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Mining Stakeholders Unite for Responsible Mining

The mining stakeholders joined hands in propagating responsible mining to dispel allegations and unfounded observations that mining industry is a driver of poverty and environmental degradation.

In concretizing their support, mining stakeholders signed a manifesto calling for all mining companies in the country to strictly practice responsible mining as this could only be the key solution to drive off negative thoughts and impressions about the industry.

The support was done during the two-day symposium organized by the Mindanao Association of Mining Engineers (MAEM) Inc. last September 22 to 23, 2016 at the SMX Convention Center, Davao City. With the theme, “Responsible Mining: Friend or Foe?” the 22nd Annual Mining Symposium kicked off with a solidarity march traversing from the Freedom Park in Rotonda down to Roxas Avenue near Ateneo de Davao University.

TMC stakeholders uphold responsible mining

Showing its full support to the said advocacy, Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC), an affiliate of Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) joined the event together with its 47 stakeholders.

Completing TMC’s delegation were representatives from the religious sector both Catholic and non-Catholic groups, local government units (LGUs) from the barangay and municipal level, indigenous peoples (IPs), educators, mining engineering scholars who recently passed the 2016 licensure exam, People’s Organizations (PO) beneficiaries along with community relations, environment and mining staff.

As they paraded with pride at the downtown, stakeholders raised their voices in expression of support for the mining industry. Other stakeholder groups who voiced their support were farmers, fishermen, Indigenous People (IP), among others.

Mrs. Cecilia Erazo, barangay councilor of Urbiztondo in Claver, Surigao del Norte, was among who spoke during the unity rally as she shared how mining companies in their town helped empower women in the municipality.

She also cited various livelihood and training opportunities made accessible for Clavernon women.

TMC energizes community

For her part, Mrs. Marisol S. Galido, principal at Taganito National High School (TNHS), acknowledged the important role of TMC in invigorating the communities.

“To TMC, your presence likewise energized the life of the community from a simple to a functional one, from a humble to an effective one, from a timid to a creative one. These could be your legacy to this community. Thank u so much TMC for being part of our progress,” said Galido.

At the same time, Galido also called for a strict adherence to responsible mining practices.

“Mining exhorts energy uses down to residential, commercial, industrial, transportation as well as on our social and economic progress. However, with the many privileges we received from mining industries, much responsibility should equalize the demand of a well-balanced environment in the midst of its industrialization by following responsibly the energy conservation strategies,” she added.

Mr. Randy S. Gabeligno, Barangay Kagawad at Brgy. Taganito, Claver, also narrated how TMC helped uplift the lives of people in their community.

“As a member of the barangay council of Taganito in Claver, Sugiao del Norte, TMC along with other mining companies, is our partner in implementing programs for the development of our community stakeholders,” he said.

He also thanked TMC for the opportunity to attend the symposium as he learned a lot about responsible mining.

“We can use our new learning in imparting to our community members how mining companies have helped us which is why we are very much thankful to TMC for this opportunity,” he said.

The Birth of ATuM

After the solidarity walk, a forum followed where more speakers from the different sectors expressed their support and testimonies on how mining helped their respective communities.

On the same forum, the Alyansa Tuloy Mina (ATuM) was organized wherein Municipality of Claver Sanggunian Bayan member Ms. Leah Patan was elected as Vice President for Caraga Chapter.

Being a native of Claver, Patan also recounted how the municipality improved over the years and stressed how important their partnership with a responsible mining company is.

“God is indeed great for He allowed us to be a good steward of His wonderful creation. Mining serves as one of the economic drivers in the municipality of Claver and even in the province of Surigao del Norte wherein the mining industry is part of the sphere that shapes the future of the community. This reality widened my perspective and opened up my eyes in the existence of mining in my beloved town,” said Patan.

In accepting her newest responsibility at ATuM, Patan said her appointment “serves as a challenge on my part as a legislator to be an exemplary steward of God’s creation. It became more challenging as I was appointed as Vice President of Alyansa Tuloy Mina (ATuM) in Caraga Region.”

“What makes it more surprising and exciting is the launching of the newly organized ATuM. I’ve heard living testimonies in different communities in Mindanao which led into the realization of how blessed I am as well as the Clavernons in general to be given a huge responsibility to be part of the mining community,” she added.

At the same time, Patan called on TMC to be firm in its commitment to practice responsible mining and be the driver of economic development in Claver.

“For TMC, let’s be firm by your commitments and vision faithfully. Let’s be partners in promoting the general welfare of our constituents. Together let’s promote responsible mining, responsible to our environment as well a responsible tax payer of the government. Let’s bridge the gap in all aspect so that truly, we can shout to the world that we are exemplary stewards of God’s creation and with that we can justify our claim that we are Responsible mining,” she said.

She also hailed MAEM for organizing such significant event.

“The bottom line of this event is, everyone cares for the environment, most especially everyone cares for our people without compromising what is constituted by our constitution and other laws promulgated therein,” she said.

Mining engineers who recently passed their licensure exam also took oath during the same day.

Timely issues and topics in the field of mining were also discussed by various experts during the symposium.

Among the topics were: Status of the Philippine Steel Industry, MRFC-MMT Processes, Community Royalty Development Plan, and ISO 14001 Guidelines.

MAEM, ATuMM support responsible mining

In the said manifesto, MAEM and ATuM-Mindanao joined hands in supporting responsible mining, which according to them, is being strictly practiced in Southern Mindanao.

At the same time, the groups also expressed belief that mining operations follow the Philippine Law through Republic Act 7942 and all other environmental laws in implementing its mining activities, which provide for a better living.

“We believe that being in the mining industry, the natural resources will be used with the appropriate process and sufficient care and service, and this will undergo rehabilitation during and after mining,” the manifesto read.

They also attested that “Responsible mining” has given them and their families progress and abundance by means of working in the industry.

“We, as members of the community, have experienced and enjoyed the same prosperity through the implementation of social development program that were implemented within our each community and even in our barangay,” they added.

Lumad tribes too

Various Lumad tribed also backed up the implementation of responsible mining practices by mining firms.

“We as members of the different lumad tribes, have been granted the desired prosperity through our acceptance of royalty as partners of responsible mining companies within our land inheritance,” they said in a manifesto.

Moreover, they wholely support the strict implementation of mining laws under a responsible mining pursued by the current administration of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – Mines and GeoSciences Bureau (MGB). Wikipedia, defines responsible mining as an “advocacy to reform mining activity, as well as to a marketing strategy used by mining companies to promote their operations as environmentally or socially sound.”

With their

united stand for responsible mining, stakeholders expressed high hope

that the government will allow responsible mining companies to continue

with their operation so that it could benefit various communities

through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Social

Development and Management Program (SDMP).

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