Firm backhoe owner ordered to pay P130k for operators death

Photo Courtesy: Aksyon Radion / FB page

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) ordered a quarry company and a backhoe owner to pay following the death of its worker.

In a press conference called by DOLE, HPL Sand and Gravel Quarry owned by Dr. Hope Lapating and Arlie Palmares was ordered to comply with the reportorial documents required by the law. 

On the same day, DOLE regional director Cyril Ticao ordered the firm to solidarily pay P100,000 as penalty for the fatal accident and P30,000 for not reporting the accident to agency within twenty-four hours.

While they were given 10 days to comply with the order, HPL Sand and Gravel Quarry and Palmares immediately paid the P130,000 immediately after the conference.

The case stemmed from the death of Larry Despi after his excavating equipment dived into a river in Passi City, Iloilo on April 10, 2019.

Despi, 35, of Barangay Alimono, Passi City, was declared dead at the Don Valerio Palmares Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Passi City.

Police reports indicated that he may have died due to drowning while doing quarry works at the Jalaur River in Barangay Gemat-y after miscalculating the equipment’s operation.

“He may have been trapped inside the backhoe after it plunged into the river,” the police said.

Lapating owned the quarry site.

A day after Despi died, DOLE issued an Authority to Conduct Accident Investigation.

Labor Inspector Bladimar Pantillo of the DOLE Iloilo Field Office proceeded to the area to conduct the probe.

The investigation results showed that the company violated some provisions and prohibitions of Republic Act No. 11058 (Occupational Safety and Health Law) and DOLE Department Order No. 198-18 which provides its Implementing Rules and Regulations.

Republic Act No. 11058 is an “Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Providing Penalties for Violations thereof”.  It was signed into law last August 17, 2018.

The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of was signed on December 6, 2018 and took effect last January 25, 2019, after due compliance with publication requirements.

As recommended by the inspector, all parties were invited for a conference at the DOLE 6 Regional Office at Commission Civil St., Jaro, Iloilo City where the firm was ordered to pay the operator’s survivor.