Ammonia leak: Navotas ice plant faces sanctions

Published by rudy Date posted on February 8, 2021

by Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star), 8 Feb 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment is eyeing to impose sanctions on a cold storage facility in Navotas partly owned by Mayor Toby Tiangco’s mother for failing to report the death of two employees due to ammonia leak last week, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said yesterday.

The DOLE has ordered the owners of TP Marcelo Ice Plant and Cold Storage in Barangay North Bay Boulevard South Proper to submit a report about the incident.

“We notified the owners of the ice plant na meron silang legal obligation to immediately report the incident to the DOLE. We are waiting for their compliance otherwise, we will impose administrative penalties,” Bello said. “They have yet to submit a report na may namatay at mga nasugatan. That should be done within 24 hours after the incident.”

He said the incident report must be submitted even if the DOLE has yet to inspect the workplace.

“It’s not necessarily fines that we will impose but administrative sanctions,” Bello said.

He said labor inspectors went to the accident site, but were not able to enter the establishment because of the high toxicity level.

The DOLE will conduct an inspection as soon as the Bureau of Fire Protection gives the go-signal, according to Bello.

He said an inspection must be conducted to determine what caused the ammonia leak and if the establishment has complied with occupational safety and health standards.

The company must undertake immediate corrective measures after the labor inspection, Bello said.

Two employees, electrician Joselito Jazareno, 54, and Gilbert Tiangco, 44, said to be related to the mayor, died in the explosion caused by pressure that built up inside the ammonia tank.

At least 96 people were taken to different hospitals for treatment after they were exposed to ammonia fumes.

Tiangco said the company would shoulder the victims’ burial and medical expenses.

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