The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in collaboration with professional groups of civil and electrical engineers is assessing the structural integrity of hundreds of malls and other buildings in Regions 11 and 12 to determine their safety as work places.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III met in Davao City Sunday with DOLE regional officials led by Director Raymundo Agravante of Region 11 and Director Sisinio Cano of Region 12 and chapter officers of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers and Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines to discuss the rules of engagements in assessing the safety and worthiness of the buildings as work places. The officials were joined by Noel Binag, executive director of the DOLE Occupational Safety and Health Center.
The DOLE-engineering joint teams will fan out starting today to the cities of Davao, Koronadal, Digos, Kidapawan and towns of the two regions adversely affected by the series of strong earthquakes in Mindanao last week and the week before.
“Once we find the structural safety of these work places compromised, we will immediately recommend their evacuation and closure to Secretary Bello, “ Director Agravante of Region 11 told reporters last Sunday noon.
Targeted for immediate inspection by the DOLE teams are malls, numerous contact centers and other buildings used as factories of various products in Davao and other cities in the two regions, according to Director Cano of Region 12.
In Davao City alone, there are more than 80 business outsourcing companies located in a dozen IT parks and call centers with close to 60,000 workers, according to lawyer Samuel Matunog, president of ICT-Davao.
Matunog said these business process outsourcing (BPO)/knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) companies contribute annually some P10.7 billion to Davao’s economy. AMA