The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region (DENR-NCR) was awarded with an ISO 45001:2018 certification for incorporating occupational health and safety management systems in its operations.

This is the third ISO certification earned by the DENR-NCR under the leadership of Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan, said Assistant Regional Director for Management Al O. Orolfo on Monday, December 27.

Caancan said the triple ISO certification is proof of the DENR-NCR's commitment to improve its service to the public.

"Our continuing effort to create a safe and healthy working environment, to improve the quality of our service, and to institute eco-friendly practices in the office, will all redound to the benefit of the people," Caancan said.

ISO 45001:2018 is the world’s international standard for occupational health and safety, issued to protect employees and visitors from work-related accidents and diseases.

The DENR-NCR first received its ISO Certification on Quality Management System or ISO 9001:2015 and Environmental Management System or ISO 14001:2015 in December 2019.

In 2021, the regional office was able to pass the audit of NQA Global Certification Body—one of the leading independent providers of environmental simulation testing, inspection, and ISO certification—for the Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OSHSMS).

The DENR-NCR Management Team decided to pursue the OSHSMS certification to beef up its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We immediately realized that the 'new normal' working conditions are creating a lot of stress to our employees and clients alike," Caancan said.

"Improving on and instituting more responsive health and safety standards in our workplace, one that is attuned to and cognizant of new hazards brought about by the threat of coronavirus infection, helps address this issue," she added.

Caancan also said that the institutionalization of OSHSMS is in line with Republic Act No. 11058 or the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Act of 2017.

She noted that RA 11058 requires employers to comply with occupational safety and health standards and to provide their workers information on all types of hazards in the workplace and respect their right to refuse unsafe work.

"The law also requires the provision of health and safety facilities in the workplace, including a medical staff that would oversee the implementation of the health and wellness program of the office. All of these requirements, including the establishment of a clinic and hiring of medical staff, have now been complied," she said.

The OSHSMS certification is also in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 8.8, which calls for the protection of labor rights and the promotion of safe and secure working environments for all workers.

It also complements the implementation of the World Health Organization-supported Occupational Health and Safety Sector Plan under the National Environmental Health Action Plan of 2017-2022.

Following the announcement, Caancan expressed her gratitude to the management team and employees of the DENR-NCR for supporting the endeavor.

"This is truly an amazing feat, considering that we’ve managed to retain our certification for Quality and Environmental Management System and, on top of that, Occupational Health and Safety Management System, during the pandemic," Caancan said.

DENR-NCR Assistant Regional Directors Ignacio R. Almira Jr., (Technical Services) and Martin Jose Despi (Special Concerns) also extended their praise and gratitude to the team led by OIC Planning and Management Division Chief Albina L. Pineda.

The DENR-NCR is the first DENR office to receive ISO certification for incorporating OSHSMS in its operations, and to obtain QEMS certification. ###