DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Fourteen workers of a coconut desiccating plant in Davao del Sur died in a smashup of two trucks on Monday.
Police said the fatalities were workers of Franklin Baker, a coconut desiccating and processing plant.
The vehicular accident happened at Barangay Astorga, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur and involved a ten-wheeler truck and the Franklin Baker service truck.
Police said the two vehicles were travelling on opposite direction and upon reaching the highway in Barangay Astorga, Lantawan, Sta. Cruzthe company vehicle headed north veered toward the opposite lane hitting the ten-wheeler truck.
The workers belonging to Dames and A&R agency aboard the company utility vehicle were transported from Franklin Baker, Sitio Coronon to another plant in Barangay Darong, also in the same town.
Twelve persons died on-the-spot, one died on the way to the hospital. There were five injured who were rushed to the Digos Provincial Hospital but one expired while being treated.
Fatalities were: Roy Itchon,Nenita Estoque, Ariel Cana, Jonathan Dadong, Nina Itchon, Jayson Tusan, Recmar Bautista, Maria Fe Regino, Joel Cedeno, Durson Adiog, Rannie Cabal, Alfredo Beringuel, Vicente Sanico, Ron Gie Rada.
Injured were:Benjie Lumanta, Efren Presores and Aixa Puna.
Ranel Guillermo,chairpeson of SAMA-AKO (Samahan ng Manggagawa laban sa Kontraktwalisasyon) has called on the agencies and Franklin Baker management to take responsibility in the hospitalization and funeral expenses.
Meanwhile,Carlo Olalo, secretary general of Kilusang Mayo Uno said that Franklin Baker should take responsibility as the principal employer of the deceased workers.
“Franklin Baker is one of the companies released by DOLE engaged in labor only contracting.The individuals who died and injured were among the 3,400 contractual workers that have been working for so long in the company.They deserved to be given the rights of regular workers,”he added.
Families were given P10,000.00 by the agencies. No official statement from Franklin Baker has been issued regarding the incident.(davaotoday.com)