Family of late Filipina factory worker to receive compensation: TIWA

Deserie Castro Tagubasi, 29, died on Aug. 28, hours after she accidentally spilled a container of hydrofluoric acid on her legs while on duty at an electronics plant operated by LED maker Tyntek Corp. in Jhunan Science Park. (Courtesy of TIWA)
Deserie Castro Tagubasi, 29, died on Aug. 28, hours after she accidentally spilled a container of hydrofluoric acid on her legs while on duty at an electronics plant operated by LED maker Tyntek Corp. in Jhunan Science Park. (Courtesy of TIWA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — The family of a Filipina worker who died last month as a result of a chemical spill at a factory in Miaoli will receive compensation from her employer, as well as labor insurance and group insurance payouts, the Taiwan International Worker’s Association (TIWA) said Wednesday.

Deserie Castro Tagubasi, 29, died on Aug. 28, hours after she accidentally spilled a container of hydrofluoric acid on her legs while on duty at an electronics plant operated by LED maker Tyntek Corp. in Jhunan Science Park.

Her family will receive compensation from Tyntek Corp. in an amount yet to be disclosed and also a labor insurance payout equivalent to 40 months’ of her average recent salary, Chen Hsiu Lien (陳秀蓮), a researcher at TIWA told CNA.

After Tyntek makes an offer to the family’s lawyer, they will decide whether or not it is acceptable, Chen said.

Tagubasi’s beneficiaries are also eligible to receive an accidental death benefit, as she was covered by a group insurance, Chen said.

In addition to the company compensation and the insurance payouts, Tagubasi’s family will also be given NT$230,000 (US$7,424), which was donated by her friends and co-workers in Taiwan, Fidel A. Macauyag, labor attaché and director of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Taichung, told CNA.

According to one family member, however, compensation is not the focus of their attention at the moment. Rather, they want the Ministry of Labor (MOL) to conduct a thorough investigation into Tagubasi’s death.

At a rally outside the MOL on Tuesday, Digna Tagubasi Abarra urged the ministry to conduct a full investigation into her sister’s death.

“I am here to seek justice for my sister,” Abarra said. “There is no amount of money that can replace my sister’s life. We want the company to be held liable for what happened because we know that they have had lapses and negligence regarding the safety of their workers.”

She said the rally was not just to bring attention to the death of her sister, but also to help protect other workers from the same fate.

In response, Yeh Pei-chieh (葉沛杰), a section chief in the MOL’s Division of Planning and Occupational Health, said it had already been established that the factory had violated the occupational health and safety laws by not providing its workers with impermeable whole-body garments when they had to handle hazardous materials.

“We have already started procedures to hold the company and individuals accountable, in accordance with the law,” Yeh said, adding that a comprehensive report on the incident was being prepared.

Meanwhile, Tagubasi’s body was flown back to the Philippines Wednesday, accompanied by her boyfriend and two of her sisters, according to Chen.

Tagubasi is survived by her parents and eight siblings.

By William Yen