CLARK FREEPORT -- The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) in Central Luzon in coordination with the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) held a region-wide organizational meeting among safety practitioners at the Yokohama Tires Philippines Incorporated (YTPI) here.

Dole Regional Director Ernesto Bihis said that the event, participated by partners like the Clark Development Council (CDC), Philippine College of Occupational Medicine (PCOM) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), aims to address the specific issues and concerns of both labor and management on Occupational Safety and Health.

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"Health and safety must be adopted in the plant level so as to increase productivity, Dole is looking forward onto a continuing partnership to achieve a safe workplace and healthy workers," Bihis added.

Meanwhile, OIC-executive director Dr. Ma. Teresesita Cucueco of OSHC expressed her message of looking towards working together with local partners, so that safety and health will not be just part of responding to issues but as well as a channel to grow from each other as safety practitioners. She likewise shared the successes of other OSH networks just like in Zambaonga, and Cordillera region among others.

The OSH Net as an umbrella organization would like to come up to enhancing the capabilities of its members, and to set-up training organization or to professionalize members.

The organization likewise aims to create an atmosphere of awareness, advocacies, linkages and support services on all OSH Programs and service undertaken by the Dole through OSHC to fulfill its Zero Accident Program (ZAP) objective.

Engr. Eduardo Dela Cruz, Chief for Technical Support and Services Division (TSSD) imparted the principles of the ZAP, one of the flagship programs of the Dole spearheaded by the OSHC.

"We need to foster on the realization of having an effective safety and health programs at the workplace and to showcase and institute an improved productivity and efficiency through the application of OSH 'best' practices and concepts, OSH Net will be a vehicle of achieving these," he said.

The event also highlighted the election of the OSH Network III.

The officials include Wilmer S. Facundo of YTPI, president; Dr. Jeanne Tiangha (PCOM), Vice-President; Bernadette Mangio (CDC), secretary-Dole, treasurer; Meriam Rose Martin (Nestle Philippines), auditor; Darwin P. Roque (San Miguel Yamamura Packaging Corporation), Edwin De Jesus(Texas Instruments)and Saturnino Espiritu, Napocor, Public Relations Officers. (Ian Ocampo Flora)