THE head of the Catholic Church’s migrants ministry has joined in mourning the death of three Filipinos in the collapse of a bridge in eastern Taiwan.
Balanga, Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos, who chairs the Bishops’ Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, expressed his condolences and assured prayers for the casualties and their families.
Santos also urged the Filipino priests in Taiwan to assist the victims and their families.
“We condole with the bereaved families. We assured them of our prayers and Holy Masses as we urged our priests there to give urgent assistance and services,” Santos said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment also extended sympathies to the families of the Filipino workers who perished on board a fishing vessel crushed by a 460-foot long single-arch bridge that collapsed in Nanfang-ao, Yilan County, Taiwan on Tuesday.
The workers were identified as Andree Abregana Serencio and Gorge Jagmis Impang were confirmed dead, while another worker, Romulo Ilustrisimo Escalicas Jr. remains missing. The search and retrieval operation is still on-going on the site of the accident. Aside from three Filipinos, three Indonesians were also killed.
Five other Filipino workers were injured and were brought to the hospital for immediate treatment and medical attention. They are Julio S. Gimawa, Jason N. Villaruel, Allan H. Alcansano, John Vicente Royo and June B. Flores.
Officials at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office visited the victims at the hospital and provided their immediate needs and personal requirements.
The Philippine labor office in Taiwan is also facilitating the repatriation of the remains of Serencio and Impang.
On instructions of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, all possible assistance will be extended to the family of those killed in the incident. Death and other benefits will also be provided. Scholarship benefits will be extended to the victims’ children.
POLO Taiwan is on top of the situation and providing necessary and extended assistance to the affected workers and their families to recover from the unfortunate incident.