The family of Filipino caregiver Melody Albano Castro, who was killed in an earthquake in Hualien in Taiwan on Feb. 8, received a check for PHP600,000 (US$11,467) from a group of Philippine-based Taiwanese businesses on Tuesday.
Gary Lin, Taiwan’s representative to the Philippines, handed over the donation to Castro’s mother during a ceremony at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Makati, Central News Agency reported. Lin said the Taiwanese government had provided good working and living conditions for migrant workers and treated them the same as Taiwan nationals.
TECO also donated food, children’s books and toys to the family, which included the victim’s eight-year-old daughter.
On Feb. 6, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Hualien killed 17, injured 282 and four buildings collapsed. On Feb. 8, the body of Castro, 28, who started working as a caregiver in Taiwan in 2015 to cover the medical expenses of her paralyzed husband, was found in a partially collapsed building.
Previous media reports said her family had not received any compensation a month after the earthquake as she had not been covered by any insurance due to loopholes in Taiwan’s labor laws for caregivers.
However, TECO said on Tuesday that Castro had been covered by Taiwan’s national health insurance and the Act for Protecting Workers of Occupational Accidents. Before the PHP600,000 donation, her family had received a total of PHP3.2 million from Taiwan, including government compensation payments, insurance claims and donations from the general public, it said.
Jayson Albano, Castro’s brother, thanked the Taiwanese people and government.