Hanjin is in the Philippines and it employs thousands of Filipinos. That’s a fact. That it is there for profit is another fact. It is in the country to evade high necessary costs of production and strict law enforcements in Korea – Japan. Their operation in the Philippines also gives them the edge to cut the throat of their kind somewhere else. What more else is naked?
That Hanjin is in the country with nothing but all the good intentions, therefore, is something that one should tell to the communists or to the Philippine marines if they’ll believe.
Profit, the Real motive
Fact is, business is business and profit is the objective. Other than that are hypocrisy, myth , merry-go-round ride and make believe rhetoric. Fact is, when something is not profitable it goes out of business. Driving for best profit therefore is natural and perfectly in order of all business establishments. And, only one thing is asked in there – compliance with laws and regulations, rules of the land. They are acts of goodliness, Godliness without saying the words. Words are cheap, anyway.
Threat of closure no longer works anywhere. It’s deemed childish. It’s like stumping feet and yelling at scattered mischievous monkeys that hear nothing. Fines are more effective. How about a $50,000.00 company insurance for every death, for example? Right now, one Filipino can die in there everyday and it’s nothing when all it costs is burial expenses! Even that would be lucky considering that employers have battery of lawyers whose job is to see that company does not pay a single centavo. Now, that reminds us of the 700 death victims or so of the MV Princess of the Stars who until now have not been been paid their Php 200K insurance. Filipinos simply are cheap. Meanwhile
During Tuesday’s hearing on the rising number of reported deaths at the Hanjin Shipyard in Subic Bay Freeport, lawyer Ramon Ogregado of the Subic Bay Support Service Group said the unsafe acts of the workers caused their deaths and injuries.
Ogregado noted that there was a dramatic increase in the number of deaths in 2008 due to the simultaneous shipbuilding and construction activities.
Somewhere else in the world, looking at the deaths and accidents by Hanjin, Mr Ogregado surely must have already been sacked. He is among whose mission is eradicating work related deaths and accidents and not rationalizing them. Facts point to him as a failure. Sacking the likes of him will also save Senators and congressmen time and resources going to Hanjin, or to any work-place, to oversee things themselves.
Health and safety people, government or private, are there because, indeed, some workers can be stupid to kill themselves if it comes to Mr Ogregado’s line of reasoning, or should we say tsubibo. At least, they should send those stupid workers home if workers cannot follow rules. And that exactly is the reason why the need for safety people in there at the expense of taxpayers.
Acts of God; or, God killing people? – Whoa! There is always human lapse in every work related accident. Call them in-experience, stupidity, overconfidence, carelessness or what, by the victim or by another person besides. Ok, we call them accident, or something that happened which nobody wished. Otherwise, they are homicide if caused intentionally, or due to reckless imprudence.
Whatever, managements should be made to pay dearly for work related accidents. That’s for not policing or watching their own. That’s also about justice for the victims, which should be made easy for them. [Even the Chief, Public Attorneys Office, found the latter frustrating.] And, if all profit goes down the drain because of violations of safety codes that could cause accident, and because of actual accidents, then that’s louder than threat. Businesses naturally must pay serious attention to the rules and safety of their workers or they won’t make profit, which is the only language that business understands – shape up or fold down.
The number of workers in Hanjin and the ratio of reported deaths and accidents that happened over some specific period surely is outrageous and cannot be justified. It is only building construction, steel fabrication & erection and mechanical works in there, and not driving an army up the Normandy beach to say that 18 24 casualties are nothing.
[And Hanjin is the answerable party to government. Its business with its subcontractors is absolutely and purely its private business, or government must be derailed. ]
Accident, each of them, looks innocent. I remember a co-worker who shot himself with a Ramset. He saw it lying around in the workplace and thought he had the chance to get the feel of it. He thought it was malfunctioning until someone told him that the thing is impossible to fire accidentally. It’s got safety measure; it has to be pressed squarely hard against the object to be nailed, to operate. He pressed it against his palm, pulled the trigger, and bang! Indeed, the thing worked!
The thing can shoot a 3-inch nail through concrete, with a bang like they are sponge! Yeah, stupid worker, but that’s a case between him and management. Management had problem with the law. Ramset is handled only by authorized personnel covered by permit from government’s Firearms and Explosives – no ifs and no buts.
Back to Hanjin meanwhile, things will pass and morons like Mr. Ramon Ogregado goes on like nothing’s wrong. And, about all these talks of health and safety in work places go to their folder – Political Grandstanding if not government neglect – since nothing was achieved.
Or, do we have Health and Safety rules, and safety people in the Philippines? I could probably be talking here of dreams, of things none-in-existence yet in the country.
I think the real problem is not Hanjin. The matter is about the little thing everyone talks about, which seems evasive in this side of the world, called Good Governance. And it always starts from the top.