Skyway Extension work suspended

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    THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday ordered the temporary suspension of construction work on the P10 billion Skyway Extension project on the heels of the tragedy that led to the death of a motorcycle driver and injury to six others.

    “The work stoppage order covers the entire stretch of the construction,” the DOLE said in a virtual press briefing, adding Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has ordered the issuance of a work stoppage order (WSO).

    DOLE spokesman Rolly Francia said Bello’s order is an expansion of the initial WSO issued by Director Sarah Mirasol of the DOLE-National Capital Region.

    Last Saturday, a motorcycle driver was killed and six others were injured when a steel bar crashed onto passing vehicles below.

    DOLE-Occupational Safety and Health Center executive director Noel Binag, during the “Laging Handa” public briefing, said the owners and contractors involved in the Skyway Extension project may be held liable for negligence and violation of safety standards.

    Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, meanwhile, called for a meeting with contractors and parties involved in the incident to demand accountability. He gave them two days to submit a comprehensive report regarding the collapse of a steel beam in the project.

    Francia said the DOLE team will hasten its investigation to shorten the work stoppage.

    Binag said based on the videos and initial reports that came out, there was no signage and no person directing traffic while the construction project was ongoing.

    Binag said the project owner, main contractor, and sub-contractor may all be liable for violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act which could result in fines from P20,0000 to P100,000. They can also be charged with negligence resulting in homicide.

    San Miguel Corp., a proponent of the project, has apologized and vowed to provide assistance to the victims and their families. – With Jocelyn Montemayor and Noel Talacay