Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III yesterday said that the Department has started the inspection of 130 manufacturers and retailers/dealers of pyrotechnics and firecrackers in Bulacan to see if they comply with the occupational safety and health standards.
“The DOLE Regional Office in Region 3 will make assessment on the compliance of these establishments. They will check the compliance of the local establishments with the safety and health standards which will serve as basis for the agency to lift or not the work stoppage order,” said Bello.
He added that is if all requirements are complied with, the DOLE Regional Director, with recommendations from the BFP and PNP, will issue recommendation lifting the stoppage order for the compliant establishment.
The said establishments are composed of 40 manufacturers and 90 retailers/dealers of firecrackers in the Municipality of Sta. Maria and Bocaue in Bulacan. The DOLE Regional Offices were directed to submit the report to Bello within the week.
He added that if the establishment is compliant with the requirements, the Regional Office may recommend the lifting of the work stoppage order.
The requirements needed to recommend the lifting of the work stoppage order are Certification from the Philippine National Police that the establishment/local government unit is compliant with the requirements provided by Republic Act 7183 or An Act Regulating The Sale, Manufacture, Distribution And Use Of Firecrackers And Other Pyrotechnic Devices; valid fire safety certification from the Bureau of Fire; one day safety awareness training for all workers; and conduct of DOLE Joint Assessment.
The order mainly mandated the stoppage of work of any unit, department or entire operation of an establishment when non-compliance with occupational safety and health standards poses imminent danger to the health and safety of the employees in the workplace.
Bello said that all DOLE Regional Offices were instructed to coordinate with the LGUs, PNP, and BFP for strict implementation of the order.
On 24 November 2016, Labor Secretary Bello issued a Work Stoppage Order to all establishments engaged in the manufacture and sale of pyrotechnics and firecrackers nationwide, following the recent explosions in fireworks shops in Bulacan that killed five people and injured 30 others.
On October 12, two people were killed and 24 others were injured when an explosion occurred in a group of fireworks shops in Barangay 1st, Bocaue, Bulacan.