System and Human Resources for Occupational Health in the Republic of the Philippines: Management of Occupational Health Activities at Overseas Workplaces for Japanese Enterprises

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Objectives: This study aimed to consider the appropriate occupational health system for Japanese enterprises in the Philippines based on information on the regulations and development of specialists.

Methods: We collected information using an information-gathering checklist. Along with literature and internet surveys, we conducted interviews by visiting local business sites, central government agencies in charge of medical and health issues, and educational institutions with specialized occupational physician training curricula.

Results: Occupational health administration in the Philippines is managed by the Department of Labor and Employment, which issues the Occupational Safety and Health Standards that specify the legal requirements for occupational health. A new law(Republic Act 11058),enacted in 2018 to strengthen the Occupational Safety and Health Standards, has newly established a penalty provision in case of violations. Professional personnel responsible for occupational health are grouped as safety officers and occupational health personnel, including occupational physicians and occupational nurses; training is conducted at the Occupational Safety and Health Center of the Department of Labor and Employment and educational institutions. The basic medical insurance system and the workers' compensation system are operated by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and Social Security Committee, respectively, both of which are government agencies.

Conclusions: We confirmed that occupational health activities in the Philippines are based on government regulations, namely, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards. In addition, the enactment of a new law calls for strict compliance with corporate occupational health activities. To manage proper occupational health activities at overseas workplaces, Japanese corporations should clarify corporate-wide policies and support local employers in complying with regulations and utilizing highly specialized personnel.