Large-scale mining operations have continued in Dinagat Islands. Along with this, workers employed by these mining companies have also continued to suffer through labor malpractices including delayed compensation and lack of benefits and security.
In a research published by Amnesty International that looked into the operations of the Chinese-backed Nickel Mining sector in the province, it was found that 1 in 4 workers do not have a written contract with the mining company or labor-hire company that employed them, while 1 in 5 workers do not receive any benefits—compulsory employee benefits like SSS and PhilHealth remain unpaid. There have also been numerous cases of delayed compensation. While these practices already violate the Philippines’ Labor Laws and international human rights standards, their effect on the welfare and livelihood of the workers are further aggravated in the context of the pandemic.
These unfair conditions for mine workers have continued to persist because of the lack of invested capacity and resources of government institutions to protect the overall rights of workers in the country, the unregulated operation of labor-hire companies in the province, and the general lack of avenues and support for workers seeking recourse.
There is an urgent need for the Department of Labor and Employment to pay attention to the experiences of mine workers in Dinagat Islands, and address the abuses committed by these mining and labor-hire companies.
We call on DOLE, particularly the Department of Labor and Employment in Region 13, to:
- Review and investigate the allegations of labor malpractices by mining and labor-hire companies in Dinagat Islands
- Ensure that effective remedy is accessible to the workers, and delivered in a timely manner
- Conduct regular monitoring and inspection of mining sites and operations to determine compliance with the Labor Code of the Philippines