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Owner and contractor of a construction project in Apas, Cebu City fined by DOLE

Cebu City, Philippines. The incident that happened in Barangay Apas, Cebu City last Saturday leaving one worker killed and another one injured prompted the Department of Labor and Employment to impose a Php100, 000.00 fine against the owner and contractor of the construction project.

According to DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome O. Siaton, the fine will be on top of the financial assistance which the respondents willingly pledged to extend to the victims and their families during the mandatory conference held at the Regional Office early this week.

“We called the respondents to a mandatory conference last Monday after the work stoppage order was served at the project site on the same day. We have ordered them to pay a one-time penalty of Php100, 000.00 yesterday,” said Director Siaton.

She said Cebu Landmasters, Inc. and/or PLD Construction Development, Inc. could not resume with their excavation works unless they’re able to submit to the DOLE the following, namely: (1) Comprehensive Excavation Plan; (2) Job Hazard Analysis; and (3) Signature for the Soil Protection Design.

During the conference, respondents presented copy of the partial hospital billing for Abel Bautista, who was partially buried when the incident happened. “They also willingly extended financial assistance to the family of the late Romeo G. Maniwan amounting to Php22,000.00 and groceries worth more than Php14,000.00. Despite what happened, we appreciated it that the respondents committed to shoulder the hospital expenses of Bautista and the funeral expenses for Maniwan,” said the Regional Head.

It can be recalled that both were trying to finish tying the rebars that served as the footing of the Tower 4 building at the construction site when the excavated area suddenly caved in.

“Since the excavated area was already 5 meters deep, there should have been some soil protection installed. Upon the conduct of our Occupational Safety and Health Investigation at the site, our inspectors found out that their excavation methodology was not properly implemented,” she explained.

She cautioned all companies to abide by the law and be guided by what are considered prohibited acts and their corresponding penalties. Any failure or refusal of an employer, contractor or subcontractor to comply with the OSH Standards shall be deemed willful when done voluntarily, deliberately and intentionally.

The following are the administrative fines under Department Order No. 198, Series of 2018 or the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. No. 11058 Entitled “An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof.”

According to DOLE Tri-City Field Office Head, Director Emmanuel Y. Ferrer, Cebu Landmasters, Inc. and/or PLD Construction Development, Inc. will have to submit to DOLE a letter requesting for the resumption of work on the affected area where soil protection must be installed to avoid the same incident happening again. “This is, of course, provided that all corrections to the violations observed have been put in place,” he continued.

The order of lifting the stoppage order can only be issued once the respondents are done showing proof of corrections demonstrating compliance to the Health and Safety Standards at the project site.

While the work stoppage order is in effect, respondents shall pay their employees all the monetary benefits which they are entitled to for the duration of said stoppage order.

 

 End//LSenarlo-Taniza

 

For more information on this report, you may contact Luchel SenarloTaniza, Regional Labor Communication Officer at telefax number (032) 266-2792 or you may send an email at dole_centralvisayas@yahoo.com.

 

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2021-05-26
SALOME O. SIATON
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