P30 million worth of assistance available to Davao mall fire victims

Patty Pasion
P30 million worth of assistance available to Davao mall fire victims
Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III says no worker will be displaced from the 2,000 affected employees

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to release P30 million worth of assistance to more than 2,000 workers who were affected by the fire that gutted the NCCC Mall in Davao City last weekend. 

Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III ordered the release during his site visit on Thursday, December 28. The amount covers the emergency employment of the workers or their dependents for 30 days to ensure that no one will be displaced.

Its regional office in Davao, together with the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSCH) and the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) will also raise funds to give P20,000 to the families of the workers who were killed in the tragic incident which struck Saturday evening, December 23.

Some 38 call center agents of the Texas-based firm SSI were the recorded casualty. 

Meanwhile, the ECC will issue P30,000 worth of burial assistance to each of the family of the victims. This includes grocery items for the wake and the provision of survivorship pension to the families worth P3,700 per month.  (IN PHOTOS: Duterte cries with kin of Davao mall fire victims)

As for the surviving workers, SSI committed to paying them their salary until December 31 this year. Their operation will resume upon rebuilding their office in a new area within 60 days. 

The NCCC, on the other hand, said that its 616 regular mall employees will continue to receive their salaries and be reassigned to their other businesses. 

The remaining 192 workers hired through the agency Bmirck Cooperative are still on standby as authorities negotiate their possible deployment in other establishments. 

According to the DOLE Davao Regional Office, the investigation on the compliance with workplace safety standards is still ongoing. (READ: Gov’t urged to prioritize safer workplace bill– Rappler.com

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Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.