Bello: SOGO violated occupational safety rules that led to 2 worker deaths in Malate

Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III believes that management of Sogo Hotel committed several labor-related violations which caused the deaths of two construction workers when their building collapsed in Malate in Manila.

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Photo courtesy of Philippine Star

The labor department is currently investigating the cause of deaths of two construction workers involved in the demolition team of a SOGO hotel building in Malate, Manila. Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III however posits the belief that the motel operator is somewhat liable. 

The construction workers involved in the team involved in the demolition of a building being managed by Sogo Hotel Management died due to lack of any safety gear or equipment. This, says Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, directly puts the blame on the management who possibly violated some occupational safety rules.

In an interview over DZMM-Teleradyo, Bello believes that SOGO hotel management could be held legally liable after Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) probers found that the two workers were not given safety gear and equipment. The labor chief says safety gears are already required especially to workers involved in construction works.

Sogo motel collapses
Photo courtesy of Philippine Star

” Eh mga basurero nga kuntodo safety gear, yan pa kayang mga obrero,” says Bello in an interview this morning.

There is still time for SOGO management to explain their side as the investigation remains in motion.

Bello says Labor Assistant Secretary Benjo Santos Benavidez, DOLE National Capital Region (NCR) chief, is the one investigating the hotel services operator. Aside from several infractions on the general employment labor standards, for example, lack of employment records like payroll, proof of remittances with Social Security System (SSS), PhilHealth and Pag-ibig, there were serious deficiencies found on occupational health safety rules.

These include expired construction and health and OSH programs, unavailability of a trained safety officer, first aider and safety and health committee head and employers’ work accident/illness exposure data reports.

Though the demolition was managed by Fabellon Construction and Development Corporation for Golden Breeze Realty Incorporated which owns and manages Hotel Sogo in Mabini, Malate, Bello says both are solidarity liable for the deaths, damages and hospitalization of the victims.

Sogo, says DOLE, could face a fine of 100,000. Right now, work has stopped at the demolition site.

This is not just the one issue being faced by Sogo. News recently surfaced of the SOGO’s alleged non-payment of rental fees to building owners whom they entered into leased agreements.

Non-payment of rental payments may subject the offender not just civil but criminal charges.

Several issues reportedly surfaced which prompted cases reportedly filed against the hotel management.

 

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