Tag Archives: Construction

[Press Release] Labor enforcement reforms needed in wake of Paranaque construction accident -PM

Labor enforcement reforms needed in wake of Paranaque construction accident

The militant labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) called for stronger labor enforcement and labor inspection reforms in response to the accident at a construction site in Paranaque last Wednesday that claimed the life of one worker and injured 15. “Heads must roll and justice must be served for the needless deaths and injuries to construction workers,” insisted Wilson Fortaleza, PM spoksperson, as he predicted that more accidents are due to happen with the current real estate boom.

pmLogo1

PM lambasted employers for cutting corners in occupational safety in order to raise profits and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the lax implementation of labor and safety standards. “While capitalists were scrimping on protection for workers and DOLE was sleeping on its job of enforcement, workers are dying in the workplace,” Fortaleza elaborated.

Ricardo “Boy” Marcaida, a construction worker who is acting president of the Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Komunidad (SMK) in Malabon, averred that “Accidents are not acts of divine providence that can be dismissed as unavoidable. Instead accidents are the result of unsafe acts and therefore preventable by strict enforcement of occupational safety and health and labor standards.” SMK is a legitimate labor organization registered with the DOLE which is affiliated to PM.

“Under the regime of the DOLE’s self-assessment program, the number of labor inspectors have shrunk from around 240 to less than 200 and the number of establishments inspected plummeted from 60,000 in 2003 to just 6,000 in 2010. Self-assessment means that the government is asking the wolf to guard the sheep. No wonder the sheep get slaughtered,” Marcaida criticized.

He recommended that “We propose that the DOLE deputize labor leaders as labor inspectors. In so doing the number of inspectors and inspections can be increase several fold overnight, enforcement can be strengthened immediately, and workers lives and limbs can be saved.”

Fortaleza added that “The DOLE has again been caught sleeping on the job. DOLE must review contractors and their principals for compliance not just with safety regulations but labor standards such as payment of minimum wages and benefits, observance of working hours and remittance of social security among others. Construction workers are among the most overworked yet underpaid of employees since they are generally unorganized.”

Press Release
October 5, 2013
Contact Wilson Fortaleza @ 09178233956
Partido ng Manggagawa Spokesperson

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[Press Release] NGO calls for justice for power plant accident victims -CTUHR

NGO calls for justice for power plant accident victims

CTUHR logoThe Center for Trade Union and Human Rights is calling for justice for five workers who died in an accident at the power plant of SPC Malaya Power Corporation (SPC Malaya) in Pililia, Rizal on February 3.

Center for Trade Union and Human Rights executive director Daisy Arago said, “There should be justice for the victims of this accident as well as other similar fatal accidents that happened in the workplace.” She added that what happened in Pililia is another case of “utter disregard by companies for occupational health and safety which resulted to workers’ deaths and injuries as in the case of Eton, Keppel, and septic tank workers in Cubao in previous times.”

On February 3, Sunday, five workers identified as Eduardo Fidel, Gregorio Ricalde, Roberto Mesias, Jeffrey Sinag, and Antonio Manguerra died while 12 others were injured after a 70-foot scaffolding collapsed. The workers were reportedly fixing the smokestack of SPC Malaya when suddenly the scaffolding they were using fell down.

Arago also pointed out, “the government hails the boom in construction and its contribution to the economy. On the other side however we witness these fatal accidents where workers die and their families are left with no breadwinner and are thus more impoverished. Surely, that is something the Aquino government cannot be proud of.”

“Worse, justice is ever elusive to the victims and their families. At best, the company would only give the families a few thousands of pesos and that’s it.”

Arago also noted that while it seems positive that the Department of Labor and Employment has suspended the operations of the SPC Malaya to give way to investigations, there is no guarantee that justice will be rendered. “They also did that to Eton and Keppel but what happened? Were these companies held criminally liable?” Arago added.

CTUHR’s documentation reveals that at least 4 workers die every month due to unsafe working conditions since 2011. In 2010, 35 percent of victims of work-related accidents (both fatal and non-fatal) come from the construction industry.

For reference: Jane Siwa, Public Information and Education, +632.411.0256

FOR IMMEDIATE RELASE
08 February 2012

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[Press Release] People power saves Krus na Ligas from EPALs -NO MORE EPAL MOVEMENT

People power saves Krus na Ligas from EPALs

The National Historical Institute issued an order to stop the construction of the expansion of the Krus na Ligas Barangay Hall named as Belmonte Hall, a priority project of Councilor Vincent Belmonte.

The No More EPAL Movement and Dakila joined the Krus Na Ligas Community in UP Diliman, Quezon City, yesterday, October 28, at the Krus na Ligas Covered Court in their protest assembly against the intent of their Barangay Captain Julian Santos to construct a building right on Plaza Sta. Ines in front of their parish church.

The public action was initiated by the Krus Na Ligas community headed by its parish priest Rev. Fr. Ron Roberto and supported by the Krus na Ligas High School Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), and SK Councilor Mark Carlo Francisco. Juana Change (Mae Paner), dressed as the ghost of a katipunera and historian Xiao Chua also addressed the crowd.

Lola Kika, a descendant of Katipunero Isabelo Tuazon and one of the oldest resident of the community delivered in a passionate speech, “Sa Plaza Ines tayo nagtaguan, nagtumbang preso, dito natin binuo ang ating mga pangarap at kasaysayan. Para sa pagmamahal at pagmamalasakit sa Krus na Ligas at mamamayan nito, Handa akong mamatay!”

The construction plan, backed by Quezon City Councilor Vince Belmonte, is being pushed down the throats of the Krus na Ligas residents, who value their plaza as the only public space available in their barangay.

According to historian Xiao Chua, “Ang Plaza ng Krus na Ligas ang dangal ng komunidad dahil nagging tagpuan ito ng Katipunan at pook ng pag-uusapan at pamumuhay ng maraming henerasyon.”

The Barangay Chairman intended to push through with this completely unpopular plan despite:
The significance of the plaza and church to the history of nation-building—not only to local history;

The congested character of the Barangay, which makes the plaza their irreplaceable, non-negotiable common open space;

The clear public rejection of impunity on the part of the Barangay leader;
The obvious lack of merit of a construction project in a barangay that already has an under-utilized barangay hall;

The shadow of doubt hovering over the Barangay Chairman, who owns a construction company—a company, moreover, that has accepted part of a barangay construction project, in clear dismissal of conflict of interest considerations; and

The community’s arguments against this exercise of impunity by their local leader.

Kate Lim of DAKILA and the NO MORE EPAL MOVEMENT in a statement said, “ This fight of the Krus na Ligas community against their local leader, is a clear example of trapo leadership. It is a leadership that cares little for their own constituency’s interests and aspirations. “

“The Barangay Chairman of Krus na Ligas, and his enabler Councilor Vince Belmonte, demonstrate in their deafness of the calls of this Quezon City community, their idea that leaders can do anything they please. They think they are entitled to autocratic powers. They think their ideas and actions are above public debate.” Lim added.

Betty Romero of the NO MORE EPAL MOVEMENT added, “This kind of impunity is of the same wicked spirit as using public funds to plaster their mugs and names all over public space. Constructing a 2 story building on a plaza built in a place that the National Historical Institute has marked as the site where Andres Bonifacion and his Katipunan cohorts would retreat from Balintawak—this desecration of a space held in the heart of nationalists, among them, the Krus na Ligas residents—this spits on community honor and right to well-being.”

Around 500 residents of Krus na Ligas joined the mass action yesterday aimed to demonstrate people power to stop the construction of the expansion of the Barangay Hall. The mass action ended with the community singing of the Krus na Ligas hymn.

NO MORE EPAL MOVEMENT
For Immediate Release
29 October 2012
Contact: Betty Romero (No More Epal) 0917 821 7227
Kate Lim (Dakila) 0917 708 0988

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

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