Ong urges protection of Hanjin workers

Hanjin shipyard workers. (LP Librado image)

Leyte 2nd District Rep. Henry C. Ong on Saturday urged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to make sure the interests of all stakeholders, particularly the workers of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines, are protected as they intervene in the bankruptcy case of the shipbuilder.

“According to media reports, some banks did not have collateral protection when they gave loans to Hanjin’s Philippines unit. The pay and benefits of the 23,000 Hanjin workers must be among the priorities during the aftermath. I want verification from the BSP and SEC that the banks, their shareholders, and depositors will not be adversely affected because of the Hanjin bankruptcy,” Ong said.

The chairman of the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries also said, “this bankruptcy case must be handled methodically and delicately. The banking and shipping sectors must be protected from any aftershocks.”

“If it makes business sense to continue or resume the operations of Hanjin, then the best course of action must be agreed upon by interested parties. The Hanjin workers and the government must not be left out of the decision-making process because this case is imbued with national public interest,” he said.

Ong added a congressional probe of the bankruptcy is not necessary at this time.

“The responsible government agencies and the banks must be given time to sort everything out, but Congress will be following this case very closely,” the Leyte congressman said.

p: wjg