MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III said victims of the huge fire that hit the House Technology Industries (HTI) in Rosario, Cavite, may avail themselves of up to P24,000 worth of medical benefits.
The labor secretary said Thursday, February 2, that the survivors who were hospitalized will be given medical benefits of up to 120 days, worth a maximum of P200 per day.
DOLE Calabarzon Director Zenaida Campita said the aid will come from the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC).
The ECC also has livelihood and skills training for those who are severely affected and will be unable to return to work.
Meanwhile, pension or lump sum compensation will be immediately processed for those who were disabled from the incident.
Secretary Judy Taguiwalo of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was set to visit the victims Thursday to determine what assistance the agency can provide them.
“While the details of what happened directly fall under the mandate of DOLE, we at the DSWD want to assure the workers of HTI of our full support and our readiness to provide what assistance is within the means of the DSWD to give to help them,” Taguiwalo said.
The fire that broke at 6:15 pm on Wednesday, injuring some 100 workers, who were treated in various hospitals in General Trias, a town adjacent to Rosario. (LIST: Workers injured in Cavite export processing zone fire)
Bello said the firm has committed to giving their workers financial assistance and employment.
“Aside from providing financial assistance to workers who were hospitalized, the HTI management also promised that the workers who were displaced by the fire will be absorbed in other areas of operation,” Bello said.
Cavite Governor Jesus Crispin Remulla said the provincial government will also assist victims, especially those who were injured badly that they may not be able to return to work immediately.
Companies within export zones are under the authority of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, not the local governments.
As of Thursday evening, only one had been confirmed missing, based on names that relatives reported. However, based on company records of employees who clocked out just before the fire broke, there are 20 who remain unaccounted for.
The labor chief directed inspectors to check whether HTI has complied with basic labor standards.
HTI, a Japanese firm, is the largest company in the Cavite Export Processing Zone.
According to DOLE, out of the 10,892 workers of the manufacturing firm, only 4,263 are directly hired workers while 6,629 are contractual workers hired through 5 different agencies. – Rappler.com