by Vito Barcelo, Manila Standard, Nov 16, 2017
Various labor and clean air advocates appealed to the Department of Labor and Employment to immediately act on complaints against various steel factories in the country that continue to violate occupational safety and health hazard laws.
The Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions and Clean Air Philippines Movement, Inc. claimed that five steel factories emit smokes and violates labor standards that threatens the safety and health of workers and the community living near the factories.
Paflu national president Terry Tuazon and Capmi president Manuel Galvez jointly appealed to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to immediately act on their complaints against Melter Steel Corp., Real Steel Corp., and Wan Chiong Steel Corp. all located in Pampanga, the Davao Mighty Steel Corp., in Davao and Metro Dragon Steel Corp. in Caloocan City for violating numerous labor and environmental laws.
“We await from DOLE its immediate action on our joint complaints against these factories because they continue to violate the occupational safety and health hazard laws including the Clean Air Act that poses grave dangers to their workers, “the PAFLU president said.
“It has been a month now since we filed our complaints against these steel manufacturers but nothing actually happen to our complaints. The air pollution at these industrial sites exceeds the maximum World Health Organization (WHO) allowable levels for a safe and healthy air for humans to breathe,” he said.
The WHO acceptable Total Suspended Particulates (TSP) levels is only TSP 90 ug/Ncm of air while readings at these sites ranges from TSP303.9 ug/Ncm to TSP 603.1 ug/Ncm of air.
“We also found out most of these steel mills uses an internationally banned technology from China that yields massive air pollution and even results to substandard metal products due to incomplete combustions of recycled materials used in the manufacture of steel products,” the group said.
“Furthermore, it is not only the factory workers that are exposed to the deadly air pollution from these sites but also the communities around it,” the group said.