MANILA - It’s the government’s job to ensure that fly-by-night manpower companies and labor contractors are not operating their businesses, the lawyer of Kentex Manufacturing said.
In an interview with radio dzMM, lawyer Renato Paraiso said: “With all due respect, I think they should be the ones monitoring these fly-by-night agencies. The only obligation of Kentex is if an agency has a business permit. We can’t go beyond that… They are the ones enforcing the law.”
News agency Agence France-Presse earlier quoted Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz as saying that the owners of the factory that was gutted down by a fire on Wednesday were “immoral”. The fire claimed the lives of 72 factory workers.
Baldoz described CJC Manpower Services, Kentex’s subcontractor, as an unregistered and fly-by-night company.
“They are not only illegal, they are immoral. This employer, they don't have a sense of social responsibility," Baldoz was quoted as saying.
Nonetheless, Paraiso said the company has committed to help all survivors and kin of victims.
“We will provide all claims and benefits dictated under the law. The only gray area is the workers under the agency… But whatever we can do to help, we are willing to dispense of resources across the board,” he said.
He said the company told him they are insured, but admitted he has yet to see the documentation to be sure.
The company gave the workers – the survivors and kin of the dead – P8,000 as last pay and P5,000 assistance each, without asking them to sign a waiver.
He said they are also willing to pay for the identification of the dead, which some experts believe would be “prohibitive" for relatives of the dead.
He said the company will try its best to cover all costs, if the local government and the police order them to step in. “If they bill us, we will pay. But for now, the PNP said the identification of the dead is part of their job. We don’t want to overstep our bounds. But we will try to reach out to them.”
“The commitment of the company is that they will do everything in order to ease the burden of the families of the victims,” he added.