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PCG officers debunk claim OFW died because of neglect

26 November 2018

By The SUN

No, there was no neglect by the employer.   

Josie Kimmayong (photo from her Facebook account)
This was the message from officers of the Philippine Consulate and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in response to a Facebook post that suggested employer negligence in the case of a Filipina domestic helper who died in hospital on Nov. 25.

The officers said Josephine Kimmayong, a 32-year-old mother of four from La Union, succumbed to severe internal bleeding caused by stomach cancer 10 days after being admitted to Tseung Kwan O hospital.

They also said they were shown medical reports that indicated Kimmayong had undergone medical check-ups even before being admitted to the hospital.

Kimmayong being visited by relatives in hospital
Welfare Officer Virsie Tamayao said OWWA was informed by the employer about the sick worker on Saturday, Nov 24, and a team was supposed to visit her the next day in the hospital, but she died at dawn on the same day.

Tamayao said the employer offered to let Kimmayong’s husband to come to Hong Kong and visit his wife in hospital but the plan changed when the patient died.

The husband was instead asked to prepare a letter of acceptance in preparation for the repatriation of the worker’s remains.

Danny Baldon, officer of the assistance to nationals section of the Consulate, said the employer is now working on the repatriation of Kimmayong who lies in state at the Tim Fook Funeral Home in Yaumatei.

He said the repatriation could take place by Nov 30 if clearance is obtained from the Coroner’s Court before that date. The employer’s insurance will pay for the repatriation.

As Kimmayong was still covered by the mandatory insurance she took before leaving the Philippines, her family will be entitled to US$10,000 (HK$77,800) in benefits for death due to illness.

They will also get P120,000 for death benefit and funeral assistance from OWWA, plus Php15,000 livelihood assistance for her husband, and scholarship for one of her children.

Kimmayong, who was a Benguet native, arrived in Hong Kong to work for her Chinese employers in Corinthian by the Sea in Tseung Kwan O barely a year before she was taken to hospital.

According to a Facebook post by Mel Santiago, who said she lives in the same building, Kimmayong had complained about a persistent pain in her belly and chest weeks before she went to the hospital, claiming she had told her employer but was simply ignored.

Santiago said that on Nov 9, Kimmayong told her she was going to see a doctor for a checkup and had not returned since. Then she received a message from her that she was confined in the hospital.

Santiago asked for Kimmayong’s employer to be investigated, claiming that the deceased was not taken for medical treatment despite complaining for weeks about how ill she felt.

“Isipin nyo po, healthy yan ng umalis ng Pinas tapos uuwe nasa kabaong na,” Santiago said in her post that had 5,400 “likes” as of this writing.

She offered to testify in any investigation, saying she and other Filipinas in the same building could attest that Kimmayong was made to walk the employer’s dogs when she was already looking very pale.

A cousin, Lina S. Tacay said in response to Santiago’s post: “Kaming mga kamag anak ni Josephine dito sa Hong Kong galit kami sa pinost mo. Anong point mo sa post mo, sa palagay mo nakakatulong kundi binibigyan mo lang kami ng sakit at bigat ng damdamin, sa totoo lang?”

She was immediately bashed by other people in the same Facebook thread, who were apparently convinced of Santiago’s claim.

In a chat with The SUN, Tacay said: “Ano pa ba ang gusto nilang hustisya sa pinsan namin? Walang pagkukulang po ang amo ni Josephine. Kami po ang nakakaalam kaya nakakainis.”

She said Kimmayong’s family members are united in saying that the employer has done no wrong, and will support her to debunk any allegation of neglect on her part.

Another cousin, Leonor Padillo, said in a separate message: “Ang alam po namin di po sya pinabayaan ng amo. Yung post po nila na nagrereklamo si pinsan Josie eh ung nagpost na po ang sasagot doon. As her family we only want to send her home na payapa.”

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