DOLE stops Mandaue condo project for risking public safety
MANILA, Philippines – The labor department has ordered a halt on the construction of a mid-rise condominium in Mandaue City in Cebu after finding on-site lapses that risked public safety.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday, July 6, announced that DOLE Central Visayas regional director Exequiel Sarcauga issued a work stoppage order on the Bamboo Bay Community Tower II Project at Hernan Cortes Street, following a complaint over falling debris.
The contractor was found to have violated occupational safety and health (OSH) standards.
"There were no safety nets and debris catcher. There were also no guard rails along the edges and in the wall openings and stairs of the building being constructed," Sarcauga explained in a report transmitted to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.
"Aside from this, our LLCO (labor law compliance officer) also found out that there were no sufficient construction safety signages and structural analysis of scaffolds used duly signed by a structural engineer," he added.
The tower under construction is part of a 3-tower residential community marketed to provide mid-income buyers "better living options" with a clubhouse, a pool deck with a trellised roof, and other core amenities.
The complainant's residence, which was adjacent to the construction site, had been hit by falling stones and other construction scraps including a steel tape, a deformed bar, and tie wires from the tower being built.
According to DOLE Central Visayas, a police blotter report with the the Mandaue City Police Office showed that an orange metal beam one to two meters long also fell on the garage of the complainant.
Covered by the DOLE order is the project contractor, Devlarn Ventures and Development Corporation.
Devlarn had failed to present a state-approved construction safety and health program (CSHP) as well as a health and safety committee. A CSHP is a set of rules indicating a construction project's conformity with OSH standards.
A DOLE order requires an approved CHSP and corresponding personnel for it, which must be indicated as an item in a project's construction costs.
Devlarn also lacked a work accident or illness report, annual work accident/illness exposure data report, and annual medical report for the Bamboo Bay project.
Bamboo Bay is the flagship project of Cebu-based real estate developer Contempo Property Holdings Inc.
While the construction is carried out by workers of contractors, a real estate developer must ensure that its contractors and subcontractors comply with labor rules.
Under labor rules, the principal and contractor may be penalized through money claims for violations of general labor standards and OSH standards.
Gross violation of OSH standards is not a crime in the Philippines, something which DOLE and labor groups seek to reverse. (READ: Deaths in factory fire show need for decent jobs)
Following a massive factory fire that claimed at least 74 lives in May, Baldoz had urged "citizen-driven monitoring of all businesses' compliance with OSH standards."
Reports, questions, concerns on safety and health in the workplace can now be coursed through the DOLE Call Center at (02) 5278000 from 6 am to 6:30 pm, except on Sundays.
This is in addition to the Occupational Safety and Health Center with numbers 09278972587 and (02) 928-6690, as well as the Employees Compensation Commission at (02) 8994251.
One can also get in touch with DOLE regional offices for provincial workplaces. – Rappler.com