Surigao quake displaces at least 900 workers

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 Feb) — At least 900 workers here instantly lost their jobs after the magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck late evening of February 10, Celestino Negapatan, provincial director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Surigao del Norte said.

Negapatan told MindaNews Wednesday evening that at least 900 workers in the formal sector were displaced in Surigao City, those working in business establishments that were forced to suspend operations when their buildings suffered damages.

Parkway Hotel after the magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck Surigao City late evening on February 10. MindaNews photo by ROEL N. CATOTO

Among these establishments are Gaisano Capital Surigao, Absolute Essentials, Parkway Hotel and Tavern Hotel.

He said the number will increase if the informal sector will be included. “Laborers, drivers, fisherfolk, among others stopped working after Friday evening’s devastating quake,” he said.

Negapatan said they are still working with the Department of Labor and Employment for data on those rendered jobless in the informal sector.

He noted that aside from job loss, several workers also lost job opportunities as employers downsized their workforce due to Friday’s quake.

Brian Navarro, one of the workers of Gaisano Capital Surigao worries where he will money for their next meal.

“I don’t know if I will survive in the next few days,” said Navarro, who has one year old child.

The Regional Tripartite Wage Board said these workers earn 280 pesos a day. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)