Mining firms suspension affects thousands of workers

  • More than 3,600 workers in Palawan are affected by the recent suspension of mining firms in Palawan
  • The workers claim that the companies they work for give scholarship grants to their kids
  • As of August, DENR has suspended six mining firms

Thousands of workers of suspended mining firms in Palawan fear that the halted operations of their employers would continue, following the orders of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“Workers have claimed thousands of mine workers are affected by the suspension. Some workers also testified that their companies gave their children scholarship grants. The companies also provided community projects for their benefit,” ABS-CBN said in a story published August 1.

Last July 27, DENR Secretary Gina Lopez said that the agency has suspended two mining firms in the resource-rich province of Palawan. This covers Citinickel and Berong Nickel.

Citinickel employs 1,838 workers while Berong Nickel has 1,846; based on the Mines and Geosciences Bureau data cited by ABS-CBN. It added that there are 10,221 mining workers affected by the suspension of mining companies.

Aside from the two mining operations in Palawan, DENR also suspended in early July four companies in other areas: BenguetCorp Nickel Mines Inc., Zambales Diversified Metals Corp., LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc. and Eramen Minerals Inc.

“They need to get their act together,” Lopez earlier said of the companies; citing the Supreme Court’s Writ of Kalikasan as basis for suspension.

“It meets the need of the present (generation) without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs with the view of improving quality of life both now and in the future,” she also said.

In a press conference on Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte issued a strong message to mining firms.

“I can forego the P40 billion I collect from you guys and the Filipinos will survive without you. Either you follow strictly government standards or you close down,” he said.

“You obey or we will survive as a nation without you,” he reiterated; urging mining firms.