A solar panel assembly plant, a farmers' cooperative, and a registered mechanical engineer were hailed as champions of occupational safety and health (OSH) during the 10th Gawad Kaligtasan at Kalusugan (GKK) National Awards Ceremony at the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) in Quezon City. "Safety and health is non-negotiable for all workers in all workplaces," said Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III in his message, delivered on his behalf by Employees' Compensation Commission (ECC) Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis. OSHC Executive Director Ma. Teresita Cucueco emphasized how the agency has expanded its reach in advocating for occupational safety and health as manifested by the huge number of entries received this year and the inclusion of two new categories-micro/informal sector and government sector. She added that for the first time, the two-tiered scheme was adopted wherein the winners underwent a stringent process at the regional and the national level. Out of the 288 entries received by the OSHC, the highest number of entries received since the competition's launch in 1997, three emerged as grand winners of the 10th GKK: Sunpower Philippines Manufacturing Ltd.-Module Manufacturing (Region 4A) for the Industry Category; BAGNOS Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Region 1) for the Micro/Informal Sector Category; and Engineer Oliver Z. Abelgas (Region 7) for the Individual Category. Cucueco said that aside from the three grand winners, the 22 finalists of this year's GKK were also recognized for their outstanding OSH practices. They were classified as Gold, Silver, or Bronze awardees. The GKK Gold Awardees are Knowles Electronics Philippines Corporation (Region 7), Maynilad Water Services Inc. La Mesa Treatment Plant 2 (National Capital Region), Petron Corporation-Legazpi Depot (Region 5), Petron Corporation-Nasipit Depot (CARAGA), and ROHM Electronics Philippines Inc. (Region 4-A) for the Industry Category; and Engineer Hollis G. Fernandez (Cordillera Administrative Region) and Engineer Conrado P. Soriano (NCR) for the Individual Category. On the other hand, the GKK Silver Awardees are Maynilad Water Services Inc. Central Warehouse, Novaliches, Quezon City (NCR), Maynilad Water Services Inc. Fairview-Commonwealth Business Area (NCR), Panay Power Corporation (Region 6), Philippine Geothermal Production Company Inc., (Region 9), SN Aboitiz Power Ambuklao (CAR), SN Aboitiz Power Binga (CAR), and Texas Instruments Philippines Inc. (CAR) for the Industry Category; Dr. Florentino P. Alerta II (Region 6), Joseph B. Macaranas (Region 6), and Anselmo M. Puse Jr. RN (Region 5) for theIndividual Category; and McNester Food Products for the Micro/Informal Sector Category. Lastly, the GKK Bronze Awardees are Petron Corporation-Tagoloan Depot (Region 10), and Therma Marine Inc. (Region 9) for the Industry Category; Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the Government Sector Category; and Pure Ever Drinking Water Refilling Station for the Micro/Informal Sector Category. Director Cucueco said that Philippine representative/s to the 2018 Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Occupational Safety and Health Network (ASEAN-OSHNET) awards in Cambodia will be chosen among this year's GKK national winners. "I would like to express my profound gratitude to all of you for inspiring us with your outstanding safety and health policies and programs. This encourages us to continue collaborating with different industries in integrating safety and health to each and every work process," said Director Cucueco. The GKK is a national award given by the DOLE in recognition of the outstanding achievements of establishments and individuals in terms of responding to the safety and health needs of workers, workplaces, and the community. This biennial award aims to encourage institutions or companies to voluntarily implement their own safety, health, and environment programs, and in the process achieve productivity and zero accident in the workplace and be a benchmark for others in their respective industries. The GKK is open to public and private establishments, from small to large scale enterprises with certificates of compliance issued by the DOLE's regional offices, individuals with outstanding OSH contributions or innovations, and micro or informal sector enterprises with innovative OSH practices.
Source: Philippine Information Agency