More than half a million people will be employed in various infrastructure projects for the year 2014.
The Department of Public Works and Highways estimated that 536,523 local labor will be created under the Community-Based Employment Program (CBEP), a priority program of President Benigno Aquino III’s administration, providing short-term employment to skilled, semi-skilled, and low-skilled workers in the community.
To further intensify the local job creation, DPWH reiterated call to private contractors on strict enforcement of the Republic Act (RA) No. 6685, an act requiring private contractors to hire at least fifty percent (50%) of the unskilled and thirty percent (30%) of the skilled labor requirements from the available bona fide residents in which the projects are to be taken.
DPWH Secretary Rogelio S. Singson warned noncompliant contractors of penalties, stressing a possible permanent disqualification from public bidding, with the DPWH, tasked to monitor the implementation of RA 6685.
stressed that under RA 6685 private contractors, including subcontractors, must hire according to the required percentage of local labor, based on the maximum number of locally available labor resources, certified by the municipal, city, provincial or district engineer.
Contractors are also required for the posting of job notices in visible areas to be specified and designated by proper district, provincial, city or municipal authorities. They are likewise responsible to submit to the district, provincial or city engineer, a certificate of compliance with the number of laborers employed among the local residents where the project is located.
Under Section 6 of RA 6685, contractors, defying the Act shall be penalized with either: twenty thousand pesos (P20,000) fine for the first offense; one (1) year suspension from participating in public works bidding for the second offense; and perpetual disqualification from participating in public works bidding for the third offense.
The Act applies to private contractors, including subcontractors, to whom awards are made for the undertaking of national and local public works like roads and bridges projects that are funded by either the National Government or any local government unit, including foreign-assisted projects.
Exempted under this law are scientific project of a highly technical nature, all defense and military installations which fall under security requirements, as well as any public works project that may be assigned to and which can be undertaken by the engineering battalions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.