Employer of dead workers face stiff prison terms for SSS violations

EMPLOYERS of workers who plunged to their deaths while installing glass windows at the 32nd floor of a high rise building in Makati face prison terms of up to 12 years and a maximum fine of P20,000 for violations of the Social Security Law, the Social Security System (SSS) said.

SSS Vice President for National Capital Region Operations Naciancino Monreal said the agency was collating evidence to strengthen its case in preparation for the filing of legal action against the contractors of the workers, who fell to the ground — 10 were killed and one seriously injured — when a platform carrying them near the top of the 39-storey building collapsed.

“The workers were not reported for SSS coverage as required by law and seven of the 11 did not even have SSS numbers,” Monreal said. “Under the law, a worker must be reported for SSS coverage within 30 days starting from his or her first day of work.”

Based on investigation by SSS Makati Ayala Branch, the building contractor is CE Construction Corporation, which commissioned Arlo Aluminum to install the glass windows. Arlo Aluminum contracted a certain Eduardo Pinon to recruit the glass installers.

The construction workers were entitled to funeral benefit of P20,000 and P10,000 from the Employers Compensation Fund, which provides additional benefits for work-related accidents. Under the law, erring employers would pay the mandated benefits.

Monreal said Pinon is not among the registered employers in the SSS database and “we are still trying to establish who the liable employer is, so we can run after it for violations of the SS law.”

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