The families of the two Palaweño fishermen who died in Taiwan because of a bridge that collapsed on October 1 will receive help from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), said its provincial office.
OWWA Palawan family welfare officer Dignites Elijan said Thursday in an interview with Palawan News that they are currently coordinating with the municipal public employment service offices of Taytay and Agutaya to reach out to the families of Romulo Escalicas Jr. and George Impang.
The two died on October 1 when the towering Nanfang’ao Bridge in Taiwan’s northeastern Yilan country collapsed and crushed the fishing boats where they were.
Their bodies were recovered from the rubble by a search and rescue team from Taiwan’s National Fire Agency (NFA).
“Nakikipag-usap na tayo sa mga PESO officers natin sa mga munisipyo para ma-locate kung saan ang pamilya ng mga biktima. Ang OWWA office naman sa Taiwan ay magbibigay ng update sa national bago ibaba sa region at sa atin. Sigurado naman tayo na hindi lang ang OWWA ang magbibigay ng tulong sa mga kababayan natin na nabiktima ng trahedya doon,” Elijan said.
She said they will provide to the families of the victims P200,000 death claim; P40,000 burial assistance, and P15,000 livelihood assistance.
Elijan said there is also yearly educational assistance for the children they left behind — P5,000 for children in elementary; P8,000 for those in high school, and P10,000 in college.
“Mayroong binibigay si OWWA na assistance kapag member ka pero sa atin kasi kahit ano naman ang mangyari tutulungan natin sila lalo na kababayan natin. Mayroon tayong burial, death claim, livelihood na depende kung anong klaseng kabuhayan ang gusto nila at educational assistance na kinder pa lang ay covered na ng ating tulong, every year ‘yan may ibibigay na amount si OWWA,” she added.
Elijan said Alan Alcasado, another fisherman from Araceli working in Taiwan, was also wounded. He will receive medical assistance from OWWA.
“Lahat sila may ibibigay tayong assistance, kaya ngayon busy tayo sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa ating mga katuwang na ahensya para matulungan sila at ang pamilya nila,” Elijan said.
Uninjured were Christopher Lucero of Bisucay, Cuyo; Juan Magalona; Eddie Acosta; Jestoni Acosta; Marlon Mondragon, all are residents of Capunayan Cuyo; Ranie Jagmis of Taytay; Alwen Latube, and Romel Gacita.
Based on available information, authorities in Taiwan are still investigating the reason why Nanfang’ao Bridge, the only steel single-arch bridge in Taiwan, would collapse.
Before it collapsed, it was reportedly hit by typhoon Mitag and struck by a magnitude 3.8 earthquake.