Bello orders assessment of HTI; assures aid to fire victims

INSPECTORS have been dispatched to the House of Technologies Inc. (HTI) in General Trias, Cavite, to assess the needs of the workers affected by the fire that gutted its building Wednesday night, the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) said.

In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) Regional Extension Unit in Calabarzon will also establish if the company is compliant with fundamental labor standards.

"I have directed an immediate determination of whether or not HTI has complied with basic employment standards to assess the extent of assistance we can provide,” he added.

The personnel were also instructed to assess the needs of the victims, who are employees of the company.

HTI is an electrical and electronic manufacturing company with a manpower complement of 10,892 workers. Of that number 4,263 are directly hired workers and 6,629 are under five different contractors.

Initial reports from the Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) revealed that 30 workers were injured while three are still missing.

With this, Bello said the BWC, Occupational Safety and Health Center, and the Dole will look into the incident as soon as the fire is totally put out and police authorities have concluded their mopping up operation and investigation.

He noted that HTI management has committed to cooperate and help the affected workers.

“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,” the Dole chief added.

Bello noted that those who were hospitalized will be entitled to medical or hospital benefits and sickness benefit of up to 120 days at a maximum of P200 per day while those who were injured are entitled to free rehabilitation.

The ECC will provide livelihood and skills training for those who may not be able to work anymore. For those who may suffer from disability because of the tragedy, the ECC will process their pension or lump sum compensation depending on the disability. (FP/SunStar Philippines)

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