Employees of Porac supermarket fear losing their jobs

Gracie Rutao, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 28 2019 07:07 PM

Aside from the casualties and damaged properties left by the deadly magnitude 6.1 earthquake, employees of the collapsed supermarket, including those from its other branches, are worried that they will lose their jobs.

Alias "Ana," an employee, said she hopes the investigation on their company ends soon so they can return to their jobs as soon as possible.

"Madami po kaming empleyado, nag-uusap usap din po kami. Mahirap makahanap ngayon ng trabaho kaya sana kung under investigation po talaga 'yung company namin, sana mapabilis para makabalik po kami kaagad sa trabaho," she said.

The structural integrity of the building of Chuzon Supermarket in Porac is being questioned following the collapse.

President Rodrigo Duterte, during his visit to Pampanga last week, ordered all branches of the supermarket in Pampanga closed after the collapse of the Porac branch.

The supermarket, owned by businessman Samuel Zhu, has branches in Santo Tomas, Apalit, Guagua and Floridablanca. It also has a branch in Tarlac and another in Mariveles, Bataan.

Adenn Sigua, legal counsel of the supermarket, said there are at least 100 employees in each branch, which means around 700 employees instantly lost their jobs following the closure order.

"Siguro mapipilitan kaming mag-terminate, magbigay ng separation pay, pero as much as possible gusto ni Mr. Zhu meron silang trabaho," he said.

The management also said they respect the President's decision and they are ready to comply if there is a necessity to improve their buildings.

“Its just a matter of inspection. If there is a need to improve the facility, then we will improve immediately para may trabaho na sila... On our side dahil wala kaming engineering background, so hindi talaga namin alam per se kung anong main reason. In fact, meron din kaming ongoing investigation internal kasi nagtataka talaga si Mr. Zhu kung bakit nangyari 'yun," Sigua added.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Region 3 has started the profiling of about 105 employees from the Porac branch.

The agency is very confident they will be absorbed by the local government.

DOLE will also provide livelihood assistance who will not be employed by the government.