THE Institute for Occupational Health and Safety for Development (IOHSAD) questioned on Tuesday the absence of workplace safety aspect in the report of President Benigno Aquino III on the Kentex factory fire investigation.

In a statement, the non-government organization (NGO) advocating workplace safety said it is conspicuous that the report of Aquino did not tackle the alleged occupational health and safety standards violations.

“President Aquino’s report reflects just how little the government values occupational health and safety and workers’ basic right to life,” IOHSAD said.

The organization also asked Aquino to hold officials of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) accountable for the incident that claimed 72 lives.

“We challenge President Aquino to hold the Labor Department’s top officials accountable for the Kentex tragedy. Coddling these criminally-liable officials could only strengthen the culture of impunity when it comes to violations of workplace safety,” said IOHSAD.

Aquino presented on Monday the results of the interagency fact-finding probe on the May 13 Kentex fire and said Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian could be among those who would be charged.

The IOHSAD said it was unfortunate that Aquino opted to run after political rivals instead of addressing the real problem.

“Pinning the blame on the local government and exempting the Labor Department from any criminal liability and serious breach of duty, trivialize this great loss of lives and blatant disrespect of worker’s rights,” said IOHSAD.

Gatchalian is a member of the opposition party United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). (HDT/Sunnex)