McDonald’s Saipan has extended a helping hand to the families of the three Filipino workers who were killed after inhaling toxic gas while working on a sewer hole by donating $1,500 to their families.
“McDonald’s is committed to helping the community in education and sports and, most importantly, in times of extending a hand to a family. What happened to the three [workers] was unfortunate. We empathize with the family that are affected and this is our way of assisting them,” said Joe E. Ayuyu Jr., general manager of McDonald’s Middle Road branch.
Marlon Regaton, president of the United Filipino Organization, which led a fundraising drive for the families of the three victims, accepted the donation in behalf of the families.
“We would like to thank the Ayuyu family and McDonald’s for their support on behalf of the families that the three men left behind in the Philippines. They are truly in dire need of this support,” Regaton said.
“There are other benefits that they are expecting but, with all the paperwork, it’s going to take awhile. Donations like this from McDonald’s will help in a big way to augment their needs,” he added.
The three workers—Ricky Quijano, Amid Tapon, and Danilo Paglinawan—were employed by USA Fanter, a private company contracted by the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. to perform rehabilitation work inside the sewer system. The three were killed last month due to toxic gas inhalation and drowning.
UFO initiated a fund drive for the families of the three men two weeks after their deaths.
“The aim was to coordinate with other organizations like the office of Philippine honorary consul Glicerio Arago, the Office of Bishop Ryan Jimenez and other member organizations like the Lion’s Club so we can have the Filipino and local communities involved,” Regaton said.
“We also reached out to the businesses and informed them of this fund drive. They helped us set up our donation boxes in their business locations like LBC, PNB Forex, KWOW FM, D’Elegance Café, LN Market, and APEX Remittance. We reached out to [others by] informing them through email and we set two Masses at Mount Carmel Church and Kristo Rai,” Regaton added.
Initially, the UFO was able to send a total of $1,353 for each of the families to help with the funeral and burial costs.
“Check endorsements from the men to their families have stopped. So we thought the money we sent to them initially will help with their daily needs and when the bodies reach their homes,” Regaton said.
The fund drive ended last July 31, 2017. The total collection from the donation boxes reached $6,696, giving an additional $2,232 for each of the families.
“UFO as facilitator of the fund drive is very thankful for the support of the Saipan community. The families of the three men were humbled with the community’s help and assistance. We know they are going through a tough time. They are staying strong and with the donations coming from Saipan, they are full of gratitude,” Regaton said.