Our Desk | What amputation claims?

Lynzy Valles

The story of the migrant worker whose left leg was amputated is an example of how a number of non-resident workers – particularly non-skilled ones – remain helpless when such an accident or situation occurs.

I asked him last week about why he opted to go to TDM and share his current case, to which he answered, “It was the only option I have left.”

This worker – whose leg was amputated due to an accident at work – is almost left with no option, noting that his visa is set to expire in two weeks.

I also asked him why it took him several months to raise his case regarding acquiring a compensation. He then explained that he was promised that he would not have to worry about anything regarding his financial needs as the company pledged to provide the support he requires.

After staying in the hospital for several months, he found out that he would receive no compensation.

“Where do I go to ask for assistance after being amputated, after being informed that I won’t receive my salary and am going back home to the Philippines without receiving what is right for me?” he asked.

It was not until the accident occurred that he revealed the company rarely gave off days and that the employees were on a “no work, no pay” policy when one decides not to work.

The salary being paid to them was a lot less than what was listed on the contract and there were instances where they would be forced to sign a payslip but would return a certain portion of they money they were given to the company.

All these contract violations have sadly become common in Macau.

I think no matter how hard the city’s labor authorities try to minimize such violations, employers will always see loopholes on how they can better make use of their employees – at a much lower cost.

Although the Labour Affairs Bureau had restated that non-resident workers who have had accidents while at work are fully protected by local laws, the fact that the worker is facing a dilemma while being on his last two weeks of his visa is another challenge.

I also believed that the Philippine Consulate could only do so little, whether or not they are really keen on assisting, as the compensation that is being sought is not under their control.

Although the Philippines has a program that assists such migrant workers, the amputee’s case is still undecided as to whether or not he will receive disability assistance from the program.

According to a TDM report on Sunday, the Philippine consulate has rejected the broadcaster’s request for an interview, and the migrant worker mentioned that the consulate would only “try to help,” adding that the process has been slow.

It is a shame to see a migrant worker going back and forth to different offices just to seek compensation that is rightfully his.

As previously reported, he lamented, “My wife and I do not know what else to do because we’re like a ball being passed from one office to another. I’m only seeking compensation since the accident occurred at work.”

The worker is set to meet again with his employer as if such compensation claim is still needed to be begged for.

Categories Opinion