Mining firm hits Dole for wrong information | Inquirer News

Mining firm hits Dole for wrong information

/ 05:32 AM June 02, 2018

READY FOR WORK A worker of Philsaga Mining Corp. prepares to enter a mining tunnel in Agusan del Sur. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

ROSARIO, AGUSAN DEL SUR—A mining company based here on Thursday rejected a report released by the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) that listed it as among firms engaged in illegal labor contracting scheme.

Philsaga, engaged in gold mining in the hinterlands of this town, demanded that it be stricken off the list.


“It’s fake news,” said lawyer Raul Villanueva, president of Philsaga Mining Corp.


Villanueva said the Dole did not even get its figures correct when it reported that 6,524 workers were affected by Philsaga’s supposed labor-only contracting system.


“It was bloated,” he said.

Villanueva said contrary to the Dole report, Philsaga had only 4,743 workers, 2,443 of whom were regulars.

He said this meant that only the remaining 2,300 were contractual but their employment was covered by contracts with service agencies.

Villanueva said the company had since written the Dole regional office in Caraga, disputing Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III’s announcement on Monday that Philsaga was fourth on the list of top 20 companies in the country found or suspected of engaging in illegal contracting services.


He said the company had never been cited for violating labor laws so “why would Dole include Philsaga on the list?”

Different list

Lawyer Marie Glenn Cedeno-Sorila, Philsaga corporate legal counsel, said the company had submitted a list of contractual workers to the Dole but “it could not be the same list” cited by the Dole.

Villanueva said contractual workers in Philsaga had been paid according to regional wage standards and had been enrolled in Social Security System, PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig Fund like regular workers.

Philsaga service contracts with three security agencies.

It also has four contracts with service agencies for ore hauling, engineering and construction.

But the company had been regularizing the workers, Villanueva said.

On March 8, he said at least 263 security guards had been regularized.

Philsaga, he said, was a labor-friendly company. Probationary employees with good performances are regularized after six months, he said.

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Over the years, Villanueva said, Philsaga has been a consistent recipient of awards given by the Dole Caraga region for compliance with labor standards. —CHRIS PANGANIBAN

TAGS: DOLE, Mining, Philsaga

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