Labor chief assures Hanjin workers shipbuilder has enough assets to cover liabilities

Published March 22, 2019, 6:36 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Erma Edera 

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has assured the displaced Hanjin workers that its firm has enough remaining assets to pay for all of its liabilities to them.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III speaks before the media during a press conference with President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City on Friday. The government has imposed a ban on deployment of Filipino workers in Kuwait following the death of domestic helpers due to alleged abuses of their employers. (Keith Bacongco)
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III
(Keith Bacongco / MANILA BULLETIN)

“They still have cash and other resources. Actually, their assets are bigger than their liabilities; that is why there are so many companies which are seriously [thinking of] taking over since facilities are intact,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.

The labor chief’s statement was in response to claims that Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co.-Philippines (HHICC-Phil), was unable to secure enough loans from the bank to pay its retrenched 3,400 workers.

DOLE also has the authority to garnish and then sell the property of the ship-building firm so its proceeds could be used to pay its workers, Bello added.

The labor chief made the assurance after HHICC-Phil filed for closure leaving its remaining 100 workers now displaced.

Hanjin had earlier declared bankruptcy because it owed some $400 million from Philippine banks aside from $900 million in debts from lenders in South Korea.

The Korean company filed a financial rehabilitation plan before the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 72.

On February, the court granted its petition for receivership and placed the South Korean shipbuilding firm under corporate rehabilitation.

Its liquidity problem had forced it to lay off more than 7,000 workers in December last year.