Hanjin's safety record improves
- Bebot Sison Jr. () - September 7, 2009 - 12:00am

Subic, Zambales, Philippines — House committee on labor and employment members have expressed appreciation for the implementation of work safety measures inside the Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp. (HHIC) shipyard in Subic, but said they wanted to see more improvement in labor safety inside the facility.

Led by its chairman 2nd District of Bulacan Representative Magtanggol Guinigundo, the committee made an ocular inspection of the shipbuilding facility owned and operated by the HHIC in Subic’s Redondo Peninsula, Brgy. Cawag.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) senior deputy administrator Ramon Agregado, who accompanied the House delegation, said the lawmakers wanted to see for themselves how workers fared at the Hanjin facility.

“The ocular visit is in connection with the ongoing committee hearing to determine how safe the facility is, and to evaluate the working conditions of the workers in the Hanjin shipyard,” Guinigundo said during the inspection.

During the briefing, HHIC general manager Taek Kyun Yoo told the congressmen that HHIC has been implementing health and safety measures that the House committee has recommended during previous hearings.

“We are happy to report to you that Hanjin Philippines is now 99.9 percent compliant in securing accreditation for all its health and safety personnel, and works towards the improvement of the working conditions of our workers,” he said.

Yoo also reported that the emergency clinic in the shipyard complex has been expanded to accommodate 20 beds and modern equipment, and now has four medical doctors.

The clinic is supported by an ambulance and three units of fast sea ambulances, he added.

“Despite the additional medical equipment and personnel, Hanjin should build its own hospital in the area so that full medical services would be available to the workers,” Zambales 1st District Representative Mitos H. Magsaysay told The STAR.

She added that doctors and nurses should be on duty at the facility on a 24-hour basis.

Yoo likewise reported that the HHIC Board has approved an annual budget of P311 million for the improvement of work conditions in the facility. This will also cover the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) such gloves, shoes, over-all work suits, goggles, and helmets which are given free to workers, he added.

“We are happy to hear and see the big improvement in the implementation of safety measures, but because they have just started doing this, there are lots more to do,” Anak Bayan Partylist Representative Walden Bello told The STAR.

Bello noted, however, that despite the improvements in Hanjin’s labor safety, the implementation is still in the early stages.

ANAK BAYAN PARTYLIST REPRESENTATIVE WALDEN BELLO DISTRICT OF BULACAN REPRESENTATIVE MAGTANGGOL GUINIGUNDO DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE MITOS H HANJIN HANJIN HEAVY INDUSTRIES CORP HANJIN PHILIPPINES RAMON AGREGADO REDONDO PENINSULA SUBIC SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY TAEK KYUN YOO
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