Press Release
October 12, 2011

Jinggoy closing in on Keppel's repeated negligence

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada is determined to bring justice to the six workers who tragically died and to several others who sustained injuries due to Keppel Shipyard accident last Friday. In his privilege speech on Monday, he rallied among his colleagues that someone must be held liable for the tragedy.

Sen. Estrada, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development and of the Congressional Oversight Committee on Labor and Employment, stated, "At this juncture, determining the exact liability of the Subic shipyard management for last Friday's tragedy is at a standstill. There are hardly any developments that could assure the families of the deceased that the full measure of the law will be imposed on those who may have been remiss in ensuring the safety of their workers."

Jinggoy also mentioned in his speech that reports indicate that one accident occurs quarterly, even as the Singapore-based company claims strict adherence to safety standards.

"There are some disturbing reports that put this claim into question. For instance, it has come to light that victims of on-site injuries have been regular visitors to Subic's Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital - an average of 1 every three months. There are also reports of a worker falling to his death from a scaffolding, and an oil tanker exploding in the shipyard's premises. This last one is distinct from another oil tanker explosion which occurred in 2003, also within its premises. That tragedy claimed five lives," Sen. Estrada revealed.

Lastly, Sen. Estrada prodded the authorities to dismiss the excuse of the shipyard management that accidents naturally happen in industrial worksites as unacceptable.

"Hindi dapat payagang manaig ang katigasan ng ulo ng may-ari ng shipyard sa pagsabi na natural lang daw ang ganoong aksidente. Paano na ang ating mga trabahador? Ang mga dapat magdusa? Ang mga naiwang pamilya?" Sen. Estrada asserted, adding:

"Accidents happen, but they do have a way of happening again, and again, if fault or negligence is not determined as soon as possible so that corrective measures may be undertaken just as quickly."

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