Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Eton gives P1.4-M to families of Makati condo victims

The owner and contractors of a Makati condominium project, where 11 workers died in an accident Thursday last week, have extended P1.4 million in financial assistance to the families of the casualties.

“This represents the first tranche of financial aid to cover medical and funeral expenses, including the transportation of the remains to the province as requested by their families," said Danilo Ignacio, president and chief operating officer of Eton Properties Philippines Inc., which owns the project.

Ignacio relayed this on Tuesday to Labor Secretary Rosalina Baldoz, who, a day after the accident, said Eton and its contractors may face sanctions over safety violations and alleged non-remittance of benefits. 

She said her department is conducting a probe.

"We expect to uncover a lot in this investigation," Baldoz added

Incident report

In Ignacio’s meeting with Baldoz, the Eton president submitted a copy of the incident report from construction management firm Jose Aliling Construction Management Inc., according to Eton in a statement Wednesday. 

Ignacio said the report showed that TÜV Rheinland — a global certification body that validates product safety — has certified the safety of the gondola involved in the accident. He said the safety certificate, which is good until Sept. 11, applies to all other gondolas being used in the project.

Ignacio also told Baldoz that the property firm is conducting a safety compliance audit of all its ongoing construction projects. He also promised that Eton and its contractors will cooperate with the Labor Department’s probe.

Safety, health training

In a statement Wednesday on the department’s website, Baldoz said she is requiring all Eton staff and workers to train in occupational safety and health. 

They should also under an orientation on labor standards orientation, the labor secretary said.

"The implementation of measures to prevent injuries and illnesses is a must in every workplace, especially in high-risk jobs such those in the construction industry," according to the labor chief. — With Paterno Esmaquel II/VS< GMANews.TV

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