CEBU, Philippines – The canopy on the seventh floor of a building constructed for a shipping company in M.J. Cuenco Avenue, Barangay Carreta, Cebu City collapsed at 4:50 a.m. yesterday, injuring two workers.
As this developed, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-7 yesterday issued a work stoppage order against Devlarn Ventures and Development Corporation, the contractor of the seven-storey building owned by Lite Shipping Corporation.
The Cebu City’s Office of the Building Official (OBO), on their end, has also issued a notice suspending the construction of the said building.
Lilia Estillore, who heads the Tri-City Field Office of DOLE-7, said that it was the canopy, which is an extension of the seventh floor, which collapsed.
Estillore said that based on the report submitted by their Labor Laws Compliance Officers, four construction workers were pouring cement on the roof beam of the canopy when they sensed that it is about to collapse.
“Naka ambak ra man pud dayon ang upat ka mga construction workers samain floor sa seventh floor sa dihang ilaha nang namatikdan nga mohugno na,” said Estillore.
She said two of the four workers sustained minor injuries. Sario Sanico suffered a scratch to his leg and neck, while Jessie Revillas sprained his ankle during the accident.
City Engineer Josefa Ylanan said the contractor has not yet secured a building permit for the said construction.
“They proceeded with the works at their own risk,” he told THE FREEMAN.
Ylanan said the city government has yet to evaluate the penalty of the contractor for operating without a building permit.
As of now, she said the city will continue to withhold the contractor’s application because of the suspension of the works of the building.
Police Officer 2 Jennifer Pal Torregosa, Waterfront Police Station’s desk officer, said the responding team they sent were not given access to the construction area.
“Wala gyud kasulod sa area atong responding team ug ang uban kay wala pasudla sa guard kay maoy order sa ilang manager, hinungdan nihawa lang sab sila among team human nanguli ang uban team,” Torregosa said.
City Councilor Dave Tumulak, the deputy mayor on police matter, for his part, said that based on the information he had gathered, the workers poured in cement on the seventh floor of the building at around 12 midnight.
“Base sa akong kasayuran nakuha, alas dose nagbuhos ang mga trabahante ug tungod sa kabug-at nibigay ang scaffolding gahapon sa kadlawon, hinungdan adunay 3 naangol nakaangkon ug pangos,” Tumulak said.
Tumulak said that he insisted that the Cebu City Ambulance could enter the construction area, so they can check the status of the three workers who got injured.
Tumulak said he mandated the OBO to examine the building and the status of its construction activity.
Ylanan said they have already asked the contractor’s necessary permits and other paper works as to the legality of the construction.
“Ang permits nila diri, na-hold gihapon kay there are things nga atong gipangayo for their engineers to submit like mga drawing and documents
lang,” she said.
Ylanan added the suspension of works will be lifted only if the company can submit an incident report.
“We will also ask them to explain kay nitawag si Councilor Tumulak (David Tumulak) nga wala daw gipasulod ang disaster team. Atong pa-explain-on kaymandatory mana nga if there is coming from the city government, pasudlon gyod,” she said.
Ylanan said she has deployed inspectors in the area immediately after the incident, adding that inspectors will be submitting their own report to the office.
She said the company and/or the contractor should employ safety measures to avoid the same incident in the future.
Estillore added that the contractor already submitted a construction safety and health program prior to the construction of the project.
Except for the scaffold erector, Estillore said this has to have an NC-II license from TESDA.
A mandatory conference will be held today with DOLE-7 and the contractor on the possible measures to be adopted for the lifting of the work stoppage order. — Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, Rowena D. Capistrano, Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (FREEMAN)