Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian on Wednesday suspended the business permit of Nexgreen Enterprise, the factory that paid one of its workers’ salary in coins, after its owner admitted not paying their employees appropriately.
Gatchalian said he will be giving Jasper So, the owner of the factory, 15 days to rectify the issue. Otherwise, a revocation of business permit will be issued against him.
“Ngayon, inaamin mo na mali kayo pati sa pagbayad ng sahod, mali kayo. Jasper, inaamin mo yun? Naiintindihan mo anong ibig sabihin pag inamin mo yun? ‘Yung maaring repercussion at parusa sa inyo (Now you’re admitting that you were not paying your employees right? Do you understand what it means, its repercussion and its punishment, when you admit it?),” Gatchalian told So, which the latter did not contest.
“So by today… I’m going to send people there to serve a notice of suspension,” he added.
Nexgreen’s violation was discovered after factory worker Russel Manosa sought Gatchalian’s help when he was given P1,056 worth of coins, mostly in 5- and 10-centavo and one-peso denominations, after rendering 24 hours of duty for the company.
However, So maintained during his meeting with Gatchalian that the coins were given accidentally as they were actually intended for religious offering.
The mayor said he could hardly believe the explanation as the incident also happened after Mañosa and So engaged in a confrontation after the worker complained about the alleged unfair labor practices.
Gatchalian also grilled So’s administrative officer who had earlier told him that they were compliant with laws and regulations pertaining to the right amount of wages and government benefits.
“Yung binibigay mo sa akin na papel nung nakaraang araw, ang lakas ng loob mo, wala namang laman eh (You were confident in presenting to me your papers, yet they didn’t have anything)” the mayor told the admin officer, whom he met on Monday for initial discussion regarding the incident. “Wala naman doon ang mga worker-related matters eh (They did have anything related to work matters).”
But aside from inappropriate pay, the local government also noted after auditing that several violations were also committed by the company, including:
• Mayor’s permit
• Waiver and/or undertaking
• Article 19 of the Civil Code of the Philippines in relation to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Circular No. 537 Series of 2006, when it paid its worker his salary in coins of small denomination more than the limit allowed by law
• Provisions of the Labor Code when it failed to pay the correct minimum wage, non-payment of overtime pay, non-payment of night shift differential, non-payment of holiday pay, and
• Provisions of other legislation for non-coverage of SSS, PhilHealth and PAG-IBIG fund.
Mañosa, who already resigned from the company after the incident, asked So to treat his remaining workers humanely.
“Sana yung init ng ulo nyo, Sir, wag nyo sana idamay sa mga tao (I hope that you wouldn’t drag other people when you’re having a bad time),” Mañosa told So. The owner apologized for the inconvenience he caused.
According to the local government, Mañosa should also get P55,614.93 from Nexgreen for illegal dismissal and separation pay as well as his other underpaid salary and unpaid differential and overtime fee.