A package of livelihood and emergency employment assistance is being offered by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to workers affected by the closure of 23 mining operations in functional watersheds.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said yesterday that DOLE offices in regions 3, 6, 13, and Cordillera Administrative Region are set to conduct needs assessment and profiling of workers for their inclusion in the government’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers Program (TUPAD).
“I have already ordered the Regional Offices to assess and prepare for the impact of the closure of these mining companies. Workers who want to have temporary work will be given emergency employment while those who wanted to have other means of income will also be provided with livelihood assistance,” Bello said.
He said the regional offices, in coordination with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, are also planning to provide training for workers wanting to upgrade their skills.
The hired TUPAD workers will be paid with the regional minimum wage and will be working for minimum of 15 days and maximum of 30 days. Workers are also covered with the social protection under the GSIS and provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as safety boots, sweatshirt, hat, gloves, and other PPEs fitted to their assigned work and/or project.
Orientation on the Occupational Safety and Health will also be conducted before the start of the project implementation for the workers to be aware of the basic safety and health practices. Included in the topics to be discussed are the different unsafe acts and unsafe conditions in the workplaces so that work-related accidents will be minimized if not prevented.
The program will not only provide income for the beneficiaries who are mostly affected by the closure of mining operations in the said regions, but likewise contribute to the improvement of facilities and environment.