July 26, 2009 in general
By ALDWIN G. QUITASOL
An ungrateful man is like a hog under a tree eating acorns, but never looking up to see where they come from. — Timothy Dexter
Last week, the mineworkers of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMC) received partial payment of their 10-day salary. The company gave each of them P1,000.00. The mineworkers but accept the pegged amount as they have their stomachs and their families to feed. Most of them have children who are studying in the colleges and universities in Baguio City. And many of them have to pay tuition now as preliminary examinations are approaching.
One mineworker whose child who is sick. He was thinking of bringing his child to a specialist aside from those in the company hospital once he gets his wages from the company he served many long years. Then will give the rest of his money to his wife to budget for their food, fare of the kids in school and other household needs.
When he received his P1,000 salary, as if the world was fell apart. He had no choice but to bring the child to the company hospital. There, the doctor checked the child and gave the father his prescriptions.
Since the hospital had no adequate supply of medicines, this mineworker went to his trusted pharmacy in Mankayan. He got the shock of his life when the pharmacy attendant told him that the medicine would cost P 800.
His dilemma is, if he buys the medicine, then he will be left with just P200.00. That is bad news because how on earth can they live for a week with that measly amount? And if he will not buy the medicine, his child suffers more and worst dies. That will be more bad news. So he opted for the second one, but he will have again to “thicken” his face (pakapalin na naman ang mukha) and make his long list of debts at their neighborhood’s store longer.
Mineworkers of Lepanto and their families worry of their future if their situation goes on like this. While the company ignores and continually denies its responsibilities and accountabilities for the disastrous massive ground subsidence in the municipality of Mankayan, it also continues to make the lives of its workers who are painstakingly digging the earth to extract profits for the company more miserable.
Some people say, do not bite the hands that feed you, while some also say, do not starve the carabao that plows the field for you. These means be grateful enough to the people who made you rich and show some extra compassion and see to it that they will eat.
Primary to the safety first program of mining companies should be the workers’ stomachs and their welfare. # nordis.net