Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III yesterday directed its regional office to immediately send a Quick Response Team (QRT) on the site of the tragic bus incident in Tanay, Rizal resulting to the death of 14 people including the bus driver.

Bello instructed DOLE Regional Office 4-A Director Zenaida Campita to assess the situation and send the QR Team to determine whether the tour company, owner of the ill-fated bus, strictly followed or violated occupational safety and health standards.

“We express our sympathies to the victims’ families. We assure them that the labor department will do its part under the law and look after the victims of this untoward incident,” Bello said.

He added that aside from determining whether the company followed strict rules of occupational safety and health standards, the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) will also take charge in making sure that all workers of the tour and bus company will receive proper assistance and benefits.

A 2012 department order requires transport companies to ensure public road transport safety by improving the working conditions, compensation, and competence of bus drivers and conductors. It also aims to reduce traffic violation incidence and other vehicular accidents, among other productivity gains.

##Paul Ang

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