Baldoz welcomes commitment of MDC and Fastem to comply with general labor standards and OSH standards

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday lauded as a positive step the commitment of Makati Development Corporation (MDC), the general contractor of the West Super Block project, and its subcontractor, Fastem Construction Inc., to fully comply with all general labor standards and occupational safety and health rules and regulations that would lead to the lifting of the Work Stoppage Order (WSO) the DOLE slapped the MDC and Fastem after the accident.

The West Super Block project was the site of an accident last week that claimed the lives of two workers and injured 11 others.

“I welcome the commitment of these two companies to voluntarily comply with general labor standards and occupational safety and health rules and regulations by coming forward and owning the responsibility by submitting to the DOLE the documents required of them. These will enable us to assess their compliance and decide on whether to lift or not the WSO the DOLE has issued,” said Baldoz after receiving an update report from DOLE-National Capital Region Director Avila on the compliances of MDC and Fastem.

In his report, Avila said the initial accident report of MDC show that the accident was possibly caused by design, material failure, and methodology—formworks, concreting, and rebar.

He said the MDC had already submitted its DOLE-approved Construction Safety and Health Program, including the composition of its Safety Committee, and the list of all its subcontractors—20 in all—engaged in the West Super Block Project. It has also submitted a Demolition Works Methodology for the collapsed floor slabs, and showed photos on the conduct of a one-day safety orientation on-site.

“The MDC also submitted a copy of memorandum endorsing 132 workers on the West Super Block project to the project management teams of MDC’s two ongoing projects for temporary assignment effective 9 February until the resumption of operation at the WSB project,” Avila stated.

“Of the 20, three have been assessed last year, and two of them—Yomeco Construction and Development Corporation and FR Sevilla Industrial and Development Corporation—were compliant with both general labor standards and OSHS. The other sub-contractor , however, had violation on the payment of overtime pay,” Avila explained.

As to Fastem, Avila said it has submitted only some, and not all, of the documents and records it promised during the first hearing on 5 February, but the payroll and the list of its on-going projects were not among the submissions. Instead, for Fastem, it submitted documents showing SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG contributions, but the two workers killed and the 11 injured were not in these documents.

The MDC, according to Avila, submitted documents showing it has provided P150,000 in financial assistance to one Rowena Ronquillo, the live-in-partner of one of the deceased workers, Renan Dela Cruz; and P220,000 to one Raymond Opague, whose relationship with the other deceased victim, Ruben Racraquin, has not been established.

“With regards the 11 injured workers, MDC and Fastem reported that three (3) of them were discharged the other day from St. Luke’s Hospital-Global City; and presented an official receipt for the payment of P138,367.73 in hospital bills. All in all, Fastem had spent P251,475.85 for the hospitalisation of the 11 injured workers,” Avila further said.

He also said the DOLE-NCR will start the joint assessment of MDC’s subcontractors that have not been assessed under the Labor Laws Compliance System. These subcontractors are as follows: (1) ESPM Builders, B17 L13 Taal Lake St., Teresa Park Homes, Brgy. Pilas, Las Piñas City; (2) Pacific Summit Construction Group, Inc., 1701 One Global Place, 5th Ave. corner 24th St. BGC, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig; (3) Triplewell Construction Corporation, 1167 J.P. Rizal Guadalupe Viejo, Makati City; (4) Agohem Construction & Development Corporation, 195 Doña Soledad Ave., Ext., Better Living Subdivision; (5) RG Garcia Enterprises Inc., (formerly RG Garcia Enterprises), 14-03 HRCI Townhomes, Zapote Alabang Rd., Pamplona, Las Piñas;

(6) PZL Construction, Inc., B5 L3 Phase 2C, Pacita 2, Brgy San Vicente, San Pedro, Laguna; (7) J. Espiritu Engineering Services, 50A Main Avenue., Murphy Cubao, Quezon City; (8) Century Iron Works, Inc., M. Gregorio St., Canumay, Valenzuela City; (9)BBR; (10) Gigatech; (11) Gloscore; (12) Loxon; (13) KEVA; (14) Touchstone; (15) ACIP; (16) Coogie; and (17) MSERV.

Meanwhile, upon the endorsement of the DOLE-NCR, the DOLE Regional Office No. 4-A through its Rizal Field Office, has already completed its joint assessment of Fastem Construction, Inc.

The result of the joint assessment showed that Fastem was found non-compliant on the following: (1) Non-presentation of payroll of workers it deployed; (2) Non-presentation of proof of remittances for social securities and benefits; (3) No Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy; and (4) Non-presentation of Alien Employment Permit.

“The Labor Laws Compliance Officers (LLCOs) who jointly assessed Fastem ordered the company to comply and taught it how to do so,” Region 4-A Director Zenaida Angara-Campita reported. “The company’s deadline is on 18 February,” she added.

END/JDA

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