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DOLE to lift halt order on Skyway project

Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - November 27, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment will lift the work stoppage order on a portion of the Skyway Extension project following an accident that killed a motorist and injured six others in Muntinlupa last week, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced yesterday.

Bello said he would sign an order lifting the partial suspension order.

“Our regional director has recommended lifting the work stoppage order, even in the area where the accident took place,” he said at a press briefing. “I am inclined to follow the recommendation.”

The DOLE National Capital Region office stopped the construction of the entire Skyway Extension project after a crane tilted and hit a steel girder that fell on vehicles along the East Service Road in Barangay Cupang on Nov. 21.

Bello said he modified the work stoppage order to protect at least 900 construction workers.

“Hundreds of workers will lose their jobs if we stopped the whole project,” Bello said.

He said the government would  fail to meet the target completion of the project before the end of the year if work would be halted completely.

The DOLE has allowed work to resume at the Skyway’s project site, except in Muntinlupa where the accident occurred.

Bello noted that the Skyway Extension is one of the key projects under the Duterte administration’s Build Build Build program set for completion this year.

He said the construction had to be suspended because of occupational safety violations committed by the project contractor EEI Corp.

Bello said among the violations was the absence of warning signs at the construction site. Crane operators also lacked accreditation from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

“The project contractor needs to comply with the occupational safety and health standards to prevent another accident,” Bello pointed out.

San Miguel Corp., the project proponent, has apologized to the victims of the accident and vowed to extend all forms of assistance.

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