AT least 70 construction projects in Quezon City have been ordered to stop their construction activities for violating health and safety protocols for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Atty. Mark Dale Diamond Perral, officer-in-charge of the city’s Department of Building Official (DBO), said that Cease and Desist Orders (CDOs) were issued against the non-compliant projects.
The CDOs were issued after the said construction projects were found to be violating the healthy and safety protocol, during a surprise inspection conducted by the DBO.
Perral disclosed that of the 70 construction projects, seven of them have recorded positive cases of COVID-19.
Aside from the stoppage of the construction activities, Perral said that the city slapped administrative fines and other applicable penalties to the violators.
He said that the construction sites are in violation of Department Order No. 39 of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), or the safety guidelines for the implementation of infrastructure projects, and the safe workplace guidelines of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
They have likewise violated the DBO and City Engineering Department (CED) joint memorandum, or the revised construction guidelines under modified enhanced community quarantine for construction infrastructure projects in QC.
According to Perral, their observations include the absence of designated safety officers and missing personal records and health reports of personnel, which are necessary for contact tracing.
“We will allow them to resume with their on-site construction activities as soon as they have completed the 14-day quarantine protocol and passed the city’s assessments,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Joy Belmonte reiterated that all establishments in the city, especially big construction sites, should follow health protocols to protect their employees and nearby communities.
“We understand that granting workers medical leave to isolate have significant economic costs, but so would major outbreaks. We appeal to everyone to cooperate in stopping COVID-19 transmission in the city,” Belmonte said.