MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang yesterday supported proposals to criminalize violations of fire and building codes and occupational safety standards following the fire that gutted a slipper factory in Valenzuela City, killing 72 mostly contractual workers.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the executive department supported the position taken by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz on such proposals.
“We reiterate the strong stand taken by the government through the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on the need to criminalize non-compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to occupational safety and health,” Coloma said.
He said the latest fire incident made it “imperative” for stringent laws.
According to Sec. Baldoz, there is need to put more teeth to existing regulations that were promulgated in 1978 and contain no criminal penalties,” Coloma pointed out.
DOLE has called on Congress “to seriously see our plea for the enactment of these measures in a positive light, and that is for the ultimate welfare and protection of our workers and the delivery of labor justice by punishing heartless employers.”