Baguio City – A Work Stoppage Order (WSO) is issued by the Department of Labor and Employment pursuant to Rule 1012.02 of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards in relation to Article 168 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended and renumbered, and Rule VII of DOLE Department Order 183, s. 2017 in abatement of imminent danger.

Imminent danger means any condition/s or practice/s in any place of employment in which a danger exists, which could reasonably be expected to cause death or serious physical harm, either immediately or before the danger can be eliminated.

DOLE-Cordillera issued a WSO last June 13 to FC Laranang Development Corporation a few hours after the incident at its project site resulting in the death of Engr. Patrick Lachica, project junior sanitary engineer and Hanna Jean Aragon, human resources department representative of the construction company currently building a condominium along Sandico St., Salud Mitra in Baguio City.

Basing on the immediate Occupational Safety and Health Investigation (OSHI) conducted by Senior Labor and Employment Officer Leonardwood Villanueva and Engr. Gledmore Gonzales, the barracks they were staying in was carried away by a landslide caused by gushing water contributing to the ground collapse/cave in as further verified in the police blotter by S/Insp. Julius Basinga, head of the Baguio City Police Office Station 3 in Pacdal, which has jurisdiction over the area.

Based on the result of the OSHI, the DOLE issued the WSO for the abatement of the danger because there is still imminent danger that exists in the workplace and for the employer to take appropriate measures to protect the workers and make immediate and appropriate action to minimize the danger.

Also, the WSO requires the employer to make specific measures that are necessary to avoid, correct, or remove such imminent danger and to prohibit the presence of any worker in such location where such danger exists, except those whose presence are necessary to avoid, correct, or remove such danger or to maintain a continuous process or operation.

The issuance of the WSO shall allow the correction, removal, or avoidance of danger only where the same can be accomplished in a safe and orderly manner. As circumstances may warrant, the DOLE shall refer its findings to the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board after due process, on any act or omission committed by contractors in violation of labor standards, safety rules, and regulations and other pertinent policies.

Any violation committed by contractors, whether general contractors or sub-contractors, shall constitute a prima facie evidence of a construction malperformance of grave consequence due to negligence, incompetence, or malpractice stated under Republic Act 4566 or the Constructors’ Licensing Law, as amended, and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.

The WSO shall remain in effect until the danger is removed or corrected. Non-compliance with the order is punishable under existing provisions of labor laws.

The WSO was forwarded to Labor Sec. Silvestre H. Bello III and Dir. Ma. Teresita L. Cucueco of the Bureau of Working Conditions.

The WSO will only be lifted once all noted unsafe practices exposing the workers to imminent danger shall have been addressed and all requirements shall have been complied with./Patrick T Rillorta