Lapanday releases separation pay of workers displaced by NPA attack

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 June) – The Lorenzo-owned Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC) said it has distributed the separation pay to some 100 employees who were rendered jobless after the New People’s Army (NPA) burned in April its box and plastic plant in Barangay Mandug, this city.

In a press statement, the company said they granted the displaced regular workers the separation pay based on humanitarian consideration even though Lapanday is not required by the Labor Code of the Philippines because it suffered serious business reversal.

Personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection approach a still burning main building of the box plant of Lapanday Foods Corporation in Mandug, Davao City that was attacked and burned by the New People’s Army dawn of 29 April 2017. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

It added that the company has already informed the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the region that it will stop the packaging operations officially on July 9, after the burning incident last April 29 that destroyed around P2-billion worth of properties.

The communist rebels also attacked on same day the other businesses owned by the Lorenzo family such as the Macondray Plastic Plant in Bunawan and a ranch in Barangay Pangyan in Calinan District, this city.

“The company shares a common loss unnecessarily and unfairly inflicted by this lawless armed group. This loss was not just inflicted on its employees, now rendered jobless,” it said.

The company claimed it is the seventh top taxpayer in Davao City.

“Lapanday is a compassionate and law-abiding company. It has always placed its employees’ well-being as a top priority. While it is justifiable not to grant the separation pay precisely because of the destruction the company had suffered, it recognized that ultimately, it is its employees who shall suffer more as they face the challenge of seeking new employment,” it said.

Citing the firm’s report to the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) regional office, the firm said the affected regular workers also received the cash equivalent of their leave benefits, 13th month pay, and productivity incentives last May 12 just two weeks after the burning.

“The company emphasized that in taking this difficult but necessary action to close its box and plastics operations in the aftermath of this senseless violence committed against it, it shall not be deterred. The company is resilient. Lapanday shall succeed,” it said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)