STA. CRUZ—Workers and beneficiaries of the suspended mining firms here appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to allow the reopening of responsible mining firms.
“We believe that our company is operating responsibly,” said Orlan Mayor, leader of Eramen Minerals Inc. workers.
“Government environment auditors have seen there is progressive rehabilitation of the mining areas,” he added.
“In fact on November 22, 2013, we received the Presidential Titanium Award and the Safest Surface Operation Award,” Mayor said.
Eramen has been also actively implementing community and education projects. “We have been consistently receiving livelihood trainings from them and structure donations,” said Barangay Tubotubo South Kagawad Marcelo Ebuen.
“I have been a scholar of Eramen for four years now and am receiving school supplies, uniforms and a P500 monthly stipend. The company continues to provide for us but we are afraid will soon close unless they open again,” said the teary-eyed 17-year-old Ricalyn Alag whose father is dead and whose mother has no permanent job.
“Despite being suspended our company still provide for the salaries of the personnel and the benefits of our scholars and livelihood trainings of women and farmers,” said Mayor.
“The four mining firms in Sta. Cruz have alleviated the poverty of more than 3,000 mine workers and their families,” he said.
Other suspended mining firms are Benguet Corp. Nickel Mines Inc., LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc., and Zambales Diversified Metals Corp.
“We just hope for a fair audit from environment authorities. We are hoping that the new administration, which we believe is pushing for responsible mining, will listen to our pleas,” Mayor pleaded.