THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) assured Wednesday workers affected by the closure of 23 mining operations that they will be provided the necessary assistance by the government.

In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they are already preparing a package of livelihood and emergency employment assistance for the displaced mining workers.

"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.

In addition, he said the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) is already planning to provide training for workers wanting to upgrade their skills.

Those availing of the emergency employment, Bello said, will be paid with the regional minimum wage and will be working for minimum of 15 days and maximum of 30 days.

He added that they will be provided an orientation of the basic safety and health practices before engaging in emergency employment activities.

Bello said Dole regional offices in Central Luzon, Western Visayas, Caraga, and Cordillera Administrative Region have already been directed to conduct needs assessment and profiling of affected workers.

"We have already ordered the Regional Offices to assess and prepare for the impact of the closure of these mining companies," said Bello.

Last week, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced the closure of 23 mining operations in the country.

Environment Secretary Gina Lopez said the mining operations are being closed down as they are located in functional watersheds. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)