The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) should act fast and coordinate so that the layoff of around 400 employees of Apo Cement Corporation is prevented and government assistance is on-time. Just allowing the layoff to happen is an insensitive move especially now that Christmas season is fast approaching.
It must be noted that the temporary layoff is brought by the suspension of quarry operations of its main raw supplier, Apo Land and Quarry Corp. (ALQC) due to the temporary cancellation of the firm's Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) following the landslide incident at one of its tenement sites in Barangay Tinaan, City of Naga in September.
The DOLE and the DENR should coordinate in the implementation of their respective mandates and programs. We should have learned our lessons from the Boracay closure in terms of coordination and timely delivery of assistance, if temporary closure is inevitable or environmental concerns and safety problem in ALQC operations is not addressed.
DOLE must also ensure that Apo Cement Corporation will recall the affected employees once they resume normal operations.