MEMBERS of Lepanto Employees Union (LEU) are now hoping to get the money promised by the mining company to them.

LEU president Manuel Binhaon said the Lepanto management promised to pay P4 million to rank-and-file employees on Sunday and another P10 million for staff employees on Tuesday.

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He said partial payments of the management are not helping the employees, as the P4 million will be divided into 1,400 employees.

“Konti lang ang mapupunta sa amin,” he said, adding that the problem has been going on for a long time. “Nahirapan na kami magbayad ng tuition fee ng mga anak naming sa college.”

Roughly, around P1,500 will be given to each employee.

Knestor Jose Y. Godino, Lepanto Mine Division Administrative Services manager, with Resident Manager Magellan Bagayao, met with the LEU this week to discuss payment schemes anew.

Reports said unpaid wages of the employees have reached P265 million with payments made in installments.

Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) Regional Director Ana Dione has been monitoring the situation of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation (LCMC) for a long time now.

The agency records revealed that LCMC woes started in the last quarter of 2008, with Social Security System (SSS) and Pag-ibig backlogs compounding financial woes.

LCMC is the country’s primary gold producer and has been at Mankayan town in Benguet since 1936. At present, it operates the Victoria and Teresa gold deposits.

A series of peaceful prayer rallies have been staged by members of the LEU in the past week. (Ma. Elena Catajan)