TUBA, Benguet – Labor and Employment Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma underscored that mining is a hazardous occupation, with constant exposure to occupational safety and health hazards and risks which affect not only those who are directly involved in mining, but can also spillover to the surrounding communities and the natural environment.
Laguesma was this year’s guest of honor and speaker during the celebration of the 62nd feast of the Sto. Niño de Prague, the mining company’s patron saint, over the weekend.
For the labor department, he pointed out that part of the agency’s mandate of promoting workers’ protection and welfare is directed at ensuring compliance with occupational safety and health standards in workplaces.
In the mining industry, the labor official claimed that the agency’s mandate is focused on working conditions in workplaces above the ground.
On the other hand, he claimed that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is mandated to ensure mine safety, including occupational safety and health, on work that is performed underground.
Secretary Laguesma underscored that the sharing of responsibilities between the 2 departments reflects the unique nature and depth of challenges in promoting occupational safety and health standards in the mines.
According to him, the uniqueness underscores all the more the need for management and employees, working together, to exercise constant vigilance and assume direct responsibility in ensuring that safety and health measures are always in place in areas of the mine site, agt all hours of every day, whether above ground or underground.
Secretary commended Philex Mining Corporation for its contributions in the area of labor and employment for having set the standards for the same over the past several years that resulted to its sustained operations amidst the threats to the mining industry.
He congratulated this year’s employee awardees for their years of dedicated service to the company and to Philex Mining Corporation for acknowledging and honoring the contributions of its employees and making the same a part of the company’s tradition.
Further, he acknowledged all employees, the management and the company itself, to the families and all the people living in the communities surrounding the padcal mines for their resilience in upholding the principles of responsible mining in spite of the various challenges and adversities that have confronted them over the years.
Coinciding with the annual celebration of the feast of the Sto. Niño de Prague is the Araw ng parangal where Philex Mining Corporation gives recognition to its outstanding officials and employees for their dedicated service to the company where recognition is given to the officials and employees that have reached 25 years in service and the best performers in the various aspects of the mining industry.
For this year, Philex recognized 6 officials and employees for having reached their 25 years in service while 6 other employees were also recognized for their exemplary performance in their respective assigned duties and responsibilities.