Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) together with other Makabayan lawmakers filed today a resolution urging the House Committee on Labor and Employment to conduct an investigation on the huge factory fire in House Technology Industries (HTI) building in Cavite last Feb. 1.
In filing House Resolution No. 747, the progressive lawmakers underscored the need to ferret out information surrounding the factory fire that lasted for two days at the Cavite Export Processing Zone.
“We are pushing an independent and public investigation on the HTI factory fire amid the refusal of ecozone officials and local government to provide details. We want a full disclosure on whether the company had complied with occupational health and safety standards, as 7,000 lives were on the line when the incident happened,” Gabriela Rep. Emmi De Jesus said.
“The HTI factory fire is too big a workplace disaster to be dismissed. Up to now, there is no official count of the number of workers injured, or worse killed, during the blaze. What’s only estimated is the damage to property,” she added.
Gabriela lawmaker Arlene Brosas, for her part, shared that there are reports from the ground of huge casualties in the aftermath of the Feb. 1 ecozone fire, and that clamor for justice among workers’ families is strong.
“I personally went to General Trias, Cavite and to the hospital near the ecozone, and it’s troubling to hear stories of deaths and serious injuries to HTI workers. We want these accounts verified and brought out in the open,” Brosas said.
The two lawmakers said they want the company owner and economic zone officials be held accountable for the incident. “Holding them accountable will send a signal to other companies to never compromise on workers’ occupational health and safety,” Brosas added.
Gabriela also filed on the same day House Resolution 746 seeking an investigation on the working conditions inside special economic zones, which it said have become insulated from law enforcement and regulation of authorities.
“Demanding justice and accountability for workers in ecozones should mean regulating the tentacles of foreign capital inside exclusive zones that have led to intensified exploitation of workers and disregard of existing laws,” De Jesus ended. #