After the onslaught of strong typhoons in the country, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) called on government agencies to immediately establish or strengthen their emergency preparedness to protect government workers from hazards brought by disasters.
“Sadly, there are government workers who get caught in the middle of a disaster, calamity, or emergency while on official duty,” said CSC Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala.
In May this year, the CSC, with the Department of Health and Department of Labor and Employment, signed Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 1, s. 2020 that aims to institutionalize Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) standards in government workplaces.
Among the requirements for government agencies is to establish a Risk Reduction Management System and a Crisis Management Plan and Contingency Program to mitigate the effects of emergencies and improve their response capacity. In establishing these emergency response systems, agencies must include and consider emergency occurrences such as, but not limited to, earthquakes, typhoons, floods, fires, emergence of infectious diseases, occupational-related accidents, among others.
“A well-crafted Risk Management System, Crisis Management Plan and Contingency Program can help agencies to analyze and address potential risks in times of disasters or emergencies to ensure safety and provide appropriate assistance/interventions for their employees,” added the CSC Chairperson.
The JMC also mandates agencies to conduct trainings and drills on disaster risk reduction and management for employees; ensure that emergency supplies such as fire extinguishers and first aid kits, among others, are adequate and available at all times; a first aider trained and duly certified or accredited by the Philippine Red Cross or by any authorized organization qualified shall administer first-aid during emergencies; and enter into a Memorandum of Understanding/Agreement with the nearest government health facility that can provide emergency medical services in case of accidents or injuries.
Agencies should have their own OSH Program, create a Safety and Health Committee and/or a Special Investigation Committee, and appoint or designate a Safety Health Officer, to ensure their compliance with OSH Standards and the promotion and effective implementation of OSH in their workplaces.
CSC-DOH-DOLE Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1, s. 2020 was published 7 May 2020 in a newspaper of general circulation and took effect on 22 May 2020. The complete text of the policy can be accessed on the CSC website at www.csc.gov.ph.