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Requiring permits not enough to protect construction workers —TUCP

Issuing construction and demolition permits alone are not enough to ensure that the occupational safety of workers are given importance by contractors, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) said on Tuesday.

TUCP made the statement following the death of two laborers when a Hotel Sogo building collapsed on Monday.

“This fatal Sogo construction site mishap with multiple deaths shows the repeating cycle of how city hall building permit officials and the Labor department regional officers are negligent in conducting onsite inspection and worksite visits before or after issuing building and demolition permits to building owners and contractors,” TUCP President Raymond Mendoza said in a statement.

According to the TUCP, at least 11 deaths have been recorded at various construction sites across the country from January to September 2019.

It cited the case of a construction worker who was killed in Manila in July after he was crushed by a falling crane pulley.

“Most building owners and contractors wanted to finish the project quickly as possible and at a low cost as possible and at the expense of the safety and well-being of construction workers," Mendoza said.

"Without government on-site inspections, fatal and death-causing accidents such as this Sogo hotel demolition incident happens,” he added.

“The TUCP ardently hopes that city hall officials and labor regional officers to be consistent in conducting worksite inspections to ensure building owners and contractors comply with the occupational safety and health standards that the building and demolition permits and clearances requires," Mendoza said.

On Monday, the collapse of a Sogo building under demolition in Malate, Manila killed two workers. Others sustained minor injuries.

Hotel Sogo assured that the demolition firm would assist the victims.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday also ordered a "thorough" probe on the incident. —NB, GMA News