THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional office will now conduct fire safety inspections on malls and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies to see for themselves if fire safety requirements are being followed.
DOLE Director Cyril Ticao said they received an order from Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to check establishments for compliance with fire safety requirement.
“In the interest of the service, and taking into account the fire incidents in Davao and Cebu, you are hereby directed to coordinate with the local BFP (Bureau of Fire Protection) within your jurisdictions, to inspect the fire safety compliance of establishments particularly Malls and BPO companies,” Bello said in the memorandum dated on Jan. 8.
Vanisa Soriano, a call center agent said BPO companies should be subjected to fire safety inspections.
“BPO companies do shelter a lot of employees. It would be better to make sure. What if there are some things that must be done better?” the 22-year-old said.
Meanwhile, DOLE asked the management of Metro Ayala to submit an incident report on the fire which hit the establishment within ten days from Jan. 8 when they did their first safety inspection. In fact, Ticao said the report should have been submitted within 24 hours after the incident.
Ticao said they cannot yet determine if there were lapses in the mall’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS) because their personnel were not able to enter the establishment during their inspection.
Senior Labor and Employment Officer Ray Martin Codiñera, who led the examination on the mall said they also asked the management to provide proof that they conducted fire drills.