Labor group fears new fire policy will lead to unemployment

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 07 2015 05:19 PM | Updated as of Jun 08 2015 01:19 AM

Women bang the gates of the Kentex Manufacturing factory in Valenzuela City, Metro Manila on Thursday, nine days after a factory fire killed 72 people, mostly female workers. The protesters denounced the substandard working and safety conditions in the footwear factory. Photo by Yummie Rivera Dingding for ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA -- The new fire safety policy implemented by the government may lead to a higher unemployment rate, labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) warned.

The new policy requires businesses to present a fire safety inspection certificate first before they can be issued a business permit.

According to KMU chairperson Elmer Labog, the new policy will most likely lead to widespread retrenchment of employees.

Based on records, only 15 percent, or 43,779 establishments out of a total of 295,885, have a fire safety inspection certificate (FSIC) from the Bureau of Fire Protection.

Closure of establishments without the certificate will directly affect employees.

The KMU thus urged the government to mandate business owners to pay their employees in full even while their establishments are closed.

The group also criticized the new policy, saying it is just a cover-up for the massive fire in Kentex Manufacturing Corporation, wherein 72 people died.

The KMU also urged the government to look into BFP's process of issuing fire safety inspection certificates. -- report from Robert Mano, DZMM