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Order issued to stop demolition work on collapsed Sogo hotel in Manila

/ 06:24 PM September 25, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — A work stoppage order has been released to halt the demolition work at a Sogo hotel branch in Manila after one of its portions collapsed, killing two people, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Wednesday.

The order, signed by DOLE-National Capital Region Regional Director Atty. Sarah Buena Mirasol, was addressed to the owner of the property, Golden Breeze Realty Inc., and its contractor, Fabellon Construction and Development Corporation which were instructed to “immediately stop all demolition activities at the said establishment.”

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Those involved sub-contractors, if any, are also included in the order, the order added.

The order details the findings of the inspection conducted by labor inspectors Shari Klent Intong and Joseph Lambino following the deadly collapse, which includes the “non-presentation of employment records such as payrolls, payslips, remittances with SSS (Social Security System), Pag-IBIG, and PhilHealth.”

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Other findings include violations on occupational safety and health standards, including an expired DOLE Construction Safety and Health Program permit, absence of safety officer and a safety and health committee, and lack of employer’s work accident/illness exposure data report.

While there was initially an occupational safety and health program secured, it only covered July 22 to September 22, a two-month-long demolition period. The incident happened on September 23.

Citing Paragraph 5, Section 29 of Department Order 198, series of 2018 entitled ‘An Act Strengthening Compliance With Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Providing Penalties For Violations Thereof’, the order states that “when the violation exposes the worker to death serious injury or serious illness, the imposable penalty shall be P100,000.”

Further, the order directed a representative from the owner and contractor to attend a hearing on Thursday, September 26, to discuss the issue.

The order stated that the said meeting would determine “the propriety of having this work stoppage order lifted or not.”

A portion of the budget hotel collapsed on Monday, which led to the death of two workers who were later pulled from the rubble.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo has said that President Rodrigo Duterte sought for a “thorough investigation” from concerned authorities following the incident./ac

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