Philippines suspended operations at mall and call centre after deadly fire

A view of a mall after it was gutted by a fire in Davao city, Philippines, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Lean Daval Jr

Vastavam web: The Philippines has suspended operations of a shopping mall and a call centre run by a U.S. firm where a fire killed 38 people, citing failure to fully comply with fire safety requirements for five successive years.Charito Plaza, director-general of the government’s Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), said the agency has suspended the registration of the New City Commercial Center (NCCC) and American firm Research Now SSI in Davao for failing to meet certain safety requirements since 2013.

“Violations were more of the non-compliance of annual emergency drills to test the fire safety equipment, response and rescue capability, sprinklers and emergency exits,” Plaza told Reuters in a text message.NCCC could not immediately be reached for comment. An SSI official declined to comment and referred Reuters to its legal representative.SSI employed 500 people at the Davao call centre and since the fire said it would not comment until after investigations were concluded. NCCC has insisted it had met safety requirements.