Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III is set to revoke an order delegating the enforcement of technical safety inspections in establishments in the special economic zones.

Bello disclosed this yesterday in the aftermath of the fire that gutted a Japanese electronics firm at the Cavite Export Processing Zone in Rosario, Cavite last week.

“We will review and, possibly, revoke that order. To my mind, it is the duty of the department to implement occupational safety, it cannot be waived,” he said.

Bello also referred to a Memorandum of Agreement between the DOLE and PEZA on the delegation of technical safety inspection signed on June 23 last year, or a week before his assumption to office.

“Hindi dapat ibinigay ang obligation ng safety inspection sa mga kompanya. It is incumbent to the department to make sure that our workers are provided with occupational safety and health standards,” said Bello.

The labor secretary also ordered the conduct of occupational safety and health investigation to determine the compliance with OSH and other related rules and regulations of the House Technologies Inc. in Cavite.

Bello issued Administrative Order No. 32 creating the DOLE Investigation team headed by Undersecretary Joel B. Maglunsod. The members of the investigation team are Regional Director Zenaida Angara-Campita of Region 4-A; Executive Director Moel C. Binag of the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC); Directors Maria Teresita S. Cucueco of the Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC); Dominique Tutay of the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE); and Ahmma Charisma Satumba of the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC).

The DOLE Investigation Team is tasked to provide a comprehensive report of the investigation on February 17, 2017. The said team will closely coordinate with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), PEZA, Cavite Economic Zone, Provincial Government of Cavite, and Local Government Unit of General Trias.

On February 1, a fire broke out at the HTI factory located inside the Cavite Export Processing Zone. A worker died because of severe burns while more than 100 were injured at the seven-hectare HTI facility, which manufactures prefabricated housing materials.

HTI is a manufacturing company with a manpower complement of 10,892 workers. Of the said number 4,263 are directly hired workers and 6,629 are under five different contractors.


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