Kentex fire victims’ kin get to choose DOLE aid
More than a hundred survivors and relatives of the victims of the Kentex slipper factory fire in Valenzuela City are receiving livelihood assistance worth P10,000 each from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), which allowed them to choose the type of aid package they wish to get.
Jessie Sabungan, who lost her son to the seven-hour blaze that claimed 74 lives on May 13, requested a sewing machine, which she hopes to take home to her native town of Marabut, Samar province.
Sabungan was part of the first batch of 35 beneficiaries who received aid from DOLE’s National Capital Region office on July 15 at the barangay hall of Ugong, Valenzuela City.
She was in Samar when she heard about the Kentex fire, but realized only later that her son was among the fatalities. This was because he was previously employed in another factory and then transferred to Kentex “without my knowledge,” lured by the higher pay of P480 per day, she said.
About 90 more recipients are expected to follow after their completion of documentary requirements, according to DOLE-NCR.
The majority of the affected families had requested funds to put up a sari-sari store, eatery or a rice trading business.
DOLE-NCR Director Alex Avila said the families are getting the same amount regardless of whether their deceased, injured or now jobless member worked at Kentex as a regular or contractual employee, or was hired through the subcontractor CJC Manpower Services.
Avila said the only thing DOLE expects in return from the beneficiaries is for them to give their “utmost attention” to these new opportunities to start life anew.
DOLE representatives will check on the beneficiaries after three months to see how they are faring or if they need further assistance to expand their businesses, he said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.