THE BREADWINNER: Mario F. Fetalino Jr.
The head of concession holder San Miguel Corporation (SMC) issued an apology to the victims of the freak accident at the Skyway Extension project site in Cupang, Muntinlupa and assured them that the company would make sure all their needs would be taken care of.
Even while project contractor EEI Corporation was the one handling the construction of the project, as project proponent, SMC has a responsibility to take care of the victims, SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said.
Ang said, “Even with a contractor handling construction, ultimately, we are responsible for the welfare of those who were affected. I would like to personally apologize to the victims and their families, as well as to our larger community in Muntinlupa.”
The accident, reported to have been caused by a crane that tipped over as it moved into position, which then hit a steel girder causing it to fall on six vehicles, resulted in one fatality and four injuries.
“This terrible and tragic accident has affected me in ways I can’t even begin to express. I have not stopped thinking about the people who were affected, the four that were injured and most especially, the person who perished, and his family. There are no words that can ease the grief of losing a loved one,” Ang said.
“To the family, I can only offer my sincerest and deepest condolences, and my personal assurance that your family will be taken care of. To those who were injured, please be assured we will provide all the means necessary for you to recover and restart,” he added.
Ang also vowed that the incident will be investigated thoroughly, and that SMC and its contractor EEI will make sure even stricter measures are in place at the project site.
“In a project of this magnitude and scale, there are many redundant safety measures in place. Unfortunately, we can’t predict every outcome, and I’m sure no one wanted this to happen,” Ang said.
“Regardless, we are working with authorities to determine the root cause of this incident. We will find out where lapses occured and do whatever is necessary to help make sure they don’t happen again.”
Meanwhile, there is still no apology from project contractor EEI. Unlike SMC, EEI appears remorseless over the deadly accident.
The builder was quick to blame its crane operator that allegedly caused the accident though.
Malabon and Navotas, two of the most flood-prone areas in Metro Manila, reported no major flooding incidents despite the recent onslaught of two typhoons, primarily due to the government’s installation of pumping stations, complemented by the continuous dredging of the Tullahan-Tinajeros River system by SMC.
“Based on the feedback we received from representatives of the local governments of Malabon and Navotas, no major floods were reported. This is largely due to the pumping stations installed by the government, particularly the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) that easily channels flood waters out to the Tullahan River,” Ang explained.
“At the Tullahan River, even with increased volume of water, there was also no river overflow. This is because we’ve already dredged and deepened the mouth of the river going to Manila Bay, to up to five meters,” Ang added.
Ang noted that the positive development shows the importance of implementing multiple and complementing flood mitigation measures, and further strengthens the company’s resolve to continue its efforts to clean up rivers.
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