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Palace: Don’t overreact to Hanjin deaths

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 15:38:00 02/04/2009

Filed Under: Industrial accident, Government, Investments, Health and Safety at Work

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang said the public should “not overreact” over the string of fatal accidents at the Subic Freeport shipyard of Korean firm Hanjin Heavy Industries so as not to scare foreign investors away.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde acknowledged that the deaths of several workers should be investigated, but that Hanjin, one of the biggest foreign investors in the country, must also be given due process.

“Let us not overreact [that] because of this incident, we will ask for the closure of the company. We should take care of the country as an investment destination,” Remonde told a news conference at the Palace.

The Senate investigated the work-related deaths at Hanjin on Tuesday, with Senator Jose Estrada saying he might recommend the temporary suspension of the company’s operations.

Remonde assured the public that the Palace would not allow the “wanton disregard of our laws,” but he said Hanjin should be “treated fairly.”

“Otherwise, baka wala nang mag-invest kung masyado natin silang ginigipit at pinepressure [no one will invest if we harass and pressure them too much],” he said.

During Tuesday’s Senate hearing into the Hanjin deaths, Ramon Ogregado of the Subic Bay Metropolian Authority’s Support Service said they have recorded 19 deaths in 17 work-related incidents at the Korean-operated shipyard.

On the same day, 24 Hanjin workers were injured when the shuttle bus they were riding fell off a mountain road inside the Freeport.

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2009-02-04T12:29:15+00:00UTC02bUTCWed, 04 Feb 2009 12:29:15 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm02

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