Singapore—Lucky Plaza has been the go-to place for many domestic helpers from the Philippines for a number of years now. But since the horrific accident on December 29 which saw a car plough into six helpers, resulting in two fatalities, some Filipina helpers are looking for new places to congregate with their friends, while others, through force of habit, have returned to the scene of the mishap a week after it occurred.
On Sunday 9 (Jan 5), photos circulated on news outfits of a temporary memorial for Arlyn Picar Nucos, 50, and Abigail Danao Leste, 41, the women who died in the crash. Flowers, candles, and even stuffed toys were laid on a sidewalk at the mall at Nutmeg Road, with numerous domestic helpers coming to pay tribute to the women who were killed.
The New Paper (TNP) spoke to several of the domestic helpers who gathered at Lucky Plaza yesterday, and learned that some of them are considering finding a new spot to spend time with each other.
TNP quotes Jacqui Albano as saying, “I don’t want to come here anymore. I am scared,” adding that she and her friends are looking at alternative places, including Bishan Park, for their gatherings.
She added, “Not only is it important for us to be safe from danger like fast-moving cars and busy roads, but we want to be comfortable too.”
TODAY Online, however, reports that it was business as usual for many of the Filipinas who had come to Lucky Plaza one week after the fatal mishap, who met up for dancing and eating as they normally do every Sunday, typically the only day off that the women have.
While one helper named Marlyn Caddawan, who had known the women who died last Sunday, acknowledged feeling nervous about returning to where the accident occurred, her friend, a fellow helper named Arlyn Camsog said that they had little choice of a place where they could socialize.
She told TODAY, “Where else can we go? We have no choice. We have no other place to go.”
When Ms Camsog and Ms Caddawan had tried earlier to sit inside the building, in its corridors, the guards sent them away.
Ms Camsog said that in the past, they would visit other places in Singapore on their days off, but no longer do so saying, “We just want a space to rest where it is easy to stock up on personal items and send money home.”
TNP reports the security management team of Lucky Plaza, Prosegur Singapore, as saying that it is now in coordination with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to put barriers in place near the drop-off point at Nutmeg Road, an initiative that is for everyone’s safety, the operational manager at Prosegur, Roy Teo, told TNP.
On December 29, a 64-year-old man was arrested after his car crashed into six women at Lucky Plaza, killing Ms Nucos and Ms Danao Leste, and injuring Laila Laudencia, Egnal Layugan Limbauan and Demet Limbauan, and Ms Nucos’ sister, Aracely Nucos.
The remains of Ms Arlyn Nucos and Ms Danao Leste were flown back to the Philippines a few days after the accident. -/TISG