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LGU calls for support for workers affected by Hanjin bankruptcy

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, January 18th, 2019

(file photo)

PAMPANGA, Philippines – The local government of Subic, Zambales is calling on the government to provide assistance for around 30,000 workers who are now suffering because of Hanjin Philippines’ bankruptcy.

Hanjin Philippines (HHIC-Phil) is a subsidiary of well-known South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co. Ltd.

It has outstanding debts with five of the country’s biggest banks estimated to total $412-million.

Aside from the employees, other stakeholders such as vendors and local food service providers are also expected to suffer.

According to Subic Mayor Jay Khonggun, the local government said the local economy in Subic will lose up to P200 million in annual revenue with the closure of the said company.

“Siempre nalulungkot kami dahil almost 20,000 to 30,000 jobs ang nawala lalung lalo na kami ang biggest seat. Itong bayan ng Subic ang biggest seat approximately na mga nawalan ng empleyado almost 15.000.” Khonggun said.

The LGU has set up help desks in every barangay to address the concerns of affected employees while local officials are looking for options that somehow will help them secure employment in malls and call centers or sending the skilled workers like welders to jobs overseas.

“Lagi kong sinasabi na nananawagan ako sa government para tulungan kami dito. Kasi, as of now, wala pang nagpupunta puro local ang mga projects dito. Ang initiative puro local initiative lang ang ginagawa namin. Siyempre we can do so little,” the Mayor said.

“Kailangan din namin ng tulong ng national government para maibsan ang kahirapan lalung lalo na ang kawalan ng trabaho,” he added.

On Thursday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana implied a possible take over of the Hanjin facility by the Philippine government. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Leslie Huidem)

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Hanjin labor group leaders seek DOLE’s help for salary entitlement

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Hanjin labor group leaders are now seeking the help of the office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), appealing to the Labor chief to ensure that the company will make good in its legally-binding obligations like separation pay and other benefits.

Other demands include that they be given priority once the company reopens with the new management and that the employment bond which is 3% of their salaries be given back.

“Ang problema na lang kasi mayroon yung separation pay na one month for every year of service, meron one half month for every year of service kapag ang ground ng termination ay bankruptcy or closure or rehabilitation. Iyon ang pagaaralan din namin na baka sakaling paki-usapan ang Hanjin,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

The labor chief assures the more than 3,800 employees of his support.

An emergency employment program will be arranged after February 15, to somehow compensate the families of the affected workers while they are in between jobs.

The Labor chief also said that they will speak to the officials of the Pag-ibig Home Development Fund for consideration of moratorium on mortgage payment. 

On Wednesday (January 29), DOLE is also scheduled to meet with other concerned department heads and other agencies to strategize an employment program in different government projects to hire the 3,800 plus skilled workers. 

“Opo. Nabawasan po kasi, unang-una po iyong talagang mawawalan po kami ng trabaho iyon po ang hindi namin mai-a-alis sa amin. (Ang) anak po naming, magulang po namin (ay) umaasa sa amin,” explained Efren Vinluan, president of the Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin. 

But Hanjin workers like Matcho Son Raya, do not believe that Hanjin Philippines is bankrupt.

Raya has been working as a welder at the South Korean company for 10 years now.

In a decade of working with other skilled workers at Hanjin, they have created 120 vessels for the company.

“Tulad nga po ng ginawa nila noong una, retrenchment, voluntary retrenchment program na hindi na po naibalik yung 3% na kinakaltas po sa amin. Kasi sabi nila pag nag-resign ka, wala ka na. Kaya dahil sa pananakot nila, napilitan ang manggagawa (ang) aming mga kasama na mag-resign na lang dahil daw sa wala silang makukuha,” Raya noted.

Raya said they are worried about their work tenure and life security now that Hanjin has declared bankruptcy and only has until February 15 to operate.

Hanjin Subic shipyard has attained its stature as the 4th largest state shipbuilding facility in Asia. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)

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South Korean cryptocurrency exchange to file for bankruptcy after hacking

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Broken representations of the Bitcoin virtual currency, placed on a monitor that displays binary digits, are seen in this illustration picture, December 8, 2017. Picture taken December 8. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

SEOUL (Reuters) – A South Korean cryptocurrency exchange said on Tuesday it is shutting down and is filing for bankruptcy after it was hacked for the second time this year, highlighting concerns about security as trade in bitcoin and other virtual currencies boom.

The exchange, called Youbit, had been hacked once before in April when nearly 4,000 bitcoins were stolen in a cyber attack that the country’s spy agency linked to North Korea, according to a South Korean newspaper report on Saturday.

Youbit announced on its website that it had been hacked at 4:35am local time on Tuesday, causing a loss worth 17 percent of its total assets.

It did not elaborate on the amount, but said all customers’ cryptocurrency assets will be marked down to 75 percent of its value, adding it has stopped trading and will work to minimize customer losses.

Youbit is a smaller player in South Korea’s cryptocurrency market, with the world’s busiest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb accounting for about 70 percent of the country’s market share.

An official at Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA), the state agency that responds to cyberattacks, said the police and KISA officials were starting an investigation into the hacking.

Bitcoin exchanges and wallets have a history of being targeted, and security experts say they become more vulnerable to cyber-crime as valuations rise.

Bitcoin traded near record high at $18,759.67 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange as of 0703 GMT.

Reporting by Joyce Lee; Additional reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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