The Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office No. 4-A has issued a work stoppage order against a construction firm after three of its workers died, while two others sustained injuries, in an apparent accident in the firm’s construction site in Cogeo, Antipolo City.


Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said DOLE Region 4-A Regional Director Zenaida Angara-Campita issued the order against RAC Construction and Mhaerick Corporation after construction workers Rene, Teten, and Darwin Villegas died when loose earth in the site eroded, leading to the collapse of steel bars that fatally pinned them down. Two other workers, Jessie Digario and Fraser Dulay, were injured and brought to a hospital.


“I condole with the families of the dead and the injured workers. I assure them of our assistance. I also assure them we will hold those accountable for the accident answerable for this unnecessary, and totally avoidable, accident,” said Baldoz.


She added that RAC Construction and Mhaerick Corporation were the immediate employers of the victims.


Baldoz, citing a report from Regional Director Angara-Campita, said the occupational safety and health investigation conducted on 10 March by Labor Law Compliance Officer (LLCO) Erwin Rommel De Jesus showed there were sufficient grounds for the issuance of a work stoppage order against the construction firm.


Result of the investigation revealed the following violations by the construction company: (1) absence of certified safety officer and first aider; (2) no construction safety and health program approved by the DOLE; (3) non-provision of personal protective equipment; (4) non-installation of shoring and timbering walls of excavation; (5) non-provision of barricades for the protection of the public within the construction site; (6) no construction safety signages; (7) no first aid kit and emergency medicines; (8) no certificate of inspection and testing of heavy equipment; (9) no skills certificate of heavy equipment operator from TESDA; and (10) absence of report on Safety Committee Organization; and (11) no valid PCAB license.


“The investigation also showed that the condition itself of the worksite posed imminent danger to the life and safety of workers,” Baldoz said, adding that the non-installation of shoring and timbering resulted to cracks in the excavation area.


The incident occurred as the workers were installing and erecting rebars for a cement post and wall along the excavated portion when the soil around the construction site collapsed and buried them.


“The investigation showed none of the workers were wearing personal protective equipment when the accident happened,” said Baldoz.


Baldoz said that failure to comply with the Work Stoppage Order shall constitute to the filing of a criminal case against RAC Construction and Mhaerick Corporation pursuant to the provisions of the Labor Code.



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