The front page of the letter submitted by disgruntled subcontracted workers of GSMAXX. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Abueme)

Workers recruited by the construction company GSMAXX based in Puerto Princesa City to work on a construction project in Bulacan that did not materialize are seeking the intervention of the city government for alleged labor malpractice.

Some of the workers told Palawan News that GSMAXX, the private contractor behind most of the city government’s big-ticket infrastructure projects, mobilized some 200 local workers and brought them to Norzagaray, Bulacan in September last year but they ended up being stranded there unpaid and without work.

Ryan Abueme, a worker recruited by GSMAXX to lead the project, claimed that he and the other workers were sent to Bulacan in batches and told they were to construct a cellular tower for Dito Communications but the project never materialized.

“Mga 18 groups lahat ‘yan. Bawat group may 10-25 na dinala sa Bulacan, pero three groups kaming nagreklamo, at ‘yong ibang miyembro kasi takot pa,” Abueme said.

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He said that while in Bulacan, they soon realized there was no project for them as promised by the company and repeatedly expressed their concern to company officials.

“Noong umalis kami noong September sabi in three weeks mag-uumpisa ang project kaya halos bawat group may dalang 10-25 katao. But after two months noong nag-complain kami, tinanggal kami,” Abueme claimed.

Abueme said they wrote to City mayor Lucilo Bayron on January 20 to ask for help.

“Any assistance to give justice sa nangyari [sa amin] although alam naman [namin] na court ang proper venue, pero siguro awareness na rin po,” Abueme said.

GSMAXX reportedly holds around P1.2-billion worth of contracted projects with the city government.

Palawan News sought the side of GSMAXX company president Sammy James Sioson and another company official through mobile phone calls and text messages but had not received a reply.

Abueme said around 131 staff, including former GSMAXX employees, have signed the letter they sent to city mayor Lucilo Bayron.

Abueme added that most of the recruited workers have already returned home from Bulacan without any assistance from GSMAXX.

“Unti-unti na bumalik ang mga tao since almost 200 kami doon, 80 per cent nakabalik na rin dahil nag-ipon pa ng pamasahe. Karamihan noong December umuwi. Hindi raw kmi makapaghintay, kami kasi gumagastos lahat sa mga tao at expenses sa Bulacan,” he said.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.