Last November 21, a steel girder on the Skyway Extension Project fell on the East Service Road in Muntinlupa City. The freak accident killed one individual, injured four others, and crushed six vehicles on the busy roadway.
This incident resulted in The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issuing a work stoppage order (WSO) last November 23 to the EEI Corporation/Skyway Extension Project. Since then, the company has vowed to address and help the victims of the mishap. They also committed to coming up with solutions that will help prevent another accident from happening in the area and the project.
Fast forward to the present day, and work on the Skyway Extension Project can now officially resume after DOLE lifted the WSO it slapped against EEI Corporation. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that they permitted work to restart the said project after the contractor and subcontractors have settled the fines amounting to PhP 500,000, along with compliance with all occupational safety and health standards.
"After consultation with our Regional Director and the Director of Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC), I decided to lift the WSO also with respect to the area where the accident took place,” said Bello III.
The Labor Secretary added that the lifting of the WSO is effective immediately since it is one of the major projects under the government's Build, Build, Build program. Combined with the fact that the project was supposed to be completed this year, Bello decided that it would be best to let the project continue right away once the WSO is lifted.
Since the accident, San Miguel Corporation president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang issued an apology and assured that all the victims' needs will be taken care of, and more. Ang added that while EEI Corporation is the project's contractor, as project proponent, SMC has a responsibility to take care of its victims.
“Even with a contractor handling construction, ultimately, we are responsible for the welfare of those who were affected. I would like to personally apologize to the victims and their families, as well as to our larger community in Muntinlupa. This terrible and tragic accident has affected me in ways I can’t even begin to express. I have not stopped thinking about the people who were affected, the four that were injured, and most especially, the person who perished, and his family. There are no words that can ease the grief of losing a loved one,” said Ang.
Despite work being allowed to continue on the Skyway Extension Project, SMC said that the unfortunate incident meant that completion of the project has to be moved. From the original December 2020 deadline, the target completion is now February 2021.