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Company Response

8 Jun 2015

Author:
Att. Renato “Aboy” A. Paraiso, representing Kentex

Kentex's lawyer responds to questions about health & safety standards, fire code, labour rights

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1.     Did Kentex have a special permit to do the welding work that caused the fire? 

No, since the company is only involved in manufacturing,we contracted a third party firm, Ace Shutters, to do the welding work for us and we relied on their manifestation of being experts and authorities in their line of work, we already assumed that they would secure ALL necessary permits and requirements for them to do their jobs and execute the agreement to fix our shutter doors. 

2.     Is it true that workers on the first floor were only able to escape through a locked door because they found a key? 

No, according to witnesses as well as the partial report of the Joint Inter-Agency task Force tasked to investigate the tragedy, there were no findings that any of the fire exits nor external doors were locked. 

3.     Is it true that the delivery truck entrance to the building remained locked throughout the fire? 

No, according to witnesses as well as the partial report of the Joint Inter-Agency task Force tasked to investigate the tragedy, there were no findings that any of the fire exits nor external doors were locked. 

4.     Is it true that there were no emergency exits? 

No, according to witnesses as well as the partial report of the Joint Inter-Agency task Force tasked to investigate the tragedy, there were sufficient fire exits. This is bolstered by the fact that we were issued a Fire Safety Compliance Certificate by the Bureau of Fire Protection. 

5.     Is it true that workers were unable to escape the windows were barred with wires and grills? 

While it is true that the windows have grills, the Bureau of Fire Protection stated that these windows were there merely to provide ventilation and NOT as an exit in case of fire. That is precisely the reason that there must be sufficient Fire Exits in the premises. Again I point out to the fact that the company was inspected and was issued a Fire Safety Compliance Certificate by the Bureau of Fire Protection. 

6.     Is it true that fire drills were never conducted at the factory? 

In its annual inspection of our company one of the pre-requisites for the issuance of a Fire Safety Compliance Certificate by the Bureau of Fire Protection is the conduct of fire drills at least once a year. The issuance of the said certificate would indicate that we have complied with such requirement. 

7.     Workers say they never saw any Safety Inspector. Is this true? 

No, we have a safety officer within the company. We were issued a Certificate of Compliance by the Department of Labor and Employment for compliance with Labor standards AND Occupational Health and Safety Standards which requires the presence of a Safety Officer within the premises before its issuance. 

8.     Is it true that workers were paid well below the minimum wage and that they did long hours without overtime being paid? 

No, We were issued a Certificate of Compliance by the Department of Labor and Employment for compliance with Labor standards AND Occupational Health and Safety Standards which certifies our compliance with all labor standard laws including the payment of Minimum Wage and all premiums for overtime, holiday pay, etc. 

9.     Is it true that workers were constantly exposed to foul-smelling chemicals? 

False, again We were issued a Certificate of Compliance by the Department of Labor and Employment for compliance with Labor standards AND Occupational Health and Safety Standards which belies these allegations

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