Villanueva at DOLE: Investigation into worker deaths in Makati elevator crash
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Joel Villanueva on Saturday urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to “fully enforce” Occupational Safety and Health (OSHS) standards and investigate the elevator crash in the city of Makati which killed two workers.
Manuel Linayao and Rey Miguel Gilera were killed after an elevator in a 38-story building in Makati City crashed before dawn on Friday.
READ: 2 dead in elevator crash in Makati
“One accidental but preventable death in the workplace is already far too many,” Villanueva stressed. “Has the elevator been subjected to a technical safety inspection by DOLE inspectors? Has safety protocol when repairing elevators been followed? We need an immediate investigation into the immediate cause of the accident and let the full force of the law apply to show how serious we are about providing our workers with a safe and healthy working environment.
According to OSHS law, a fine of 100,000 pesos is imposed on those found guilty of “[exposing] workers to death, serious injury or serious illness.
Villanueva also called on Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma to “immediately convene the nearly four-year-awaited intergovernmental coordination and cooperation mechanism” with the goal of monitoring and increasing implementation of the OSHS Act.
Villanueva added that DOLE’s plans for its first 100 days under Laguesma’s leadership should also include a thorough assessment of companies’ compliance with said law.
“The Filipino people need to know how effectively the law is being implemented for the protection and well-being of our workforce,” Villanueva said.
“We must first ensure that we have faithfully implemented existing labor laws such as the OSHS Act,” Villanueva added.
Villanueva also cited the April 30 DOLE labor inspection report, which showed that only 64.6 percent of 25,493 establishments inspected adhered to OSHS rules and regulations.
Among the most frequently observed violations were failure to comply with requirements to have first aiders, security guards and fire safety measures.
“The ongoing pandemic is not the only health hazard plaguing our workplace. Negligence and non-compliance with occupational safety and health standards are diseases in our businesses that can be easily cured by prevention and due diligence,” the legislator said.
Villanueva, who won re-election to the Senate in elections in May, is the main author and sponsor of the law on strengthening compliance with occupational safety and health standards.
In 2018 it was signed into law by former President Rodrigo Duterte.
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