LABOR group Associated Labor Unions (ALU) on Sunday called on workers set to be displaced due to the closure order for 23 mining operations of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to consider shifting to “green jobs”.

In a statement, ALU Spokesman Alan Tanjusay said it would be good if mining workers would allow themselves to shift to another type of job that is more environment-friendly.

“It is difficult but affected workers must learn to evolve from mining work to green jobs that would give them livelihood without hurting our environment,” Tanjusay said.

“We find it as an opportunity for affected workers to transition to green jobs that give financial remuneration and promotes government environmental program,” he added.

Tanjusay issued the appeal after the DENR bared that they are looking to create more green jobs in the country, such as those needed in reforestation activities as well as expansion of bamboo and mangrove plantations.

This comes on the heels of the closure order issued by the DENR against 23 mining operations located in several parts of the country.

According to the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), there are already more than 20,000 workers in the mining industry that are expected to become jobless once the order is implemented.

“May 20,589 workers affected. Ito yung covering yung 13 mining companies na apektado. Iba pa yung mga dependents na mga sector doon,” said Dole Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod in an interview with reporters.

Of the said figure, he said they found out that 10,974 were directly-hired by the mining companies while the remaining 9,615 were hired via contracting work arrangements.

“Kailangan ma-assess ang mga ito pati yung kanilang mga dependents,” said Maglunsod.

One of the assistances sure to be offered, according to Maglunsod, is the emergency employment program under the Tulong Pangkabuhayan para sa mga Displaced/Disadvantaged workers (TUPAD) program. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)