Press Release
October 8, 2011


Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada today called on the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to conduct a thorough investigation into the "tragedy" at the Keppel Shipyard in Subic, Zambales where at least five workers were killed and many others were injured after a huge, tons-heavy steel platform in the area collapsed.

The elevated platform was reportedly being used as a bridge by the workers repairing M/V Tombarra, a 22,650-ton container ship, at the drydock of Subic Shipyard and Engineering Inc., an enterprise managed by Singapore's Keppel Shipyard Limited in Barangay Cawag which is part of a special economic zone. Keppel is said to be engaged in ship repair and conversion, shipbuilding and offshore engineering.

"We must leave no stone unturned in examining all the circumstances behind this horrible incident as well as all the factors that might have contributed to it, and in ultimately determining if there was any lapse in the overall ensuring of safety measures in the said workplace," Estrada, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development and the joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Labor and Employment, declared.

"This, even though there are claims that Keppel has been given high marks in safety checks done by authorities especially the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), and that the company is said to be taking full responsibility for the incident and is already investigating this through its safety department."

In 2009, Estrada personally made a site inspection on the premises of another shipyard in Subic, Korean shipbuilding firm Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC), after a spate of incidents there that caused the death of several Filipino workers.

Through the said inspection and the overall scrutiny into the incidents, several lapses in and direct violations of safety measures at the Hanjin shipyard were discovered.

"I am calling on DoLE to conduct its own, thorough investigation of this Keppel incident, come up with a detailed report of it at the soonest time possible and ensure that all the victims will be completely attended to," the senator said, as he expressed sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the affected workers.

News Latest News Feed