Press Release
April 28, 2016

Jinggoy hails enactment of early retirement age for surface mine workers

Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada hails the enactment of reduction of retirement age for surface mine workers from sixty (60) years to fifty (50) years old.

President Aquino recently signed into law Republic Act 10757 which amends the Labor Code to lower the retirement age for surface mine workers, as it recognized the "vulnerability of miners due to the presence of innumerable harmful elements in their profession leading to more serious health problems, especially as individuals age, and how the circumstances are more dangerous compared to the ordinary worker far away from mines."

Surface mine workers refer to mill plant workers, electrical, mechanical and tailings pond personnel. According to the new law, these workers who have served at least five years as mine employees may retire upon reaching the age of 50 and shall be entitled to all retirement benefits.

Sen. Estrada, the principal author of the bill in the Senate as he filed twin measures on the matter (Senate Bill 1062 and 1370), noted that the Labor Code was revised in 1998 to reduce the retirement age for underground mine workers from 60 to 50 through Republic Act 8558.

"This amendment, however, indirectly left out the surface mine employees who are similarly exposed to the hazardous elements and risks as their jobs include sorting out the minerals extracted from the mining pits as well as maintaining the electrical and mechanical equipment and fixtures in the mining sites. [T]here is a need to include surface mine employees to the reduced retirement age," Estrada stated in the bill's explanatory note.

Mr. Octavius Ambucay of the Philex Mines Supervisory Employees' Union (PMSEU) previously said during the committee hearing on the bills that the workers in mining sites are gravely exposed to tremendous risks and danger.

"Ang pagtatrabaho po sa minahan ay talagang mahirap. We are working eight hours a day, six days a week. Kaya ang experience po namin doon, ang mga taong nagre-retire at the age of 60 ang statistics po ay after three years namamatay sila dahil sa hirap," Abucay said.

"The new law creates a consistent policy with regards to protection of our mine workers from risk-prone employment and their enjoyment of full social security benefits in consideration of the occupational health risks and threats to their safety," Estrada said.

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