Corporate News

PEZA: No violations by HTI in factory fire

Posted on February 07, 2017

THE PHILIPPINE Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said on Monday it found no violations made by House Technology Industries Pte. Ltd. (HTI), whose factory in the Cavite Export Processing Zone was hit by a massive fire last week.

Black smoke billows from a burning factory building belonging to House Technologies Industries, a Japanese-owned company, at the Export processing Zone (EPZA) in General Trias town, Cavite province, southwest of Manila on February 2, 2017. -- AFP
PEZA Director-General Charito B. Plaza said they have not found any violation on the part of HTI. She added the blaze, which injured 104 factory workers, was due to “human error.”

The factory blaze in the Export Processing Zone Authority in Rosario, Cavite earlier this month has injured 104 workers, with one employee who suffered 3rd degree burns later died in the hospital.

“We did not find any violation as far as HTI is concerned. We conduct twice a year an inspection of their facilities and the last inspection was July 2016. It was more of human error. As far as safety facilities, they have complied to all of these,” she said in a media briefing.

Ms. Plaza said the estimated cost of damage from the factory blaze at the export processing zone in Rosario, Cavite reached P15 billion, including the equipment and lost sales.

HTI accounts for more than half of the current work force of H.R.D. Group of Companies, which manufactures certain parts of prefabricated housing materials. HTI manufactures and exports ready-to-install bathroom units and kitchen-tops.

Ms. Plaza said the workers from the Cavite factory will be employed by four other sister companies, namely: H.R.D. Singapore Pte. Ltd., Wu Kong (S) Pte. Ltd., SCAD Services Pte. Ltd., and PV Tech Pte.Ltd.

Asked how the sister firms -- which have substantially lower number of workers -- would absorb the additional employees, Ms. Plaza said more shifts would have to be added.

The H.R.D. Group employs 24,523 workers, while HTI has 13,871 employees.

While PEZA linked the fire to human error, Ms. Peza said that they would seek additional fire personnel, noting there is currently one fireman for every 28,000 people.

Ms. Plaza did not give a definite timetable wherein the factory would be rebuilt, noting that this would be done “as soon as possible.” -- R.S.C. Canivel