DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 25 February) –The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 11 registered a total of 245 job seekers during the first day of the two-day special job fair for displaced NCCC Mall workers on Sunday at the Davao City Recreation Center.
DOLE 11 communication officer Kriztja Marae Labrador told MindaNews on there are 7,205 job vacancies – 5,142 overseas and 2,063 locals –and they expect around 2,900 NCCC Mall workers displaced by the December 23 fire to participate in the fair.
She said this is part of DOLE’s intervention to help the fire victims get long-term employment, after having them undergo an Emergency Employment Program that provided them a 30-day temporary employment, which started on December 28, 2017 and has since listed 1,500 beneficiaries.
She said some of the displaced mall workers had been reassigned to other branches.
For local employment, job applicants can choose from business process outsourcing, sales representatives, management trainees, service crew, field coordinator, stock clerks, assistant store managers, marketing professionals, online English tutors, and salesmen, she said.
Jobs available for overseas employment include nurses, cleaners, service crew, waiters/waitresses, household worker services, laborers, merchandisers, technicians, barista, and engineers, she added.
On the first day, 160 applicants qualified for local jobs and 73 for overseas; 47 were hired on the spot for local and seven 11 for overseas; 105 for follow-up interview for local jobs and 88 for overseas, she said.
The fire, which caused by an electrical short circuit at the ceiling on the third floor last December 23, 2017, left 38 people dead – 37 were call center agents of Survey Sampling International (SSI) and a key custodian of the mall – after being trapped on the fourth floor.
It took firefighters more than day to put out.
On January 2, Fire Supt. Jerry Candido, Interagency Anti-Arson Task Force deputy team leader and spokesperson, said they found that NCCC Mall Davao and its tenant Survey Sampling International (SSI) failed to comply with fire safety requirements as they found lapses in the setup of the mall’s fire alarm, sprinkler system, and fire exits.
Candido said the task force found out that the sprinkler systems of the third and fourth floors did not work while the alarm system of the mall was not interconnected with SSI’s, he said.
He said the sprinkler system’s control valve on the third floor had no sprinkler head. The one on the fourth floor was intact but installed outside the facility of SSI when it should have been installed inside.
Candito also pointed out that the floor control valve on the third floor was closed due to the ongoing renovation while the one on the fourth floor had been closed for a long time due to the operation of SSI.
He said the sprinklers would not spray water as the floor control valve was closed.
The task force also found out that the NCCC’s alarm system was not automatic, and did not reach the fourth floor when it was sounded by mall personnel, as the SSI’s alarm system was not connected with the mall’s, he said.
“If the fire happens, which already happened to NCCC Mall, the call center agents inside the SSI office would not hear the alarm. Same thing if the fire will start inside the SSI office, those in the third, second, and ground floors, will not know there’s fire.. The alarm system was not interconnected,” he said.
Candido added that the fire exits were not compliant with the Fire Code of the Philippines as these were not heat- and smoke-proof, which explains why workers were trapped on the fourth floor. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)