Double indemnity penalties amounting to P5,239,857.17 and total unearned wages of P1,719,223.92 for the benefit of 339 construction workers have been enforced by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on the general contractor and some 13 sub-contractors of the Eton construction project in Makati that was involved in January 27 fatal accident that claimed the lives of 10 workers.
This developed after the inspection team formed by DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz had concluded its inspection and investigation of the accident.
In a report to Secretary Baldoz, DOLE National Capital Regional Director Raymundo Agravante said the sanctions and penalties were imposed despite the lifting of the suspension last February 10, 2011 on the said Eton project following a summary hearing conducted after the accident.
“We have enforced upon the concerned companies the obligation to pay the double indemnity awards and unearned wages of the workers during the suspension period following the accident,” Agravante said.
Agravante said the P1,719,223.92 in unearned wages during the period of suspension of operation was broken down as follows: Arlo Aluminum Company, P63,024.00 covering 13 workers; Jose Aliling Construction Management, P51,872.04 for six workers; CE Construction Corp., P108,444.00 for 22 workers; Beta Electric Corp., P169,908.00 for 33 workers; Citiaire Industrial Services, P161,088.00 for 34 workers; Philippines Plumbing Company, Inc., P301,031.88 for 59 workers; Dura Ironworks, Inc., P81,624.00 for 15 workers; Inext Finishing Works, Inc., P425,184.00 for 87 workers; Sammy Esguerra, Inc., P84,840.00 for 16 workers; SSI Metal Corp., P53,328.00 for 11 workers; John (Jan) Owen Martin Const. Corp., P33,936.00 for seven workers; Abic Electric, P25,392.00 for 15 workers; Avesco Marketing Corp., P25,200.00 for five workers; and Alpha Seven Trades, Inc., P134,352.00 for 26 workers.
In addition, monetary double indemnity awards for the workers were enforced as follows: Arlo Aluminum Co. (P1,008.106.00); EM Pion Glazing (P1,005,092.00), Jose Aliling Construction Management (P496,632.99); CE Const. Corp. (P112,109.00), Beta Electric Corp. (P402,458.49), Citiaire Industrial Services (P881,658.03), Philippines Plumbing Company, Inc. (P863,077.29), PDura Ironworks, Inc. (P59,994.35); Inext Finishing Works, Inc. P684,106.49), Sammy Esguerra, Inc. (P217,691.66); SSI Metal Corp. (P26,012.00), John (Jan) Owen Martin Const. Corp. (P56,540.00); Associate Builder Int’l. Inc. (P24,301.30), Avesco Marketing Corp. (P77,237.31), and Alpha Seven Trades, Inc. (P324,290.28) --- for total double indemnity monetary awards of P5,239,857.19.
The enforcement of the double indemnity monetary awards for unpaid benefits is consistent with Republic Act No. 6727, which ensures uniformity in the implementation of RA 8188, otherwise known as “An Act Increasing the Penalty and Imposing Double Indemnity for Violations of the Prescribed Increases or Adjustments in the Wage Rates.”
DOLE Department Order No. 10, Series of 1998, also specifies that unpaid benefits are the “prescribed wage rates which the employer failed to pay upon the effectivity of a wage order, exclusive of other wage-related benefits.”
The DOLE-NCR has warned the developers, general contractors, and sub-contractors of the total 17 Eton Projects it has inspected in the region to comply with the corrections it has imposed for general labor standards (GLS) and occupational safety and health standards (OSH) violations which its inspectors had uncovered following a series of inspections.
“The sanctions and corrections are being stringently imposed so as to ensure the safety and welfare of workers and prevent future accidents from happening again,” said Agravante.
The DOLE-NCR has also inspected other ETON constructions in Metro Manila, namely: Emerald Loft in Pasig City, Eton Parkview in Makati, One Archers Place in Manila, Eton Cyberpod Corinthian, E-Life Quezon City, Belton Place, 68 Roces, Centris Station, Centris Walk, Eton Cyberpod Centris, Eton Baypark Manila, 8 Adriatico, West Wing Residences, West Wing Villas, and The Manors.