THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) 7 initially found at least 25 violations of Citi Hardware after its wall collapsed in Cotcot, Liloan, Cebu, resulting in the death of two workers and serious injuries of seven others.
Dole 7 Director Exequiel Sarcauga has directed the Citi Hardware management to pay the affected workers corresponding monetary benefits pending investigation and corrections of the deficiencies.
Due to the violations, Dole 7 ordered James Lee, the owner of Toril LCY Trading Corp. that operates Citi Hardware nationwide, foreman Basilio Acebo Jr. and site engineer Leo C. Mabale to stop all works and construction activities.
Sarcauga has ordered Acebo, Mabale and Lee to appear before him for a mandatory conference at 2 p.m. today, Oct. 17, at the Dole 7 office at Maxilom corner Gorordo Ave., Cebu City.
The order was served by Labor Law Compliance Officer (LLCO) Benito Pescadero Jr. early yesterday afternoon and received by Acebo and Mabale.
The work stoppage must be followed until all deficiencies enumerated by Dole 7’s LLCOs shall have been corrected and imminent danger is removed.
It was initially found by LLCOs that the construction of the building was by administration. This means that James Lee or Toril LCY Trading Corp. with main office address on Quimpo Blvd., Matina, Davao City is the one building it.
Mabale was named as the professional in-charge with full-time inspection and supervision works. Mabale was also listed as the civil engineer of the project. Roberto B. Gelbore is the electrical engineer, mechanical engineer and master plumber.
The first eight violations or deficiencies committed by Citi Hardware are: non-presentation of approved construction safety and health program; scaffolding improperly installed, no structural analysis; no trained safety officer on construction safety; no trained first aider; no safety signage installed; non-presentation of Philippine Contractors’ Association Board (PCAB) registration and/or Department Order 18-A registration; non-presentation of records such as payroll; and non-presentation of proof of coverage of Social Security System (SSS), Philheath and Pag-IBIG Fund.
The other 15 violations/deficiencies of Citi Hardware over the entire work premises are: no debris catcher; no barricades in the premises; uncovered ravines; no minutes of toolbox meeting; no fire protection equipment (fire extinguishers); no record of fire drill; no materials handling and storage; very poor housekeeping; no emergency medicine; no safety and health committee; no treatment room; no washing facilities; no supply of potable water; no hygiene facility (toilet); non-payment of 13th month pay; and non-payment of holiday pay.
Sarcauga said there shall be no work at the project site until all the deficiencies are corrected pursuant to Rule 6, Section 6 of the Dole Department Order 131-13 Rules on Labor Laws Compliance System.
Section 6 provides that: “In case the violation is attributable to the fault of the employer, the employer shall pay his/her employees all the monetary benefits which they are entitled for the duration of work stoppage order.”
The Dole 7 director received reports from LLCOs that the accident occurred about 2:10 p.m. last Oct. 14,
resulting to the death of worker Lazaro Capa, 31, mason/carpenter.
The eight other workers who sustained serious injuries and were brought to Mendoro Hospital in Liloan were Elvin Bongo, 45; Louel Batican, 41; Melvin A Procurato, 37; Alex Rosal, 42; and Lordido Baculad, 50.
Bongo, who was said to be in critical condition, died at 3 p.m. the next day, Oct. 15.
The LLCOs found that the affected workers were not wearing personal protective equipment, (PPE) especially full body harness, hard hat and safety shoes while working on an unstable platform made of 2”X3” coco lumber and doing masonry works. The platform suddenly collapsed.
Records at the Liloan Municipal Government showed that Citi Hardware was issued Building Permit 021-0-06-012700-N.BCT2 dated June 30, 2016.
However, Liloan Mayor Cristina Garcia Frasco suspended the building permit pending a parallel investigation conducted by the Municipal Government.
Frasco said the emergency response team of the municipal government rescued the workers shortly after the wall of the on-going project collapsed.