to DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III’s recently signed department order heeding a labor union’s call to forbid employers from requiring women in wearing high-heeled shoes at work.
“Department Order (D.O.) No. 178-17, otherwise known as the ‘Safety and Health Measures Who by the Nature of their Work have to Stand at Work,’ was signed by the Labor Secretary last August 25. It aims to address prevailing occupational safety and health issues concerning the wearing of high-heeled female such as strain on lower limbs, aching muscles, hazardous pressure on hip, knee, ankle, and joints and sore feet, among others” Panlilio explained, adding:
“This D.O. covers workers, who by the nature of their work, have to stand long periods at work or are frequently required to walk such as retail and service employees, assembly line workers, teachers, and security personnel.”
Jerry Borja told 1Bataan.com that the newly-signed D.O. makes the Philippines the first country in Asia to ban the mandatory wearing of high-heeled shoes in the workplace.
Panlilio, in addition, clarified that the D.O. also covers other industries which require long standing of work such as those in the manufacturing and services sector.
When asked on how the D.O. will be implemented and whether sanctions or penalties will be imposed to employers who do not comply with the order, Panlilio had this to say:
“We will be advocating and implementing this newly-signed D.O. through our usual Joint-Assessments (JA) or through inspection visits based on complaints received from the public. We will give the opportunity and assistance to employers, who were found to be non-compliant, to correct their deficiencies through our remediation period,” Panlilio explained, adding:
“However, those who will ignore or continue to defy the D.O. will be issued an Order of Compliance by the Labor Department and will not be issued with other DOLE certificates or requirements needed for them to operate.”
Panlilio, who said that other sanctions or penalties have yet to be discussed between the Department and all concerned stakeholders, reiterated the DOLE’s call for employers to follow the order.
“We hope that our employers, regardless of industry, would abide by the D.O. and take appropriate control measures to ensure the safety and health of their workers who have prolonged hours of standing while working like providing them the necessary tools that would not affect their efficiency and the opportunity for them to take short rests as well,” Panlilio said.
The new D.O., according to Panlilio, shall take effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
The DOLE Regional Office No. 3 and its Field Offices shall inspect and monitor the proper implementation of this Department Order in establishments covered under its jurisdiction.
Workers who want to report any violations to this D.O., the DOLE can be reached through their 24/7 Hotline numbers– 0925-8150214 or (045) 455-1619, Email – email@example.com or Facebook account–DOLE Central Luzon.