TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Labor and Employment in Region 8 is ready to provide interventions to the workers who would-be affected by the impending closure and/or suspension order of the three mining firms in Homonhon Island, Guiuan, Eastern Samar by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Officials from DOLE RO8 led by Regional Director Elias A. Cayanong recently visited the mining sites in Homonhon Island, and conducted a series of consultation meetings with the management and workers of the three (3) mining firms in the area, namely Tech Iron Mineral Resources, Inc.; Mt. Sinai Mining Exploration and Development Corp.; and Emir Minerals Corp.
In his report to DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, Director Cayanong said that Tech Iron Mineral Resources, Inc. still operates pending finality of the cancellation order, while the 2 other mining firms no longer operate after their operations were earlier suspended by the DENR Secretary. As of January 31, 2017, Tech Iron has a total of 620 workers, 92 females and 526 males, with 1962 dependents. Before the suspension order, Mt. Sinai Mining Exploration and Development Corp. as well as Emir Minerals Corp. used to employ over 400 workers, however after the suspension order was issued, some of the workers were absorbed by Tech Iron, while 25 of the workers of Emir were retained by the company to work on the rehabilitation of the mining site.
Given the massive displacement that is likely to happen, Director Cayanong assured the workers that DOLE would immediately provide emergency employment as well as livelihood assistance to ease the impact of the cancellation or suspension of mining operations in the area.
“We already have started profiling the workers for a rapid response in case the cancellation or suspension order is finally issued, and we have initially identified a field where the workers could engage in livelihood, like processing of ginger and cassava given the island’s wide plantation of the said root crops,” Cayanong added.