The province of Oriental Mindoro is bestowed with ample and unique natural scenic beauty from white sand beaches to soothing falls to wide stretches of coral reefs. These attractions captivate both local and foreign tourists making the province, particularly the town of Puerto Galera, a much sought after eco-tourism destination in the world. With this, hotels, restaurants, and other tourism related businesses have been established and continue to operate in the province contributing greatly to the economic growth of the province and creating more jobs for the residents.
While many opportunities lie ahead in the tourism industry, various challenges are confronting the business sector with bearing on labor relations, on workplace issues, and on global competitiveness. In addressing these challenges and in bringing about a sustainable tourism clientele primarily aimed at achieving economic stability, ecological sustainability and social equity, the Tourism Industry Tripartite Council (TITC) was created to serve as communication channel and mechanism for undertaking joint programs among the tripartite sectors-the employers, the workers, and the government.
Cognizant of this and consistent with the country’s goal of making tourism a major socio-economic activity to generate foreign currency and employment, the members of the TITC formulate this Voluntary Code of Good Practices (VCGP) where statements of commitment to engage in good practices are reflected. TITC commits to support and adhere to this Code and to become responsible in ensuring that this be implemented in the workplace.
The adoption of the VCGP is geared towards achieving sustained tourism gains in the province providing long term employment and social and other monetary benefits to the tripartite sectors composed of the employers, the workers, and the government.
Specifically, the VCGP aims to:
1. Ensure compliance with applicable labor standards and social welfare benefits;
2. Protect workers’ safety and health;
3. Improve business productivity;
4. Enhance labor management relations; and
5. Strengthen tripartism.
VCGP STATEMENTS OF COMMITMENT
1. COMPLIANCE ON LABOR STANDARDS AND SOCIAL WELFARE BENEFITS
We shall provide our employees wages and wage-related benefits in accordance with general labor standards;
We shall provide our employees full coverage in social welfare benefits such as SSS, Philhealth and PAG-IBIG upon start of employment, and shall deliver the employer-employee shares to payment agencies not later than the required date of remittance;
We shall ensure the workers’ right to security of tenure and comply with the requirements of substantive and procedural due process in cases of termination of employment;
2. PROTECTION OF WORKERS AGAINST WORK-RELATED ACCIDENT AND SICKNESS
We shall acquire and enhance knowledge on the Basic Occupational Safety and Health Standards through attendance in the DOLE’s Labor Education Program;
We shall provide the employees with complete applicable personal protective equipment and ensure that they are properly trained in using them;
We shall have at least one personnel trained as first aider and to have first aid medicines readily available to all workers;
We shall provide fire protecting equipment, emergency exits, and other facilities in compliance with the government’s Occupational Safety and Health Programs;
We shall advocate and strongly implement programs such as child-free workplace, drug-free policy, zero accident, HIV-AIDS free, TB free and anti-sexual harassment rules inside the workplace;
We shall participate in disaster management drills introduced by local government such as fire and earthquake drills;
3. IMPROVED WORKERS’ PRODUCTIVITY
We shall take advantage of the government agencies’ skills trainings and seminars toward enhancing workers’ productivity and competitiveness;
We shall adopt the appropriate productivity tools and techniques inside the workplace such as those introduced by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB);
We shall recognize the exemplary performance and loyalty of the employees through the practice of promotion system, salary upgrading, non-monetary award system or, if it is within reasonable means of the employer, monetary incentives;
4. ENHANCED LABOR MANAGEMENT RELATIONS
We shall promote harmonious work relations by providing suitable venue for dialogues and meetings between management and workers;
We shall use the immediate remedy of conciliation mediation approaches and grievance settlement mechanisms to resolve work related issues and conflicts;
We shall take advantage of the continuing labor management education program of the DOLE to enhance human relations in the workplace;
5. STRENGTHENED TRIPARTISM
We shall continue to be active members of the TITC and to participate regularly on TITC activities such as general assembly and social dialogue;
We shall exercise our right to participate to policy and decision making processes affecting our rights and benefits as may be provided by law such as wage consultation, public hearings, and others;
We shall strengthen our collaboration and cooperation with the tripartite sectors particularly with the government sector to keep abreast on latest laws and issuances and for the consistent implementation of this code;
We shall continue to recognize the importance of TITC as vehicle for social dialogues between and among stakeholders in the tourism industry, addressing issues and concerns, conducting policy review and consultations and capability trainings and seminars to upgrade the social awareness of its members.
In the accomplishment of VCGP objectives, the following strategies have to be employed:
1. Regular and strong coordination with the partners in the local government and national agencies
2. Continuing Labor-Management Education
3. Conduct of skills and productivity enhancement trainings
4. Formulation and implementation of respective Company Code of Conduct and Discipline
5. Adoption of effective plant level mechanisms to promote harmonious labor-management relations
6. Improvement of organizational communication system towards success of social dialogues and participation to tripartism.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) acts as partner in the advocacy on labor standards including social welfare benefits, occupational safety and health standards, labor management relations, and other related laws and issuances toward compliance of establishments on standards and maintenance of industrial peace in the tourism industry;
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) acts as partner in the conduct of skills enhancement trainings and skills assessment for a globally competitive workforce in the tourism industry;
The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) acts as partner in the conduct of service quality trainings, in the advocacy on productivity improvement programs and on wage fixing;
The National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) acts as partner in the institutionalization of conciliation-mediation approach toward grievance and dispute settlement;
The Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHILHEALTH), and PAG-IBIG act as partner in the advocacy and implementation of social welfare benefits;
The Provincial Tourism Office acts as partner that provides administrative services and general supervision over the organization, operation, business and activities of all stakeholders pertaining to continuous tourism promotion in the province.
The Local Government of Puerto Galera through the Municipal Tourism Office acts as partner in the tourism management and supervision, through the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in the facilitation of employment, through the Fire Department in the implementation of safety and health programs, and through the Environment and Natural Resources Office in the maintenance of ecological balance.
Toward the success of this Code, we shall develop a monitoring tool to keep track of development on voluntary compliance of establishments on commitments. We also agree to continue in the upgrading of Code provisions so as to keep its dynamism and relevance in the tourism industry.
We, members of the TITC, extend our full support to achieve this VOLUNTARY CODE OF GOOD PRACTICES IN THE TOURISM INDUSTRY.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have hereunto affixed our signatures signifying our commitment to comply with this Code, this 28th day of September 2012 in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines.
Dir. Zenaida Eusebia A. Angara
DOLE 4B Regional Director
Engr. Juliana H. Ortega
DOLE Or. Mindoro Field Officer
Vice Chairperson for Management
Dr. Juliet Mendoza
Vice Chairperson for Labor
Mr. Carlos Merin
Bella Grace Maliksi
PRO for Management
PRO for Labor