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28 Jul 2019

Lian Buan, Rappler

Philippines: Supreme Court orders Kentex contractor to pay Php1.4M in unpaid wages

"Supreme Court orders Kentex contractor to pay P1.4M to workers," 26 July 2019

The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the contractor of Kentex Manufacturing Corporation to pay P1.44 million to 57 workers found to be underpaid.

The Kentex factory was ravaged by fire on May 13, 2015, killing 72 people and injuring others. During the course of the investigation, inspectors found that CJC deployed 57 workers to Kentex without contracts, and that they were paid only P230 a day.

...CJC further deducted administrative costs and contributions, leaving only P202.50 to each worker.

In June 2015, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) ordered both Kentex and CJC to pay P1.44 million to 57 workers.

But the CA reversed DOLE and said that CJC's corporate officer Ong King Guan "could not be personally held be liable for the debts of Kentex without a showing of bad faith or wrongdoing on his part for the corporation's unlawful act."

The SC said that if CJC wanted to reverse the DOLE order, it should have filed a petition before the secretary of labor, which it did not do. Thus, the SC said, the DOLE order had become final and executory.