Lobregat lauds first regional occupational safety summit PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 February 2013 14:18

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday lauded the first regional occupational safety and health summit, saying that the two-day event was very important as the city government is “one in our common desire for a zero-accident or accident-free working environment in the Zamboanga Peninsula.”

Anchored on the theme “Embracing Challenges and Sharing Visions for an Accident and Incident-Free Region,” the summit was organized by the Zamboanga Peninsula Occupational Safety and Health Network, Inc. (ZamPen OSHNet, Inc.) the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers (PSME) ZamBaSulta Chapter, the Department of Labor and Employment and other partner-agencies.

“I hope this summit will be able to create a region-wide awareness of the dimensions and consequences of work-related accidents, injuries and diseases. We hope to place the health and safety of our workers on the regional agenda and to stimulate and support practical actions at all levels,” Lobregat said.

He also thanked the organizers for choosing Zamboanga as venue of the event, considering that the city is home to a number of big industrial companies and for which it is known as the industrial center of the Zamboanga Peninsula or Western Mindanao Region.

“When we speak of industries, the so-called occupational safety and health hazards are of primordial concern. Hence, it is but fitting to hold this summit in Zamboanga,” the chief executive said, adding that the huge industrial companies here, mostly canning factories which are producers of the country’s leading canned sardines, have a combined workforce of more or less 30,000 individuals.

But, Lobregat took pride in saying that notwithstanding the big industries and large workforce seldom has there been any accident on the job or work places, except the ammonia leak incident in February 2012 at an ice plant in Ayala.

“Previous to that incident and after, I cannot recall of any other occupational accident in the city. This shows that our industrial companies here are not only cognizant of the safety hazards in their respective workplaces, but are also taking measures to prevent such occurrence,” the mayor stressed.

Present during the summit were DOLE-9 Regional Director Sisino B. Cano, Dr. Ma. Teresita S. Cucueco, executive director of the Occupational Safety and Health Center, ZamPen OSHNet President Engr. Eduardo Rivero Jr., PSME President Joey Albic Baysa and many other guests. — Vic Larato