IMUS CITY, Cavite—A third fire victim of the ill-fated manufacturing plant House Technology Industries (HTI) at EPZA, Bacao 2 in General Trias City died Friday evening, hours after he was transferred due to severe infection to the Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center (JRRMMC) in Manila.
Cavite Governor Jesus Crispin ‘Boying’ Remulla identified the third fatality as 33 year-old Alex P. Lerog, the factory line leader, native of Santa Monica, Surigao del Norte and resident of Rosario town.
Gov. Remulla said Lerog was among three patients declared under critical conditions for sustaining severe burns while confined at the Divine Grace Hospital in General Trias City since Feb. 1.
In his weekly radio program on Saturday, Remulla clarified that the two had died while undergoing treatment at Divine Grace Hospital for infections while eight other fire victims were transferred to other hospitals with better expertise and facilities in treating body burns.
”I found a way to transfer the victims to other hospitals as they are getting critical every day,” Remulla assessed as he sought assistance from former Health Undersecretary Dr. Ted Hermosa for the possible transfer of the burn patients from Divine Grace Hospital.
He said two patients were moved to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila; three to the De La Salle University Medical Center (DLSUMC) in Dasmariñas City, Cavite and three others including Lerog to the JRRMMC in Manila.
”The doctors at the hospital (JRRMMC) informed me that Lerog died while his wounds were being cleaned,” the Governor remarked.
He also relayed messages from the attending physicians that “the victims were poorly treated at the Cavite hospital as their wounds have become severely infected.”
The Cavite Governor also informed that the HTI management assured him of the support to the displaced workers and those recovering from fire injuries prompting provincial authorities not to pursue the “state of emergency declaration.”
He explained that “a state of emergency” is declared when two towns are being affected and there is widespread of disease as antecedents that require funds from the provincial government.
He added that the declaration covered the command and control structure to be assumed by the provincial government to call on all government agencies to act accordingly especially the hospitals.
“In this case, what is important is the promise of the management (HTI) to shoulder all expenses that do not anymore require funds from the capitol (provincial government),” he said.
According to Remulla, the HTI company is spending Php 5 million a day to pay for the displaced workers’ salaries upon registering their names daily at the designated gate of the company’s premises.
He also assured continuous monitoring of patients’ conditions while three more patients are ready to be transferred to the DLSUMC Saturday.