The pair both said they were in Phuket to follow up on the progress of the investigation into the collapse of the building, part of La Vita Phuket Resort under construction by developer VIP Thailand under its VIP Mercury brand.
Mr Jak and Mr Kyaw began their visit with an inspection of the building collapse site, then moved to Vachira Phuket Hospital, where they handed blankets to injured workers Naing Soe, 42, and Win Soe (age not reported), who remain in hospital care.
The pair and their entourage then moved to the sales office for the La Vita project, where they spoke to the six injured workers who have already been discharged from the hospital: Than Tun, 48; Tun Aye, 47; Moe Win, 40; Myint Zaw, 38; Tin Soe, 42; and Naing Lin (age not reported).
The media was assured that the Department of Labor Protection and Welfare (DLPW) was investigating the incident and working on the legal processes to help the injured workers to receive their legally entitled state benefits in accordance with the law.
Joining the visit was Marasri Jairangsri from the Phuket branch of the Social Security Office, who explained that Thai government’s Social Security Fund will pay up to B2 million for medical expenses incurred for each of the workers.
“If they are unable to work while still recovering at home after being discharged from hospital, they will receive 70% of their salary for a maximum of one year,” Ms Marasri said.
“The families of the deceased will receive compensation amounting to 70% of the deceased’s salary for 10 years plus B33,000 for funeral expenses,” she added, adding that the amount to be paid to each family of those killed averaged just over B750,000.
“The employer, Phuket Built Co Ltd, has been legally registered with the fund since 2002. We are ready to make the payments as soon as the final paperwork has been filed,” she said.
Mr Jak explained that Labour Minister ML Chatumongol had ordered the ministry to pay close attention to the incident.
“For the six injured Myanmar already discharged from hospital we will pay for medical expenses only, but for the two still receiving medical care we will pay medical expenses and compensation,” Mr Jak said.
Each of the families of the three workers killed in the building collapse – Min Naing, 36; Pay Thee, 38; and Tin Tun, 36 – will receive from the Social Security Fund B30,000 for funeral expenses and about B750,000 in compensation.
The tour then moved to the funerals held today at Wat Sawang-arom in Rawai, where the families of the three killed were each handed the initial payments of B33,000.
The funerals today drew large crowds from the Myanmar community in Phuket, attending to pay their respects.
“For this case, the Minister of Labour wants official to work quickly. He wants all employers to register their employees with the Ministry of Labour so we can provide the best take care for them.,” Mr Jak said.
“To all employers, please complete the process of employee registration because if something bad happens, the government can help employers to provide benefits to both the employers themselves and their employees,” he said.
During their visit today, Mr Jak and Kyaw both inspected the site of the building collapse.
In a statement issued to The Phuket News today, developer VIP Thailand expressed their deepest condolences over the incident.
“On behalf of the owner of VIP Mercury, we would like to express our deepest condolences. This accident resulted in injuries and deaths, as everyone knows. The project and the builder is committed to helping the families of the deceased and the injured as best we can.
“The collapse of the reception building occurred at the front part of the project, which is separate from the main part, which comprises the condominium buildings,” the statement said, adding that construction is continuing on the condo buildings themselves.
“The reception building accident is under investigation. If we receive any official reports from the relevant government officers, we will announce and inform all concerned parties immediately.
“And the project would like to thank the government and private agencies who quickly provided assistance in this incident.
Kraijitti Jensanpakit, Assistant Managing Director at VIP Thailand, explained to The Phuket News today that the company had yet to conclude its discussions to determine how much compensation the company is to pay the injured workers and families of those killed in the building collapse.
“The compensation from us has not yet been discussed with the injured and the families of the deceased as we are still coordinating with the contractor and the insurance provider now,” Mr Kraijitti said.
“We will let you know after our this is done. Right now we are taking care of the funeral expenses and the medical treatment for injured,” he added.
– Reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub and Tanyaluk Sakoot
Rawai collapsed building site declared ‘danger area’, police vow prosecution (Click here)
Three dead pulled from rubble in Rawai building collapse (Click here)
At least one dead, 10 injured as building under construction collapses in Phuket (Click here)