TUBA, Benguet – The management of the Philex Mining Corporation strictly adheres to the government’s policy against contractualization of its work force, citing that most of its over 2,100 managers, supervisors and rank and file are regular workers.
Engr. Eulalio B. Austin, Jr., Philex president and chief executive officer, said the company is also hiring contractual workers from service providers and contractors that are accredited by the Department of labor and Employment (DOLE) pursuant to existing labor laws, rules and regulations.
“We have to strictly comply with whatever policies handed down by the present administration. We have already regularized a majority of our workforce even before the President’s pronouncements against contractualization since it is part of our practice of responsible mining,” Austin stressed.
The Philex official revealed the hiring of service providers and contractors are done in consultation with the Philex Mines Supervisors Union (PMSU) and the Philex Rank and File Union (PRFU) because the two labor unions are also monitoring the compliance of the company with existing laws, rules, and regulations.
According to him, the company is hiring some 10 to 20 percent of its workforce from duly accredited service providers and labor contractors to allow the available jobs to be done in time because of the company’s need to also comply with their prescribed deadlines.
Because of the presence of the two labor unions in the mine site, he claimed Philex is one of the preferred employees in the region to date because its nearly P600 daily wage is almost 20 percent higher than the prevailing wage in the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearly 292 percent more than the existing P285 daily wage approved by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in the Cordillera.
He underscored mining is capital and labor-intensive that is why its overall total of 2,400 workforce has definitely contributed in providing sustainable employment opportunities for qualified residents in the company’s host and neighboring communities and has provided the over 14,000 population available sources of livelihood through its various livelihood projects implemented in the different communities hosting its large-scale operation.
Austin asserted Philex has definitely contributed in lifting the living condition of indigenous peoples not only for a single tribe but also for other members of different tribes who come from the different parts of the region seeking sustainable employment opportunities.
Philex is a publicly listed company over the past six decades and its enormous contribution to the robust development of its host and neighboring communities translated to the improvement in the lives of people even in the remotes village within its 14,000-hectare tenement area, thus, the company continues to work extra hard to look for available resources to be developed to send a clear message that mining is a true catalyst for rural development once done in a responsible way.