Mass layoff of mine workers feared
An impending mass layoff of mineworkers in the gold-copper rich barangay Didipio in Kasibu town is imminent with the frozen operations of OceanaGold Philippines, Inc.
OGPI’s operations have been halted since last month after the provincial government ordered the company to stop its activities, citing the expiration of its Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement with the national government.
While OGPI has a pending renewal of their FTAA before the Office of the President, the mining firm elevated its injunction case to the Court of Appeals after they were recently denied at the Regional Trial Court here.
Engineer Geofrey Prado, Supervising Science Research Specialist of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Cagayan Valley, said mine workers claimed they were already advised of an impending termination of their work by OGPI management due to the indefinite action on the company’s FTAA renewal and the injunction case filed before the CA.
The OGPI workers said more than 1,000 mine workers are expected to lose their jobs once their termination order will be issued and served.
OceanaGold has yet to provide comment on the issue at presstime.
Ads by AdAsiaThe mine workers and other pro-mining villagers on Tuesday appealed to Governor Carlos Padilla to allow the resumption of OGPI’s operations.
Rachel Magday-Itchon, executive assistant of the provincial government, said Padilla, during a dialogue, reaffirmed its stand to continue with their checkpoint in barangay Didipio to stop the operations of OGPI.
She said the governor also cited his mandate to protect the mineral resources of the province from being used after the expiration of OGPI’s FTAA.
“As Governor Padilla stated, the checkpoints were incidental due to OGPI’s defiance on their expired FTAA and will be in place and operational until a court order or a new FTAA favoring OGPI’S operations will be issued by concerned government authorities and agencies,” Magday-Itchon added.
She clarified that the checkpoints, manned only by authorized personnel, will not restrain movement of Didipio villagers and workers doing their daily activities and also will help maintain peace and order in the community.