MANILA — A labor group is urging Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz to resign over the fire in a factory in Valenzuela City, where 72 workers were killed.
Bukluran ng Mangagawang Pilipino (BMP) chairperson, Leody de Guzman calls Baldoz as the “prime culprit” in the fire.
“While local officials of Valenzuela are guilty for negligence of duty and most probably corruption and collusion with the employer, Baldoz remains to be the prime culprit in the tragedy when she ordered and implemented outright anti-worker policies that principally contributed to the misery and the deaths of the workers at Kentex,” de Guzman said as quoted in a report for the Philippine Star.
“Her defense last week of the issuance of Certificate of Compliance to the Kentex management as a compliant of labor and safety standards is insignificant compared to the damage inflicted by her policies,” he added.
He also said that Baldoz has been prioritizing regulations that will accommodate the interest of huge businessmen.
De Guzman cited the issuance of certain regulations including the Department Orders (DO) 18-A in 2011 and 131-13 in 2013.
“The issuance of DO 18-A ushered the legalization of of sub-contracting, even if it is contrary to the Constitution and the Labor Code. This also cemented the cheap labor policy of the government that opened the flood gates to pervasive unfair labor practices as sweatshops mushrooms nationwide,” he said.
He also noted the findings of the recent inquiry between DOLE officials and the contractors adding that these were only just the surface of the miserable conditions of workers.