Worker suffers leg injury in rush to renovate stadium
MANILA, Philippines — A construction worker on Monday fell while dismantling a scaffolding at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila—one of the venues for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) considered still unfinished.
Richard de los Santos, 46, slipped amid a sudden rainfall around 11:45 a.m. and reportedly suffered a leg injury, police said. He was taken to the Ospital ng Maynila by coworkers.
As of Tuesday morning, De los Santos was in stable condition, said Staff Sgt. Dexter de la Cruz of the Manila Police District’s Public Information Office.
A case of reckless imprudence resulting in slight physical injury may be filed against the victim’s safety officer, De la Cruz said.
Rizal Memorial Stadium serves as the venue for football matches, which began on Monday.
Under Republic Act No. 11058, or the Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS) law, employers and contractors face a penalty of as much as P100,000 if they fail to ensure the safety of workers.
“Part of our mandate is to see to it that they comply with OSHS. There should be safety equipment. [If there’s a violation], they will face administrative sanctions,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III told reporters on Tuesday.
Labor Undersecretary Ana Dione said that while she understood the need to rush work in the venues to be used in the SEA Games, “the workers’ safety should not be sacrificed.”
As news of the accident spread on Tuesday, netizens criticized the SEA Games organizers for apparently “rushing” the workers to finish building the structure before the opening ceremonies on Nov. 30.
On Monday night, a scheduled postgame press conference was canceled after the organizers drew flak for housing local and foreign journalists in an unfinished, warehouse-like structure in the stadium.
The following day, the media center was relocated to the newly renovated Ninoy Aquino Stadium beside the football field.
Journalists, however, reported that the new venue did not have Wi-Fi.
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