SANTA ANA, Cagayan—The Department of Labor and Employment has declared the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority as labor-law compliant. The declaration assures some 3,155 workers of protection and benefits.
DoLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said Ceza is the latest among economic zones to be declared as labor-law compliant. Only six zones have been declared as such.
“The unveiling of markers is part of our continuing effort to foster a culture of voluntary compliance with all labor laws [and] to ensure that all labor laws that provide protection and benefits to our workers are implemented and carried out as part of a major reform in the department,” Baldoz said.
In 2014 and last year, the DoLE unveiled compliant zone markers at the Luisita Industrial Park in Tarlac, Cebu Light Industrial Park and Mactan Economic Zone II in Cebu, Baguio Export Processing Zone in Baguio City, and Phividec Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental.
Baldoz said there are 15 zone locators at Ceza which received their Certificates of Compliance from the DoLE in pursuit of the department’s objectives of the new Labor Law Compliance System.
The LLCS is a major reform program of the DoLE which seeks “to foster a culture of voluntary compliance among the country’s business establishments with all labor laws and occupational safety and health regulations, including anti-child labor laws.”
She said that the DoLE assists business establishments under the new LLCS and to show how the labor inspectorate has changed and shed the image of the DoLE as a “police officer” looking for violation.
“The new system is for the good of all business establishment and that we help facilitate in their compliance,” Baldoz said.
Ceza Administrator Jose Mari Ponce said he considered the unveiling of the compliant zone marker a “milestone.”
“It is historic because this is the first time that the Ceza is certified as a compliant zone for general labor and occupational safety and health standards. This is a tangible expression of Ceza’s commitment, support and belief, not only in the rule of law, but also in the protection of our workers in the eco-zone community,” Ponce said.
Located at the country’s northeastern tip, a strategic location for dynamic enterprise development, the Ceza is a government owned and controlled corporation created by virtue of Republic Act 7922, otherwise known as the “Cagayan Special Economic Zone Act of 1995.”
Ceza administers 54,118.95 hectares of land area, which encompasses the entire municipality of Santa Ana in Cagayan Province as well as Fuga, Barit and Mabbag islands in the municipality of Aparri.