DOLE orders work stoppage at EDC site in Leyte

by Coco Alcuaz, ANC

Posted at Mar 12 2013 03:24 PM | Updated as of Mar 13 2013 02:13 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Labor says an Energy Development Corp. site where a landslide left five dead and nine still missing, posed "immediate danger" to workmen and ordered a stop to work there.

The DOLE issued the work stoppage order to EDC and two contractors at EDC's Leyte geothermal complex.

It said the contractors, including First Balfour Inc., had four violations, including: failure to submit safety program; failure to report incident within 24 hours; and failure to submit employment contracts and other employment documents.

The men were working on a project to protect the geothermal plant's steampipes from landslides when a landslide occurred.

The DOLE said the landslide may have been triggered by earthquakes on the two previous days.

EDC says the work stoppage order covers the area surrounding the steampipe, not the plant.

The company says the order was issued March 5, followed by a meeting with the DOLE in Tacloban on March 8.

First Balfour officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

EDC and First Balfour are part of the Lopez group, the parent of ABS-CBN Corp. is a unit of ABS-CBN Corp.