It was in June 2015 when a serious vehicular accident happened to my mother (Mailane Bituin). We were still in the Philippines back then and we were not able to stay on her side while she recovered from that event that almost took her life away. She broke her ribs, bruised her lungs and suffered from broken bones on her fingers and ankle. The criminal responsible for what happened was never found.
And now, almost 8 months after that nightmare, I can still tell that the fear and the trauma are still there. She almost every day reminds us to be extra careful, to look left and right a couple of times, not to use the phone and make sure that the driver sees you when crossing the streets.
And just recently, another Pinay went through almost the same situation as hers. She was Nimfa Trazo, a live-in caregiver who was working under open permit. Sad to say, she died from her injuries on February 7 after being struck by a vehicle on January 27 in Hampstead (the place where my mother’s accident also happened). She left behind her three children, aged 18, 14 and 12, under the care of their grandparents in the Philippines.
Like most of the Filipinos (and other nationalities) who are here working under open permit, Nimfa and my mother once wished to be with their families here in Canada, where life is better and there is a brighter future that awaits them. For our family’s part, it had been a very lucky journey. Several friends and people from the government helped my mother to speed up the process of our papers. She was able to obtain her permanent resident status a few months after the accident and was able to benefit from the Insurance Policy of the SAAQ because of it.
For Nimfa’s case, however, many of her friends claimed that she was not able to get anything from the government as they said that she was just on an open permit and is yet to obtain her permanent resident status. If that is the case, (which I really believe is possible to happen), how about her kids and parents in the Philippines? How will they be supported? I went through almost the same situation as her family’s before, and I know how they feel. Nimfa is the breadwinner of the family, and now, her friends had to collect funds to be able to support her family back home.
I have a series of questions for the whole country regarding this matter. First, does the government play the role well of providing a guarantee of compensation for the sudden death of these Filipino people who are working hard, following the laws, paying the right taxes and contributing to the economy of their country? Nimfa was here since 2012, and she only hoped to have her family here by working so hard almost day and night (just like all the other Filipinos.) If she gets nothing, then all her sacrifices will go to nothing.
I mean, we can never really tell what’s gonna happen to us today or tomorrow, so the government must, at least, assure us that they will give us back what we worked hard for in this country. I know that Canada values family so much, but what have they done about this so far?
Second, why do accidents like these keep on happening in the same area? Is it really the drivers’ fault, the pedestrian’s fault or just the lack of sufficient stop lights and traffic signs that could have otherwise made these people wait for their right turn to cross the street and prevented such situations? Perhaps it is time for the government to re-check whether some things are lacking. For my mother’s accident, no stop lights were installed on the Fleet road where she was struck by the vehicle.
Let us call out to the Canada’s government to help not just Nimfa and her family, but as well as other people who can become victims like her and my mother. Let’s not wait for this to happen to others again. We certainly hope that the Canadian government will take responsible actions for this.
What’s written here are just my opinions and views regarding the issue. I had been through the same situation as Nimfa’s family before and we all know how painful it is to lose the person you love the most. My only intention is to help her and her family. Please do not hate me for this. Instead, let’s keep on praying that her family will be in a better situation. Thank you!
by: Gilleen Megan Bunga
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