A day after two workers died and 11 others injured at a construction site of a condominium unit in the Fort Bonifacio Global City, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz swiftly called on all regional directors ordering them to conduct a full assessment under the new Labor Law Compliance System (LLCS) of all contractors and subcontractors, with priority to cover existing construction projects, big and small. “The assessment should be 100 percent, no more no less. I know that in 2014, you have conducted nationwide assessments of companies in priority industries, including construction, but still, accidents happened. You have to find out and tell the people what we are doing,” Baldoz said, apparently dismayed by the successive fatal accidents that greeted the new year. Near the end January, a wall of a warehouse being built in Guiguinto, Bulacan collapsed, sending to their deaths a seven-year old child, a pregnant woman, and nine other workers, prompting Baldoz to order a halt in all construction activities in the site, and all other construction work of the company elsewhere strictly monitored. In her latest directive, Baldoz instructed Executive Director Ma. Teresa Cucueco of the Occupational Safety and Health Centre; Executive Director Stella Banawis of the Employees Compensation Commission; Director Catherine Legados-Parado of the Bureau of Working Conditions; and Regional Director Alex Avila of the DOLE National Capital Region to sit down today and devise a system that will enable the Department to strictly monitor full compliance with all occupational health and safety rules and regulations, including no non-sense compliance with the requirement for a DOLE-approved Construction Safety and Health Program. “Include and involve all accredited safety officers in the industry,” Baldoz instructed. The monitoring, according to Baldoz, should begin from CSHP approval, continue during the construction, and end with the final report of completion. “I want regular progress reports of construction companies’ and their subcontractors’ compliance,” Baldoz said, adding that the monitoring system after approval of the CHSP must be a component of the LLCS. “This directive applies to all other regional directors,” she emphatically said. As this developed, Regional Director Avila reported he had convened only last Friday the national capital’s regional construction Industry and Tripartite Council and discussed the action plan to monitor all ongoing construction projects, as well as construction firms and their subcontractors. “Another meeting is scheduled tomorrow. The ITC on Construction meeting will be with building officials of the NCR’s 17 local government units. In this meeting, we will be guided by our master list of approved and issued CHSP and the registries under D.O. 18-A and the Philippine Contractors’ Accreditation Board,” said Avila. He explained that prior to the Taguig City accident, the DOLE NCR was already implementing an assessment of construction sites using the ‘plain view’ approach. In a related development, Executive Director Cucueco reported that she had already asked the occupational safety and health consultant of the Makati Development Corporation, the general contractor of the condominium building in Taguig City, to submit its investigation report. “He said all MDC projects nationwide have ceased their cement pouring operations until the MDC has satisfactorily resolved the issue. He also said the MDC has been compliant and have been issued certificates of compliance (CoCs),” Cucueco said. END

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