PEZA suspends BPO firm in deadly Davao fire


Posted at Jan 02 2018 09:16 PM

The New City Commercial Center (NCCC) mall after it was gutted by fire on December 23, 207 in Davao City. Lean Daval Jr., Reuters

MANILA - The government agency that oversees special economic zones said on Tuesday it has ordered the suspension of the call center that figured in last month's deadly fire in Davao City. 

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said it suspended the BPO registration of Research Now SSI, as well as the economic zone registration of NCCC Mall, the building where 38 people died in a blaze last December 23, 2017. 

PEZA said both Research Now SSI and NCCC Mall failed to comply with PEZA's safety standards despite being warned several times to comply. 

PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said she issued the suspensions on the two firms on December 29, 2017.

"They can only operate back once they get all clearances and has complied with the safety requirements of PEZA, BFP, LGU, DOLE," Plaza said in a text message.

Plaza, however, clarified that SSI's operations in Mactan 2 economic zone in Cebu province will continue as the company's branch there has complied with PEZA's fire safety inspection and other requirements.

The agency said it will also let the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) handle the safety inspection of PEZA registered firms.

"PEZA will soon sign a Memo of Agreement with the BFP giving it the full of authority in issuing permits & the conduct of fire compliance safety certificate with PEZA assisting in the monitoring of industry compliance in its ecozones nationwide," Plaza said. 

President Rodrigo Duterte personally condoled with the families of the victims after the tragedy.