Press Releases
DOLE to check bunkhouses

 

Cebu City, Philippines.  Bunkhouses or buildings offering basic sleeping accommodation for workers particularly for construction, will be checked by the Department of Labor and Employment, said Regional Labor and Employment Director Cyril L. Ticao. 

In a statement, Director Ticao confirmed that the DOLE’s labor inspectors would be checking the bunkhouses of construction sites to determine whether those comply with safety standards or not. 

“Most certainly, we would be sending our labor inspectors to various construction sites and this time, we would be checking not only the safety compliance insofar as the construction project is concerned but also the sleeping quarters provided to the workers,” he said. 

He recalled the incident involving the bunkhouse, which was constructed and used by JE Abraham C. Lee Construction and Development Incorporated killing five (5) and wounding fifty-five (55) others after it collapsed earlier this month. 

The incident, he added, was a glaring negligence of safety standards, saying that the structure, as a sleeping quarter, did not pass the prescribed safety requirements. 

“That bunkhouse was very uncomfortable for the workers. They could not stand once inside and all they could do was either sit or lie down. The fact that it collapsed sent a clear message that it was never suitable as a sleeping quarter, to begin with,” he said. 

All temporary structures, bunkhouse or not, he added, should be properly supported necessary for stability. 

Department Order No. 13, Series of 1998 or the Guidelines Governing Occupational Safety and Health in the Construction Industry provides that employers are to provide workers the following to ensure humane working conditions: (a) Adequate supply of safe drinking water; (b) Adequate sanitary and washing facilities; (c) Suitable living accommodation for workers, and as maybe applicable, for their families; and (d) Separate sanitary, washing and sleeping facilities for men and women workers. 

The DOLE-7 Head underscored the importance of observing suitable living conditions that must be afforded to workers and the same was emphasized during the General Membership Meeting (GMM) called immediately for the Industry Tripartite Council in Construction (ITC-Construction). 

The meeting held on 12 March 2018 in response to the incident gathered more than 100 participants including Mr. Petrious P. Dakay, Cebu Contractors Association (CCA) President. 

Director Ticao urged ITC-Construction to play a major role in advocating for safety and health in the workplace and the provision of safe and suitable living conditions to workers. 

“Construction is definitely one of the major industries that the DOLE is eyeing on for inspection. Sana naman hindi na sila maghintay na ma-inspect pa namin. Dapat sundin nalang kung ano ang nakasaad sa batas. The promotion of safety and health in the workplace is everyone’s business. Let’s be one in this together. We have high hopes that our partners not only those in the ITC-Construction but also our counterparts from other Tripartite Industrial Peace Councils and Industry Tripartite Councils will support us all the way in this advocacy,” he finally said.

 

End//LSenarlo-Taniza 

For more information on this report, you may contact Luchel Senarlo-Taniza, 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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2018-03-19
ATTY JOHNSON CAƑETE
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