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Maiden Issue

trailblazers 1

Your Insight Into The Philippine Mining Industry First Quarter 2012 - Volume 1 No.1

opening new doors

Philex Mining - A passion for sustainable development Holcim Cement - Sustained wins for a sustainable future Philsaga’s Heart of gold Sec. Horacio Ramos - Born in the mines PMSEA on the ground USeP at a glance

finance & administration

Marivic Gillego-Del Castillo account managers

Irish Elvambuena Raymond Abenojar sales & circulation






Reynaldo ‘Boboy’ Borromeo




Jojo E. Del Castillo publisher

91-A Sct. Dr. Lazcano St. Laging Handa, Quezon City Tel No. 02.227.7707/02.413.7627 Email: In partnership with: 10 C Lansbergh Place, 170 Tomas Morato Avenue corner Scout Castor St., Quezon City Tel No. +632.376.0043 Email:

91-A Sct. Dr. Lazcano St. Laging Handa Quezon City Tel Nos. 632.413.7627 ; 632.227.7707 Email.

business development & advertising


Boyet ‘Penpen’ Montezon




Rick Lopez






Marlon Lacanilao


art director




Engr. Loi Castillo Dr. Carla Dimalanta Estelle Piencenaves Rizal Raoul Reyes Wilfredo B. Sanidad, PhD Louie Sarmiento, ASEAN ENG


contributing writers

Creative Campaigns for Tri-Media


Diane J. Frejas




editorial assistant


it is our hope that the information it carries would trickle down to their families and ultimately to the general public. Portal’s goal is to educate the general public about mining, what minerals are, new technologies and innovations, what benefits we get from mining and what mining companies do to protect the environment and develop communities. It is also hoped that Portal will encourage mining companies to compare notes so that those that need catching up can improve their performance by replicating the applicable best practices presented. This maiden issue of Portal contains features on community development and environmental protection efforts of three mining companies, namely Philex Mining Corporation, Holcim Philippines, Inc. and Philsaga Mining Corporation. Former DENR Secretary Horacio Ramos is our featured personality. There is also some editorial content courtesy of professor-writer-blogger Dean de la Paz and sociologist Bro. Clifford Sorita and a scientific treatise by Dr. Wilfredo Sanidad of the Bureau of Soils and Water Management. Also in this issue are features on different activities of industry organizations and the academe. With this issue we begin a journey, evolving the magazine into what is hoped will be an indispensible source of information for mining industry stakeholders and other interested parties. We hope that by contributing articles or bits of information relevant to the industry, or suggestions to improve the magazine, you will help us in the evolution and growth of Portal Magazine, Your Insight into the Philippine Mining Industry.

Bro. Clifford Sorita Dean Dela Paz


I was very young when I decided to dedicate my life to studying and practicing mining. That proved to be the best decision of my life. I became successful in my chosen line of work and the industry has in return also been very good to me. Because of the nature of mining, this industry has been under fire from environmental protection groups and other individuals and organizations. Recently these attacks have grown in intensity and scope through media attacks on the mining industry, sometimes with arguments bordering on the absurd. I was determined to do something for my industry and to speak out for my chosen profession. Several ideas on print media became the precursors of Portal Magazine. It was first conceptualized as a publication for suppliers in the mining industry. Later I favored transforming the publication into a journal. Finally, I decided that a full-color glossy magazine was the way to go, showcasing the best practices in the mining industry. With the help and advice of my colleagues in the industry, this concept started to take shape. Non-mining professionals with backgrounds in publishing, advertising and marketing became the catalysts in making my vision come true. Since we were in a manner of speaking, opening new doors, we came up with the name ‘Portal’, knowing that everybody in the mining industry would understand at once that a portal is the main entrance to a mine. Early on, our team decided that the magazine would be a showcase of all the good things about mining. Portal would initially cater to professionals in the mining industry but



Opening New Doors

Paulo Noni T. Tidalgo, EM, RN Siela Teng-Almocera



industry consultants

Edwin D. Ramirez Editor-in-Chief


Bro. Clifford Sorita



associate editor




Tichot San Pablo




managing editor




Edwin D. Ramirez, EM, MSci







staff box


editor’s note



Contents messages




Mines and GeoSciences Bureau by Dir. Leo L. Jasareno


10 DOE

by Louie R. Sarmiento, ASEAN ENG

Philex Mining Corporation: A passion for sustainable development in the mining industry by Rizal Raoul Reyes

related courses

72 USeP at a glance by Engr. Loi Castillo

by Holcim Philippines, Inc.

Philippine Society of Mining Engineers by Engr. Ceasar Ibañez Lao-as by Carla B. Dimalanta, D.Sc.


Philex Mining - A passion for sustainable development Holcim Cement - Sustained wins for a sustainable future Philsaga’s Heart of gold Sec. Horacio Ramos - Born in the mines PMSEA on the ground USeP at a glance

Cover photo courtesy of Philex Mining Corporation

Society of Metallurgical Engineers of the Philippines by Engr. Federico A. Monsada

16 Holcim wins top honors in Annual National Mine

34 Born in the mines by Estelle Piencenaves

Safety and Environment Conference by Holcim Philippines

18 GEOCON 2011: Geology Working for a Resilient Society by Dr. Carla Dimalanta

20 Five mining companies bag the PMIEA awards by Mines and Geosciences Bureau

columns 28 Sins of our past by Bro. Clifford T. Sorita 30 Digging for buried truth by Dean Dela Paz

hard hat giving back


71 Schools offering mining engineering and other



Chamber of Mines of the Philippines by Benjamin Philip G. Romualdez

14 Geological Society of the Philippines

the academic world

46 Sustained wins for a sustainable future

Energy Resource Development Bureau by Dir. Ismael U. Ocampo

12 Philippine Mining Safety and Environment Association

INDUSTRY profiles

74 The importance of water use characteristics of native

trees species on a rehabilitated mine site : A case study at Kidston Gold Mine. by Wilfredo B. Sanidad, Phd

52 Holcim Davao: Improving lives by Tichot San Pablo 58 Philsaga’s heart of gold by Tichot San Pablo 64 From barren to lush: There is green in gold by

Philex Mining

66 PMSEA on the ground

by Engr. Louie R. Sarmiento, ASEAN ENG

77 Book review:

Geology of the Philippines by Mines and Geosciences Bureau

the light side 78 Miners’ World & The Green Miner by penpen


Republic of the Philippines department of ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES Mines and GeoSciences Bureau

For a country with a long history of mining, it is odd that there is no local mining magazine specifically catering to the need of the mining industry. Thus, the launch of Portal is a most welcome development. It is our expectation then that Portal can fill that gap and be a tool for disseminating accurate, timely and verified information on mining. The launch of Portal also comes at a critical period for the Philippine mining industry; a period where the relevance of mining to the economy is being questioned, a period where communities, local governments and civil society are demanding better on-the-ground performance from mining contractors, a period where the Government is expecting more concrete benefits from mining operations. As the Philippine mining industry struggles to gain public acceptability, it is hoped that Portal can be an avenue for providing balanced information about mining to the general public and stakeholders. And the choice of the word ‘portal’ perfectly fits. Since portal in mining parlance is the gateway to an underground opening that can lead to untold riches, we look at Portal magazine as a gateway to a wealth of information and success stories on mining that need to be communicated to the public and stakeholders in order to rectify negative perceptions about the industry. There is really a need to educate and real education comes from reading, conversation, travel and a continuous search for knowledge and the pursuit of the truth. Portal should be able to provide the elements to help bring about real education in mining. My congratulations to Media Access Incorporated!

LEO L. JASARENO Acting Director

messages Republic of the Philippines Department Of Energy eNERGY rESOURCE DEVELOPMENT bUREAU

Thank you for introducing to us your publication, Portal: Your Insight Into The Philippine Mining Industry and for providing us with the Portal Magazine Project Brief.  Let me express my sincere appreciation of the initiative and efforts of the editorial board to come up with this project. I congratulate the board and all the people involved for this very relevant and informative publication. This is a welcome development considering that the Philippine Mining Industry is faced with challenges particularly social acceptability problem and environmental issues being raised by environmentalists, the Church, host communities, LGUs and other anti-mining groups. Your magazine will provide a good avenue for the mining industry players to provide insights into various issues affecting the industry as well as to inform the readers particularly the general public about responsible and sustainable mining projects and their socio-economic benefits to the host communities in particular and the country in general.

Ismael U. Ocampo OIC, Director


On behalf of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, let me congratulate Portal Magazine. The mining industry welcomes all efforts for the advancement of responsible mining. I hope that your magazine can help educate the public about our industry by providing useful and up-to-date information to various stakeholders while at the same time serving as a venue for healthy exchange of ideas and best practices on the various facets of mining. We hope that your publication can work closely with the Chamber and industry organizations in the promotion of sustainable development within the context of responsible mining: economic growth, environmental protection, social equity, and good governance.

Benjamin Philip G. Romualdez President


Philippine Mining safety and environment association

On behalf of the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA), I wish to congratulate Media Access for the maiden issue of Portal Magazine, which seeks to publish a balanced and more positive view of the minerals industry. We firmly believe that this magazine will be a valuable tool in communicating the sector’s best practices and success stories that will help the average Filipino understand what we mean by responsible mining and how it is practiced on the ground. It is our hope that through Portal Magazine, the general public will understand the government policies and industry practices that have been put in place to ensure safe working conditions for the mine workers, better health programs for employees and the community members, stricter environmental protection measures and social development strategies for the host and neighboring communities. I enjoin everyone to share the aspirations of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, as expressed in his famous essay “Filipinas de Cien Años” (“The Philippines a Century Hence”) which was published in La Solidaridad, Madrid, between September 30, 1889 and February 1, 1890. “Then the mines – gold, iron, copper, lead, coal, and others – will be worked again, which will help solve the problem of poverty.” Our national hero envisioned that the gold, iron, copper, lead and coal mines will help pave the way towards his vision for a progressive Philippines. Even then, Filipinos like Rizal did not regard mineral resources as mere raw materials but as a means to secure a better future for the country and its people. Let us work together to make each mining project utilize the best practices in safety, health, environmental protection and social development (S.H.E.S.) and reach the goal of sustainable development. Mabuhay kayo!


Philippine Society of Mining Engineers

The Philippine Society of Mining Engineers (PSEM) welcomes Portal Magazine into the mining world. Our industry has long been in need of catalysts to make things happen, especially in times when the industry is plagued with much criticism from less than wellinformed but fervent sectors. It is hoped that Portal Magazine will be one such catalyst. PSEM represents a group of highly respected, competent and responsible mining engineers who have dedicated their lives to their honorable profession of mining. Its mission is to provide programs, enhance opportunities and improve the welfare of its members to work responsibly as professionals for the development of a viable mineral industry in the context of sustainable development and responsible mining. PSEM will support entities that have similar vision and thrust which will help further our cause. We hope to soon work hand in hand with Portal Magazine to achieve our goals and those of the mining industry. God bless us all!



Geological Society of the Philippines

The Philippines, as a country naturally endowed with huge amounts of metallic and non-metallic resources, banks on the mining industry for its many contributions towards our goal of improving the lives of the ordinary Filipino. Ironically however, the same industry that contributes up to 3% to our GDP (industry sector) is often portrayed and eyed with misinformed aversion because of its environmentally invasive nature. In order to lift this unpleasant image, it is crucial for timely, correct, reliable and edifying information regarding the industry to reach a wider audience. Promoting awareness of the benefits that the mining industry brings requires an effective information dissemination campaign and thus, I congratulate Media Access Inc. for their first publication of “PORTAL - Your Insight into the Philippine Mining Industry”. I hope with the flooding of information through PORTAL, more people will come to realize the importance of mining to the development of our country. I also wish to take this opportunity to call upon my colleagues from the academe, the government and the industry to support this endeavor by sharing our technical know-hows through this medium. Contributions to PORTAL will go a long way towards our own continuing education and that of our fellow countrymen whose support we need in order to make the mining industry more unobjectionable. Together, we can aim for the increasing progress of our motherland and aspire to rekindle its name, Pearl of the Orient Seas. I sincerely wish Media Access Inc. and PORTAL magazine more success.

Carla B. Dimalanta, D.Sc. 2011 President


In behalf of the Society of Metallurgical Engineers of the Philippines (SMEP), I wish to congratulate the men and women behind PORTAL for coming up with the idea of providing an avenue “to communicate relevant and factual information about the (minerals and metals) industry in an educational and interesting manner” to all industry stakeholders across all sectors and across all levels. Indeed, the mining industry (or the minerals and metals industry as the industry may more profoundly be called to emphasize mining’s much broader economic reach and significance) is a high technology, high stake, multi-stakeholder industry. Beyond individual personal interests and even cutting through corporate expanse is the greater, more global national interest that invariably includes those of the communities within which the industry operates. As such the need for the understanding and appreciation of each of these and more stakeholders’ issues and concerns cannot be overemphasized, if only to gain much closer working relationships among those involved – be those from the government or the private sector - and achieve mutually inclusive and truly sustainable development. PORTAL has taken a great stride forward to provide such a vehicle and a venue for material and transparent presentations and discussions of facts on new and future developments in mining, technological advances, new and relevant mining policies, current and future issues and concerns, CSR efforts, among other subject matters that are of interest to industry stakeholders. It is up to us – the stakeholders like you and me – to take the next best step and make full use of the same. For us in the engineering profession, we hope to understand more our colleagues in the industry and those impacted by whatever we do as engineers in the fields. Only by understanding the needs of our stakeholders shall we be able to fully harness our expertise to help create, individually and collectively, a better mineral and metals industry and a better Philippines for our families and most of all – for humanity!



blast off Holcim wins top honors in annual national mine safety and environment conference (ANMSEC) Cement manufacturer Holcim Philippines, Inc. continued to dominate the mining industry’s annual contest on best practices on safe and environment-friendly operations, as it collected most of the awards in its category, including the top honors for two of its plants. article

& photo courtesy of holcim Philippines, inc.

We compete among ourselves, but we never hold back in sharing the best practices. And that’s the beauty of what we are doing. Holcim Philippines’s plants in Lugait, Misamis Oriental and Davao did not go home empty handed as each won a Platinum Award, the second highest recognition after the PMIEA. Holcim Philippines Chief Operating Officer Roland van Wijnen thanked the organizers for the recognition, and noted that the mindset of responsible and sustainable operations is a Holcim trademark. “I am filled with pride, humility and excitement for winning these awards as these show that our efforts to do the right thing are recognized by our peers in the industry and the involved government agencies. These results

are just one example of how Holcim operates around the world, wherein a high priority is put on safety and environmental management,” Holcim’s La Union plant also won the Best Mining Forest program in the Quarry Category as last year’s winner, the Lugait plant, yielded its six-year hold on the award and settled for second place. The company’s Bulacan and Davao plants were also recognized for having outstanding mining forest programs as they ended in third and fourth place, respectively. Van Wijnen also encouraged other industry players to continue efforts to make operations safe, and minimize impact on the environment. “I am happy to see that more companies are winning these awards, which shows that the industry is continuously raising the bar. We need to make sure that we continue to operate with utmost safety and, at the same time, manage our impact on the environment,” he said. Michael Cabalda, Holcim Philippines Sustainable Development Manager, said the award shows the company’s dedication to improve

performance on safety and environmental management. “The support provided by top management to address safety, environment and community matters made these awards possible. The values of safety and taking care of the environment are embedded in our corporate mindset, making it possible for all our facilities to get these achievements. We compete among ourselves, but we never hold back in sharing the best practices. And that’s the beauty of what we are doing,” he said. The PMIEA was established in 1997 through Executive Order No. 399 in compliance with the policy that mining activities are proenvironment and pro-people. Its selection committee is composed of the secretaries of the Departments of Environment, Trade, Interior and Local Government, Health, Science and Technology. The other members are the presidents of the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association, Philippine Mineral Exploration Association and Chambers of Mines of the Philippines.

About Holcim 01


olcim Philippines’s Bulacan and La Union plants bagged the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) for the Quarry Category, the fourth straight year Holcim won this honor and a repeat of the feat by the same plants in 2003 to both win the top honors.

The PMIEA is given to the company with the best overall program for quarry rehabilitation, environmental protection, safe operations and social and community development. The awarding ceremony concluded the 58th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference held on Nov. 11 in Baguio City.

01 • Holcim Philippines again raked in the awards in the 58th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference last Nov. 11 in Baguio City with its Bulacan and La Union plants winning the highest honors in the quarry category.

Holcim is one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand) as well as downstream activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt. The Group holds majority and minority interests in more than 70 countries on all continents. Holcim Philippines, Inc. (HPHI) is a Philippines-based cement manufacturer and a member of Holcim Group. Holcim Philippines is involved in the manufacture, sale and distribution of cement to the domestic and export markets. The Company produces four cement products: Holcim Excel, Holcim WallRight, Holcim Premium Bulk and Holcim 4X. Its products are sold in bags, tonner bags and

in bulk. Holcim Philippines operates four cement plants in La Union, Bulacan, Misamis Oriental, and Davao. It currently has over 1,700 employees in the Philippines. Contact: Edgar U. Timbungco Manager, Communications Services Holcim Philippines, Inc. 7th Floor Two World Square McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio +63 2 459 3333

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Geology Working for a Resilient Society article by


photos courtesy of




he Geological Society of the Philippines ended 2011 on a high note with its 24th Annual Geological Convention (GEOCON) held last December 8-9 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Quezon City. Themed “Geology Working for A Resilient Society”, the event featured scientific papers on economic geology, tectonics and geodynamics, energy resources, environmental issues, and geohazards. A total of 56 scientific works (48 oral and 8 poster) were presented at the said event. All these papers were packed with new findings and techniques dealing with the various facets of the geosciences. A number of these presentations included researches of undergraduate students and recent findings of our foreign counterparts. Opening the GEOCON to our collaborators from other countries was last done in 2002. We are proud that in 2011, we had the opportunity to listen to talks presented by eminent

researchers which included Dr. Shoji Arai (Kanazawa University), Dr. Jason Ali (University of Hong Kong), Keisuke Ishida (University of Tokushima), Dr. Ming-Chun Ke (National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction, Taiwan), Dr. Andrew Mitchell (Myanmar Ivanhoe Copper Company, Limited), Dr. Tadao Nishiyama (Kumamoto University), Dr. J. Bruce Shyu (National Taiwan University), Dr. Shigeyuki Suzuki (Okayama University), and Dr. Yasushi Watanabe (Geologic Survey of Japan). The GEOCON 2011 was attended by more than 300 geosciences professionals from the academe, government agencies and the private industry. In addition, over 200 undergraduate geology students from various universities across the country were present. These students included participants from The University of the Philippines,

01 • DOST Undersecretary Graciano P. Yumul, Jr. enlightens the audience on the possible impacts of a re-emerging La Niña to the minerals industry. 02 • GSP President Carla B. Dimalanta addresses the participants of GEOCON 2011 with forceful opening remarks.

The Mapua Institute of Technology, Adamson University, University of Southeastern Philippines and Partido State University. To date, GEOCON 2011 has had the biggest turnout in all of its history. The event’s major financial supporters included Filminera Resources Corporation, Philex Mining Corporation, San Miguel Corporation, Nickel Asia Corporation, and the Department of Science and Technology. Numerous positive feedbacks from the society’s members affirm the GSP’s commitment to furthering its many services to its members in particular and to the Filipino people in general. The society’s endeavors have not ended with the success of the GEOCON 2011. We will continue to strive even more in molding the GSP in becoming a relevant entity to our nation’s progress. For more information and updates, visit:

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goals of the Mining Forest Program: to reforest/rehabilitate open and mined-out areas, to increase awareness on the value of vegetation, to conserve the environment as natural resources with mining areas, promote biodiversity conservation, as well as soil and water conservation and climate change mitigation. The Awards Night and Testimonial Dinner were attended by almost nine hundred (900) personalities from the mining industry including Ambassadors from Switzerland, Chile and South Africa. The Keynote Speaker for the event was DENR Sec. Ramon J.P. Paje, represented by DENR Undersecretary for Policy and Planning, Demetrio L. Ignacio. Former DENR Undersecretary and Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA)


02 01 • Bobby Sajonia with the top management of Holcim Phils., Inc. – Bulacan after receiving the PMIEA for Quarry Operation 02 • Ian Holzberger, FCF Minerals, Inc. president, giving a speech after receiving the PMIEA for Exploration 03 • Usec. Dolino being awarded with the “Pasasalamat ng PMSEA”



ive mining companies were given the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) in the recently concluded 58th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference (ANMSEC) held in Baguio City last November 8-11, 2011. These include Holcim Philippines, Incorporated – Bulacan Plant, Holcim Phils., Inc. – La Union Plant, Sagittarius Mines Inc., FCF Minerals Corporation and MRL Gold Phils., Inc. – Agu-

san-Surigao Projects. The award was given in recognition of their outstanding levels of dedication, initiative and innovation in the pursuit of excellence in safety and health, environmental management and social development. The scope of the environmental management includes, among others, programs/projects being implemented for the environmental protection and enhancement of mining areas, development of the host and neighboring communi-

ties, land use improvement, exploration and mining site rehabilitation and final decommissioning. The winners for the Best Mining Forest Program were also presented, which include Philex Mining Corp. – Padcal, Holcim Phils., Inc. – La Union Plant and MRL Gold Phils., Inc. Apex Mining Co., Inc. and Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp. received special awards for best nursery and best rehabilitation strategy, respectively. This award is given to further promote the


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Board Director Jeremias Dolino was honored with a special recognition, the “Pasasalamat ng PMSEA” during the program for being one of the key players in the industry because of his distinguished accomplishments for the advancement of the mineral industry and for being the prime mover to achieve the PMSEA’s vision for the industry. The PMIEA was officially established under Executive Order No. 399 on 03 February 1997 in compliance with the policy that mineral exploration and mining operation shall be pro-environment and propeople in sustaining wealth creation and improve quality of life and that exploration and mining operation shall

be managed in an environmentally responsible manner to achieve and maintain sustainable conditions at every stage of mineral exploration and mining operations, as well as the establishment of a functional and sociallyacceptable post-disturbance land use capability. It is meant to be a fitting recognition of the private mineral sectors’ initiatives and exemplary achievements in the protection of the environment. It is conferred every year to deserving companies engaged in mining activities in the country. The Best Mining Forest Program began on 22 March 1989 through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Department Administra-

tive Order (DAO) No. 22, Series of 1989 which provides for the Guidelines for the Implementation of the Adopt-a-Tree, Adopt-aMining Forest Movement. The National Executive Committee (NEC), created under DENR Special Order No. 293, Series of 1989 and reconstituted through DENR Special Order No. 184, Series of 2004, manages the movement, sets pertinent rules and regulations, formulates the criteria for the selection of winners. The program was changed into Mining Forest Program on 26 October 2005, through Resolution No. 2005-02 passed by NEC, to make it separate and distinct from the Adopt-a-Mountain Program of DENR.

02 01 • Holcim Phils., Inc. – La Union Plantbags the 2011 PMIEA Award for Quarry Operations 02 • TVI Resource Development (Phils.) Inc. – 2011 Safest Mining Operation Awardee 03 • Dir. LL Jasareno and Ms. Lita Lee of Rapid City Dev’t Corp., awarding the

2011 Safest Mining Operation Award to TVI Resource Dev’t (Phils.) Inc. 04 • MESD Chief RL Velasco preparing for the presentations for the Awards Night. 05 • Dir. Jasareno with the 2011 Best Mining Forest-Metallic Category to Philex Mining Corp. – Padcal

05 03


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FCF Minerals Corporation-Runruno Gold- Molybdenum Project


MRL Gold Phils., Inc.-Surigao-Agusan Projects







Safest Surface Operation

TVI Resource Development (Phils.), Inc.-Canatuan Mining Project



Filminera Resources Corporation


Runner- Up

Republic Cement Corporation Bulacan Plant



Holcim Philippines, Inc. – La Union Plant


Runner- Up

Apo Land and Quarry Corporation



Rapid City Realty and Development Corporation


Runner- Up

FCF Minerals Corporation



Silangan Mindanao Mining Co., Inc.


Runner- Up

MRL Gold Phils., Inc., - Surigao – Agusan Projects



Asiaticus Management Corporation


Runner- Up

Republic Cement CorporationNorzagaray Plant



Apo Cement Corporation


Runner- Up

Safest Mineral Processing Concentrator

TVI Resources Development (Phils.),Inc.



Rapu-Rapu Processing, Inc.


Runner- Up

Safest Mineral ProcessingExtraction Category

Apex Mining Co., Inc.



Coral Bay Nickel Corporation


Runner- Up

Philippine Mining Service Corporation – Alcoy Dolomite Mine



Strongrock Concrete Aggregate Corporation


Runner- Up

Safest Combined Operation

Carmen Copper Corporation



Most Improved Safety Performance

Northern Cement Corporation


Safest Mining Operation

TVI Resource Development (Phils.), Inc.






Sagittarius Mines, Inc.-Tampakan Copper-Gold Project



Silangan Mindanao Mining Co., Inc.Silangan Project



Holcim Phils., Inc.- La Union Plant



Holcim Phils., Inc.- Bulacan Plant



Holcim Phils. Manufacturing Corp.-Lugait Plant



Holcim Phils., Inc.-Davao Plant





TVI Resource Development (Phils.),



Coral Bay Nickel Corporation-Hydrometallurgical Processing Plant Project




Apex Mining Co., Inc.-Maco Gold Project


Special Award

Safest Cement Plant Operation

Safest Quarry Operation

Safest Exploration – Category A

Safest Exploration – Category B






Philex Mining Corporation-Padcal Operations



Carmen Copper Corporation


1st Runner-up

Philsaga Mining Corporation


2nd Runner-up

Oceanagold (Phils.), Inc. Taganito Mining Corporation



Special Awards


3rd Runner-up 3rd Runner-up

Holcim Phils., Inc. La Union Plant



Holcim Phils. Manufacturing CorporationLugait Plant


1 Runner-up

Holcim Phils., Inc.-Bulacan Plant


2nd Runner-up

Holcim Phils., Inc.-Davao Plant


3rd Runner-up

MRL Gold Phils.,Inc.-Surigao-Agusan Projects



FCF Minerals Corporation


1st Runner-up

Sagittarius Mines, Inc.


2nd Runner-up


Apex Mining Co., Inc.

Best Nursery

Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation

Best Rehabilitation Strategy

Safest Mineral Processing – Cement

Safest Mineral Processing – Crushing Plant


column need link


bro. clifford t. sorita Hasenonkel (

illustration from


ased on EON’s Philippine Trust Index (2011 Study), Mining was the least trusted industry in the business sector, with a 22% trust rating (out of at least 19 other business industries), and shares the bottom slot together with Alcohol and Tobacco. Well, this sociological phenomenon can be attributed to two main reasons: (1) the growing environmental awareness of our society brought about by the blitzkrieg of media related campaigns, and (2) the chain of environmental disasters which have been readily attributed to reckless mining and logging practices. Mining has now to some extent been personified as the “big bad wolf” of environmental preservation. So despite the implementation of Republic Act 7942 (The Philippine Mining Act of 1995); why is the Mining Industry still being depicted as the scoundrel in all our environmental woes? Like in the theological concept of “original sin”, what we are experiencing today are the consequences brought about by our precedent indiscriminate use of our natural resources … the sins of our past. So if we apply Newton’s Law of Interaction, what we are experiencing today is simply the equal effect of the actions we did towards our environment. For instance, the Marinduque Disaster in 1996 (along the Boac River) which af-

fected more or less 20,700 villagers was a result of mining done in the 1970s. For every action, there is always an equal and opposite reaction. We reap what we sow. So placing the blame solely on the hands of our present day mining industries would be unfair to such an extent. Most especially when the fruits of their present-day actions (mining activities) have nothing to do with the environmental degradation we are experiencing today. Having said that, the next logical question would be: should we discontinue mining in the Philippines despite the sins of our past? Should an urgent environmental concern equally demand a radical solution? Imposing a total ban on mining as a radical solution to our present “ecological wounds” without carefully considering its overall impact to holistic livelihood and development may have its repercussions. I personally believe that “amputation” should only be the last resort in dealing with a wound. Drastic measures, YES! But Radical approaches, let’s be cautious. The Implementing Rules and Regulations (DENR Administrative Order No.9640) of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 already provides strict adherence to the principle of SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, and as such mandates that the needs of the present should be met without compromising

“Imposing a total ban on mining as a radical solution to our present “ecological wounds” without carefully considering its overall impact to holistic livelihood and development may have its repercussions.” the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs, with the view of improving the quality of life, both now and in the future. Moreover the law likewise provides that the use of mineral wealth shall be pro-people and pro-environment in sustaining wealth creation and improve quality of life. Theoretically, we are on the right track. Now, we need the political will to guarantee that Responsible Mining be implemented. Others would argue that since government is not fully equipped to effectively implement this decree and that the temptation for personal gain may overshadow the intent of the law (creating an unholy alliance

among certain stakeholders), this piece of legislation may be used as subterfuge to a sinister plot between unscrupulous public officials and equally false-hearted mining corporations to deceive a gullible public of financial gains that rightfully belongs to them. True, there is validity to this claim but shouldn’t the right approach be the strengthening of the axiological foundations (values) and institutional linkages of the mining industry, and not to penalize this sector as a whole? As I have said, let’s try healing the wounds first before radically considering to hastily amputating it. My only prayer is that the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in partnership with all Local Government Units (LGUs) and all local stakeholders will not only pay “lip service” to the cause of responsible and sustainable mining but be faithful to its principles that all, “Mining activities shall be undertaken with due and equal regard for economic and environmental considerations, as well as for health, safety, social and cultural concerns”; and that “the granting of mining rights shall harmonize existing activities, policies and programs of the Government that directly or indirectly promote self-reliance, development and resource management. Activities, policies and programs that promote community-based, community-oriented and procedural development shall be encouraged, consistent with the principles of people empowerment and grassroots development.” Healing the “sins of our past” requires that we rediscover the “nature of our past” as created co-creators of a still unfinished universe. We were

created as “stewards of the earth” thus it is inherent upon us to deal with our mistakes by rediscovering our role in this cosmic order. The Bible tells us that God gave us the earth to use wisely for our generation and the next. We need to use the resources to support human life. If we overuse the resources, we are stealing from the next generation. And so we need to be good stewards of what God has given to us. We don’t own them. We share them with the next generation. This means it is our responsibility to steward it, to use and create resources that are renewable. That would be the best stewardship. Instead of using resources that cannot be replaced, we have an obligation in stewardship of the earth to find resources that are renewable so that the next generation isn’t stuck with the lack of resources that God has given to them. And it’s our responsibility to make sure that those resources are available to them. We need to do what we can to renew resources, rather than waste them. We also may not be directly the cause of our current environmental problems, but we are responsible to fix it. Like it or not, we are in this together when it comes to steward-

ship. We are responsible not for its cause, but we are responsible for dealing with the problem. If we inherit problems caused by other people, our job is to be responsible in lessening the harm that any problem has caused in the world --- the misuse of our natural resources and the environmental damages brought about by the irresponsible mining practices of our past (inclusive of small scale mining). We need to take care of the world that God has given to us to take care of for the next generation. We are not only responsible for the earth; we are also accountable for it. Bro. Clifford T. Sorita is a writer, a professor and a consultant involved with DZRV Radio Veritas, People’s Tonight newspaper, Philippine Women’s University, Far Eastern University and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. He is a past National Secretary General of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and he also works as a consultant for programs of the United Nations International Labor Organization. For any personal comments or suggestions you may call 0917-4805585 or email me at

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need link

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Digging for Buried Truth by

Dean dela paz daniel villeneuve (

illustration by


ecently there has been an unusually large amount of virtual dirt first scraped off controversial environmental issues, shoveled into large heaps and then invariably scooped and piled upon the mining industry. The result is a virtual mountain of falsehoods, from what passes as empirical data, to utter stupidity and nonsense, collectively gathered, and whose substantial tonnages quite literally bury the truth. In an industry readily cast as villains and assaulted by well-ventilated fallacies, it is easy to hide realities. Note recent controversies where the mining industry is painted as a default bogey as brazenly blamed for natural as well as man-made disasters if only to pursue an agenda often too-broadly defined as motherhood statements that the gullible can easily subscribe to. From the recent events, let us work our way back. In the recent earthquakes and successive tremors that have rocked Central Visayas, some of the usual critics have quickly jumped on a media bandwagon and have as quickly blamed the industry for some of the quake’s effects as they have just as quickly ignored the unpredictability of tectonic movements, geological ruptures and other terrestrial aberrations. In the catastrophic floods that recently swept across Mindanao from its southwestern and southeastern

mountains thereby inundating the lower plains in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, again, the mining industry was being blamed. Never mind that the culprits might have been logging concessions and small-scale miners as well as local officials bent on populating non-habitable areas, floodways, deltas and shoals unfit for housing or urban relocation. Again it is an instance where the truth is buried under piles of mud, debris, and undiscerning and impassioned criticism. Inflamed passion should not overpower the truth, but lately, it has. Of late a self-styled civic group has asked the president to suspend all mining activities for at least two years to allow for the study, promulgation, issuance and implementation of what to them would be an alternative “rational” mining policy. This to them is a response to a perceived laxity if not liberality in “regulatory and permitting procedures” that they claim would “entice investors to come in at the expense of local autonomy, environmental and ecological balance, asset reform, and human rights.” The Mining Act of 2005 is the operant statute and within it is our “rational mining policy” – that which critics claim does not exist. Oppositors have however, escalated their opposition and in their lobby much of reality seems to have gotten buried in the rhetoric.

While cognizant that presidential executive orders (EO) cannot amend a law, much less repeal it diametrically, the Chamber of Mines and other business groups have cautioned against the issuance and implementation of a draft executive order entitled “Institutionalizing and Implementing Reforms in the Philippine Mining Sector, Providing Policies and Guidelines therefore, and For Other Purposes.” The draft EO is perceived to oppose what critics label as “the aggressive promotion of mining in the whole country, as embodied in EO 270-A” where it opens the country to largescale mining operations. Note that the targets are large-scale mining and not unregulated small-scale mining that have largely been identified as contributory to recent disasters. Among the draft EO’s more controversial provisions is a proposal to complete a program for forest delineation that pin-points “remaining forests, critical watersheds and important biodiversity areas.” These issues of forest delineation and “rational” mining policies are at the core of conflicts in Palawan where mining critics have chosen to fight the battle which they hope would extend beyond Palawan’s shores. The choice of Palawan as an arena to prosecute these issues however raises questions on the credibility of the critics and their objectives.

Using the Palawan arena, let us dig deeper for the truth specifically focusing on the issues of rational mining policies and forest delineation. We’ve chosen these among others because, ironically, it is in Palawan where these have been well-established contrary to the proposals in the draft EO. Hitching on a publicity-fed and media-fueled bandwagon in the aftermath of the death of a Palawan-based journalist, a well-funded and publicized signature campaign to reignite waning passions, capitalize, project residual emotions, perhaps even turn grief into anger is being waged in Palawan. Never mind that politics and not mining issues might have been behind the controversy. A tragic and nonsensical death can indeed inflame passions. But it can also be used to bury the truth. The campaign has ambitious goals that far exceed what might be produced from Palawan alone. Note the inordinate logic behind the demonization campaign. The objective is to garner 10 million signatures. Given Palawan’s 2000 population of 737,000 at a national growth

rate of 1.9%, Palawan would have slightly over 906,000 by now or less than a tenth of the signatures sought. So why foray beyond a local mandate? Why bury the truth, or the real desires of Palawan residents under a signature campaign where, mathematically, a substantial number of those signing might not even be from Palawan? In a rather direct and very obvious sense, the campaign disguised as a consensus-building exercise is plainly an incendiary device skillfully designed to incite over 9,093,467 non-Palawenos to tell the legitimate residents of Palawan what’s best for them. The truth is being buried by 10 million signatures, the accusation of having no “rational” mining policy and a charge that there might be no forest delineations. Against these, let us do what miners do. Let us dig, not for minerals, but rather for buried truth in that corner of the archipelago that has been turned into a microcosm of the epic conflict between mining and anti-mining proponents. The ten million signatures campaign seeks to impose a ban on mining

in Palawan despite the establishment of a Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) and the Palawan Tropical Forestry Protection Program developed and approved by multilateral agencies and Palawan’s local constituencies. The SEP is specifically detailed and designed for Palawan’s sustainable development under the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) - a body tasked to oversee such development. In these, both programs and for a have been provided with a clear objective – that of sustainable development. The SEP is the embodiment of long debate, consensus and democratic processes subscribed to by the residents of Palawan and applied to their environment. More importantly, when arrayed against accusations on non-delineations of forest areas against those economic areas where development is allowed, the SEP is specific and definitive where it stands as Palawan’s forest-to-non-forest demarcations. The SEP is a statutory foundation for development. It is both a covenant and has the force of law that binds industries in Palawan and its residents.

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The criticality of discernment and digging for the buried truth behind impassioned hype and hyperbole cannot be over-emphasized when impressionable minds are targeted, manipulated and then turned by glitzy gimmickry that induces broadside motherhood concepts. It also provides the means for resolving disputes. Unfortunately, arrayed against it there is a good deal of fiction and fallacy all integral to a hate campaign that compels mining for the truth and facts if only to discern what’s what for over 9 million recruited signatories in a battle for Palawan’s truth. Let’s us simply list some of those that we need to unearth. One fallacy foists the falsehood that Palawan has lost 16% of its forest cover. The data and the claims used to spread the signature campaign do not match Palawan’s officially recorded forest cover. In 1992 forest cover was 738,886 hectares or a coverage of 52%. By 2005, recorded forest cover had fallen to 46%, a decline of 6% over a period of over a decade. Signature campaigners however claim that the decline was not 6% but 16%. The discrepancy in claims is huge. Mining critics seem to have grossly inflated the 6% count by over 166%. Where lies buried the truth? Let us analyze the deforestation rate before

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and after the SEP and see what the data tells us and where improvements are brought about by simple agreements and covenants rather than hate campaigns that bury the truth. A deforestation rate of 6% equates to 5,500 hectares per year. This is the 2005 data. When compared to previous periods when the SEP had not yet been established and the residents were left on the own, the pre-2005 deforestation rate reveals a much more severe picture of negative development. The 6% is a significant improvement to the 20.72% deforestation rate recorded prior to 1992 where deforestation at over one-fifth of Palawan’s total area was recorded at 19,000 hectares per year prior to the establishment of the SEP which critics continually deny as an effective mechanism of sustainable development. Another falsehood buried under the hate campaign in mining is that mining critics foist the fallacy that mining leads to massive deforestation. Let us analyze that. More than percentages, the reasons for deforestation are more important as these reveal where solutions lie and where a campaign might indeed focus. Unfortunately, the empirical data on deforestation does not support the claim that the mines in Palawan are substantially responsible. Palawan mines are mostly for nickel laterites. These come from soil and impact less on forest cover. Measure the percentage hectarage of these against such aspects as encroaching urbanization and the expansion of vastly larger agricultural areas. The numbers should segue into the third fallacy. A third fallacy is on the manner of determining causes and effects. Let us look at what had actually affected forest cover. Here it is important to note exactly how counts are made. This is important because forest cover data is comprised of hectarage and the

number of standing trees within such hectarage. Thus it is a measure of density. The data shows half of Palawan’s forest cover reduction was due to the conversion of forest land to agricultural use. This compared to nickel mining is at the core of the density statistics. Note the economics of agriculture compared to what the residents of Palawan have been used. Agrulture from forest covers spike domestic productivity. So have timber harvesting and land conversions. All told, the data proves that, more than mining, forest fires, timber harvesting, population encroachment, agrarian reform, land titling and conversion account for the reduction in forest cover. The criticality of discernment and digging for the buried truth behind impassioned hype and hyperbole cannot be over-emphasized when impressionable minds are targeted, manipulated and then turned by glitzy gimmickry that induces broadside motherhood concepts. Who, after all, does not care for the environment? But then endemic issues that concern trade-offs between preservation and development can hardly be reduced to simplistic absolutes and a signature campaign. For those outside Palawan inclined to affix their signatures on a sheet of paper imploring preambles but is short on the truth, it is incumbent that a little digging helps to discern truth from a mountain of falsehoods. Dean dela Paz is an investment banker and currently consults to several financial institutions and banks. He has a Masters Degree in Business Management from the Asian Institute of Management and a post graduate degree from the University of Northern Virginia. He is also a professor of Strategic Management and Finance at a UK-affiliated business school. He likewise writes a business column for the Business Mirror, GMANews TV and the Philippine Online Chronicles.

trailblazers Profile

Born in the Mines by

Estelle Piencenaves RICK LOPEZ

photographs by


or somebody who is not from show business, Horacio C. Ramos is quite controversial. In the field of mining, he has become a person both not well liked but loved by those who followed his forty-year career in government. Yet, he remains optimistic, “If both sides hate me, I must be doing something right in balancing the views of antimining and pro-mining groups respectively.” Portal pulls Ramos out of retirement for a casual interview. He tells us about his destiny with mining, serving nine administrations, changing the game in mining, family life and his remarkable career finish when he retired as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in 2010. Portal: What sparked your interest to study mining at the young age of 16? Ramos: I don’t know if it was my destiny because I was actually born in a mining tunnel in Tublay, Benguet during the Japanese liberation. I think I was destined for this. Portal: What keeps you busy nowadays after your stint as DENR secretary? Ramos: After serving for four and half months as DENR Secretary, 14 years as National Director of the

Mines and Geosciences Bureau and more than 20 years in the DENR/ MGB, I took a short rest and I am now working in the private sector as a mining business consultant. This is one year after the ethical ban for retired government officials. Portal: You served for a long time in government. You rose from the ranks. Being the first DENR Secretary who came from the ranks, can you say that you were well prepared for the challenges at hand? Ramos: To me, I think yes. Rising from the ranks and having been assigned in a number of regional offices gave me a feel of the needs, wants, issues and concerns of both the rank and file and technical employees and executives of the DENR and MGB. Becoming the DENR Secretary is not my personal triumph, it is the triumph of the career people in the DENR which I feel and believe have been doing their job well, majority of them. I represented them and I’m proud to have represented them. But the current secretary, Mon Paje, also came from the ranks. Portal: Four and half months in DENR is short. If you had the chance, would you have stayed? What was accomplished in that short time? Ramos: You know, I worked under

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nine DENR secretaries, starting with Vic Ramos to Eleazar Quinto. Every time a new Secretary comes in, he does not want to use the policy of the previous, they have their own management styles, they have their own idea of how things should be done. But in my case, I considered myself as just a transition Secretary. I have no illusions of doing this and doing that. I simply reviewed and approved policies presented to me after consultations with the staff. I said they are the work of all the Secretaries. I did not claim them as mine, its theirs, its DENR’s. Maybe that’s the best thing about being a career employee. What was accomplished? For mining, it’s the revitalization program for the Philippine mining industry and having in place a system that would have an equitable sharing of benefits from mining - not only for government but also for the local community and indigenous people. During my watch we did not approve any mining tenement without a free and prior informed consent by the indigenous people in the area as certified to by the National Commission Indigenous People (NCIP). For the first time the IPs are sharing benefits through royalties from mining operations. We have also put in place a comprehensive life of the mine environmental protection from exploration to mining operations to post mine closure and insuring funds implementations. The National Geohazard Mapping Program which was initiated by the former Administration and now of great relevance to the Government and local government units as well as other users, was started during my term as MGB Director. Sadly, it took several natural calamities before

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LGUs and the people took notice. We also implemented the titling of residential lands under the patent system. That’s a major one, kasi pag nag-issue ka ng land patent, it’s for agriculture. And then sa residential, you go into a process na marami. Dito ngayon, if you can title the agriculture land under the patent system, you can also title for residential system. In forestry we came up with a stricter environmental plan for social protection. I applied what we did in mining to forestry since there is nothing like that and we made it mandatory. Portal: What else is needed to continue the revitalization of the mining industry that you started in 2004? Ramos: To me, it’s the implementation of the program. It’s important to show that the country benefits from mining. An issue being raised right now is that the economic benefit derived from mining is just small. It’s not because the mining companies are not giving enough money but it’s because one agency is trying to collect taxes and the other agency wants to give incentives. If there’s a new mining project, we give income tax holidays at the BOI, then there is also PEZA. This has to be stopped. If mining is profitable, there’s no need for incentives. The minerals themselves are the incentives. We are among the few countries in the world who gives tax holidays on natural resources projects. It may be okay for a computer chips company but when you extract a resource that belongs to or that is part of the patrimony of the Filipino people, you don’t give exemptions. You get the

What was accomplished? For mining, it was revitalization and putting in place a system that would have an equitable sharing of benefits from mining - not only for the government but also for the local community and indigenous people. benefits as share of the Filipino people. That is what I have always advocated. The thing that makes me a little controversial is that while I am promining, I’m not exactly espousing all the things that the industry wants. I always go for the middle ground and I’m pro-government. Share it with the people. I go for mining that provides equitable sharing. I believe that mining can contribute immensely to economic growth and it will also provide, aside from taxes, benefits for the indigenous people. Portal: Do you believe that the mining industry today has already shifted into a responsible kind of mining? Ramos: Yes. In fact the investments have grown by leaps and bounds. Now the investment is four billion US dollars as compared to a lot less just five to six years ago. There are major discoveries also - major discoveries of world class

deposits. Beyond the investment, mining companies have committed billions of pesos for environmental management and social/community development as mandated by the law. With the exception of a few, I believe that the industry is making progress in implementing responsible mining on the ground, in individual mine sites. In due time, the industry can demonstrate to the Filipino people that there is such a thing as responsible mining and that disturbed lands due to

mining can be rehabilitated. Portal: How would you define responsible/ sustainable mining? Ramos: I’ll define it as “the integration of the environmental management, social development and the economic objectives in the day-to-day operations of a company”. For instance, once you have identified and defined a mineral deposit, you prepare a feasibility study where you input all the technical, environmental,

social and economic cost factors. If after all of these costs are absorbed and the government share is satisfied and the project is still viable then we can say that the project can proceed. In this case, the environmental and social costs of modern mining, and the profit objectives of the company are all satisfied, then we can consider the mining project as sustainable. This normally requires high profit potential ore bodies and as such marginal deposits may not be qualified for development. Portal: Can you give examples of responsible/ sustainable mining operations in the country? Ramos: Philex Mining is one. If you look into their record, they have free elementary and high schools, they have hospitals, and almost 5% to 15% of their cost is provided for the community. The Atlas copper mine in Cebu is also doing the same. But most companies are responsible in their own way. Many are spending for CSR projects outside of those mandated by law. Portal: But, there’s still much work to be done? Ramos: Yes, of course. The government is coming out with policy reforms again to address the perceived controversies in mining. For me, reforms should be focused on the appropriate share of government, value-added mineral possessing activities, strengthened and efficient implementation of existing environmental rules and information campaigns. It’s about time they share their information with the public and the community so people will understand. It is high time the government participate in the Extractive

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Mining is a long term endeavour. We have mineral resources that cannot be taken away from us. These resources are either already being explored or developed and others still to be discovered in the future. Industries Transparency Initiative so people will be aware of how much companies paid and how the government utilized the money. In the case of downstream mineral possessing, it is best for government to focus on the development of integrated steel mill and stainless steel considering that we have the necessary raw materials of iron and nickel and this will trigger the industrialization of the country. Mine rehabilitation was only in theory in the previous mining law. Now it is a reality because companies are required to have a progressive mine rehabilitation plan before the start of operations, under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program. The challenge for companies is to prove and show that mine rehabilitation is achievable. Portal: Tell us more about final mine rehabilitation. Ramos: From the start, the mining company would already define the final land use for its mining site. This is what we refer to in mining as “thinking of the

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end before you start”. Right from the start, the company should know what is the final land use and what the the cost of rehabilitation will be. They put that in the feasibility study. If in the feasibility study, despite expenses for mine rehabilitation, it’s still feasible, then proceed. The company will develop the Final Mine Rehabilitation and/or Decommissioning Plan which when approved will lead to the establishment of the Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Fund. The Fund, equivalent to the cost of implementing the approved plan, is deposited in a government depository bank over a period of several years so that the amount of money for the mine rehabilitation is assured and readily available. Companies are mandated to rehabilitate their disturbed areas into a land use that is more productive than it used to be. Usually mining areas can be rehabilitated into orchard farms, reforestation sites or sometimes agricultural land, depending also on the preference of the community. Portal: How about disaster prevention programs in mining? Ramos: In government, the challenge is very big especially if you are working on the sustainability of the mining industry. When I came in as Director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in March 1996, the Marcopper Trailing Spill just happened about three weeks before. It was my baptism of fire and after that my life wasn’t the same again. No one wants to have a disaster. It’s an engineering mistake that Marcopper, which was operating at a loss at that time, committed. But

the impact of the spill affected the industry as well. We thought it was the death of the mining industry. From there we considered mining as a sunset industry because nobody wanted it and criticisms were flung all over. In the aftermath of the Marcopper spill, we came up with new implementing rules and regulations with special focus on environmental management social development and all the other measures that are necessary. From there, we worked our way towards coming up with sustainable mining or responsible mining. The break came in 2003 when the former President declared her policy- from tolerance to promotion of mining operations. Another was when the Supreme Court decided that the Mining Act and the FTAA (Financial Technical Assistance Agreement) are valid/constitutional. Portal: But just recently, there was another mining disaster in Compostela Valley… Ramos: Disasters in big mining sites rarely happen. It’s only in small-scale mining sites because there are no engineering measures. The problem with small scale is it cannot be fully organized. They are the ones destroying the environment. The small scale mine sites are under the jurisdiction of local governments. Most of the smallscale miners in non-metallics have appropriate permits but most of the small scale gold miners (about 300,000) have no permits, hence they are illegal. So it’s a social problem. They benefit from this operation on a day-to-day basis. Many times the government has used force to stop them but they will just stop temporarily or move

to another place but eventually they will return. It won’t stop unless we create appropriate livelihood programs for them or if the LGUs regulate them properly. Portal: Let’s go to your life in retirement. You mentioned earlier that you are now working with the private sector. Is this the first time? Ramos: The first time was before I entered government. Don’t ask me when (laughs) and a threeyear consultancy work in World Bank sponsored community based environmental DENR projects. So this is the third time that I’m working for a private group. I find it more compensating. You are compensated properly and your work is appreciated. In government, one’s work is not normally appreciated. I’m now working as a mining business consultant for the RSA (San Miguel Holding Company) group of companies. I consider this as an opportunity to practice responsible mining, and implement the environmental management and social development provisions of the law in their operations. Portal: Do you have a family? Are they happy with your present endeavours? Ramos: I have five children. All of them are now professionals and living their own lives. Now that I am retired in government, I am making up for lost time with my family. I see to it that I visit them in Baguio, whenever my schedule permits. Portal: Do you share your passion for mining with your children? Ramos: My house is filled with mining memorabilia. In my house in Baguio, I have special specimens

of various rocks and minerals and all the pictures hanging on the walls are about mining. My children know about mining. But, I did not encourage any of them to go into mining engineering. As they say, one fool in the family is enough, the closest is one of my daughters who took up geography in U.P. but she is with the WWF (World Wildlife Fund). Portal: With more time on your hands, do you have new hobbies? Ramos: I have time to go to the gym and exercise. I also travel. I just visited relatives in the United States. I have eight grandchildren and I find them as jewels in my life. When stressed, I normally play with my grandchildren... I consider myself family-oriented. Portal: Your opinion on the future of mining in the Philippines? Ramos: Mining is a long term endeavour. We have mineral resources that cannot be taken away from us. These resources are either already being explored or developed and others still to be discovered in the future. But minerals on the ground cannot be considered as realized wealth unless developed and put into operation. As I always say if you are in Saudi Arabia, with so much oil resources, you need to pump out the oil for the benefit of people. Here in the Philippines we have vast mineral resources which should be taken advantage of, for the benefit of our people, through responsible mining. I believe the development of mineral resources will contribute immensely to the economic growth of the country if done in through sustainable mining. The future of mining in the Philippines in the long term is bright because of our proximity to

two countries that are in need of mineral products, namely China and India. We just have to discover through exploration activities and develop mineral ore projects that can absorb the environmental and social costs of modern mining, the government share, and the profit objectives of mining contractors. Yes, there will be progress for as long as companies are responsible and the government manages the benefits of mining wisely, with the people in mind. Portal: Do you see real progress happening before the minerals run out? Ramos: We have barely started. Full implementation of the mining law came only when it was declared constitutional by the Supreme Court in 2004. Moreover, as geologists have been saying, we have barely scratched the surface and there are more deposits waiting to be discovered. I have to say though that minerals will not really run out, mines may close but the minerals, the metals will remain. We just transformed them to productive use, into things we use in our everyday life. Portal: How would you sum up your experience as a civil servant? Ramos: I worked with government for 35 years starting as a mining engineer in the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and retired as Secretary of DENR. Indeed I am very fortunate and lucky to be given such an opportunity as a career employee. It was a very challenging job. I did my best in providing my humble share in improving the mineral industry sector. In the private sector I hope to be productive and useful to the minerals industry where I belong.

INDUSTRY profiles Philex Mining Corporation:

A passion for sustainable development in the mining industry by

Rizal Raoul Reyes courtesy of PHILEX MINING CORPORATION


01 • Miners working inside the Philex Padcal mine 02 • Loading equipment in action



n this era of sustainable development, many industries have responded to the call of saving the environment. The mining industry, specifically large scale mining firms such as Philex Mining Corporation, has been an active participant in the pursuit of sustainable development. The United Nations’ Brundtland Commission coined the term sustainable development in the 1987 paper “Our Common Future” to mean enabling “the current generation meeting their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their

needs.” As far as Philex Mining Corporation is concerned, communications manager Rochelle GamboaHilario said it has proven decades ago that mining and sustainable development can go hand-in-hand. Being a believer in environmental sustainability, Philex has been able to preserve the Padcal Gold-Copper Project since it opened in 1958. Furthermore, Philex brought progress and life to the area by implementing sound environmental practices. Prior to the entry of Philex in the area, Padcal was an environmental disaster caused by kaingin farming. 02

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INDUSTRY profiles 43 marginalized students from the host communities. For SY 20092010, 46 students benefited from the college scholarship, with seven of them successfully completing their studies that year. At present, 79 high school students enjoy full scholarship at the Saint Louis High School-Philex. Philex also subsidizes the education of 362 elementary and high school students, mostly dependents of Philex employees. In 2010, Philex joined the Department of Education’s Alternative Learning program to enhance the reading and writing skills of local residents. The first batch composed of 31 students successfully passed the DepEd national examinations and were given secondary education diplomas. Meanwhile, 18 out-of-school youths were granted vocational scholarships by the Company to study at the Baguio School of Business and Technology College and the Philippine Institute of Mining and Quarrying.



The H.E.L.P. Program In 2010, the Company spent a total of P36.7 million for the continued implementation of its H.E.L.P. Program (Health, Education, Livelihood and Public Infrastructure). Under its health care program, Philex’s Santo Niño Hospital provided free basic medical and health services to 6,858 patients from the local communities. Furthermore, it initiated two medical missions implemented in the locality which benefited an additional 144 underprivileged patients. The company also regularly conducts programs and lectures on health awareness, proper sanitation, emergency and disaster preparedness among the local residents. The college and secondary educational scholarship program, one of the flagship programs of Philex, aims to give educational opportunities to deserving

01 • Flag ceremony at the Philex High School (photo by Danny Pata) 02 • Philex High School library (photo by Danny Pata) 03 • The Philex Elementary School 04 • Dentist at work at the Sto. Niño Hospital 05 • Medical services for Philex staff at the Sto. Niño Hospital




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Environmental accomplishments Hilario pointed out that Philex employs comprehensive environmental programs in its mining operations from exploration, mine development, operations, and decommissioning, spanning all projects including Padcal in Benguet, Silangan in Surigao Del Norte, Sibutad in Zamboanga Del Norte, and Bulawan in Negros Occidental. The Padcal Project of Philex bagged the ‘Best Mining Forest’ at the Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference. Hilario said the citation embodies the relevance of enhancing and supporting a harmonious partnership with the community where it operates through community-based social and environmental projects. Hilario added that the Padcal mining project has reforested 2,000 hectares with over seven million trees which have enjoyed a 90% survival rate since the launching of the project in 1989. Furthermore, Philex displayed excellence and consistency by being the champion in 1991, 1994, 2000-2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008. Moreover, Philex’s nursery operation produced 300,000 to 500,000 seedlings of various species since it started operations in 1987. As of June 2011, the in-house nursery had produced more than 500,000 seedlings for the year. Interestingly, the essence of Padcal Mine’s reforestation program was the involvement of the community and purok-based organizations. Philex launched several programs to improve the lives of the people and at the same time helping save the environment. Through its agro-forestry initiatives, Philex developed the kaingeros to become forest stewards

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to fight environmental degradation while earning a living. Meanwhile, the “Philex Community Plant A Tree, Adopt A Forest Program,” an environmental enhancement and protection contest among the purok members, is another pillar of Philex’s environmental programs. Taking care of the community Employment generation is another relevant aspect of Philex’s environmental programs. Aside from the foresters, deputized forest guards and regular reforestation personnel, Philex also utilizes extra manpower for forest protection and

01 • Reforested area surrounding the Philex mine camp 02 • Philex staff monitoring the quality of water (photo by Bernard Testa) 03 • Coffee production (photo by Danny Pata) 04 • Loom weaving (photo by Dave Leprozo) 05 • Philex aquaculture (photo by Dave Leprozo) 06 • Sto. Niño Church

seedling propagation and maintenance, grasscutting, and fireline construction. According to Hilario, Philex’s “vengineering” -- a combination of vegetative and engineered erosion control and slope stabilization measures -- is one of the year-round reforestation activities that the company implements. It utilizes technologies such as bench brush layering, vegetative mattings, wattlings, and tree-planting on the slopes. Meanwhile, there is friendly competition among the mining projects of Philex as the Silangan Project aims to exceed the standard Padcal has set. The SMCCI Silangan Project is also being commended for its promotion of a ‘pro-environment’ and ‘pro-people’ mineral exploration and mining operation activities. With a production of 200,000 seedlings annually, the forest nursery at the Silangan exploration site is used as a major source of planting materials. Recognition and awards For its zeal and aggressive championing of environmentalism, Philex consistently earned awards and recognitions such as the “Adopt-A-Mountain, AdoptA-Mining Forest Program” of the government. Philex’s proenvironment measures have been recognized on the executive level when it was awarded the prestigious Platinum Achievement Award-Exploration Category in the 2011 Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Awards (PMIEA). Furthermore, it also placed as a runner up at the Safest Mines Award – Safest Exploration, Category A. Meanwhile, Hilario said Philex’s Sibutad project in Zamboanga del Norte continues to pursue mine

rehabilitation and has become one of the local government’s tourist areas for picnics, forest trekking, horse-back riding and mountain biking. For these initiatives, Philex has also been given regular recognition in the government’s “AdoptA-Mountain, Adopt-A-Mining Forest” program. More importantly, Philex Chairman Manny Pangilinan stressed the company goes the extra mile by developing capability measures in the communities they operate to ensure the people will survive even after mining operations stop. “As early as now, we are preparing the community with a local economy that is based on providing goods and services to the mine but designed for further expansion and diversification to provide the same to the community, the province and, eventually, the region. After the launch of the Community Business Technology Center (CBTC) for Meat Processing in 2009, more CBTCs were started for development in 2010, all of which are expected to be onstream in 2011,” said Pangilinan.





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Holcim Philippines, inc.:

Sustained Wins for a Sustainable Future article & photographs courtesy of HOLCIM PHILIPPINES, INC.


o win a single award takes exceptional performance. To harvest awards — repeatedly — takes commitment and passion to achieve quality and excellence. For cement manufacturer Holcim Philippines, the recent honors it received in the 58th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference add to an already long list of recognition for the company’s responsible and sustainable quarry operations. Last November 11, Holcim received major awards in the Quarry Category of the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) for all its four cement plants—including the highest award for its Bulacan and La Union plants. The company’s plants in Lugait, Misamis Oriental, and Davao received the Platinum Award, the second highest recognition. The PMIEA is the mining industry’s most prestigious annual recognition of best practices on safe and environment-friendly operations. The awards are significant for many reasons. This is the fourth straight year that Holcim has won the top honor — and only the second time that a single company was awarded with two PMIEAs. In 2003, Bulacan and La Union plants also both received the Presidential Award. Overall, the two plants have each collected three PMIEAs. Of the multiple commendations, Holcim Philippines Chief Operating Officer Roland van Wijnen said: “I am filled with pride, humility and excitement, as these awards show that our efforts to do the right thing are recognized by our peers in the industry and

We value the safety of all our stakeholders, especially when they are in any of our plants or facilities. We are committed in mitigating the impact of our business operations to the environment. And we take to heart our responsibility to take good care of our host communities the concerned government agencies. These recognitions are the result of the priority we have put on safety and the strict standards we have observed in managing the environmental impact of our operations.” Holcim’s La Union plant added to the award haul by winning the Best Mining Forest program in the Quarry Category. Holcim’s Lugait facility, following its six-year hold on the award, placed second. The company’s Bulacan and Davao plants were also cited for having outstanding mining forest programs as they ended in third and fourth place, respectively. The company’s La Union plant also was the first runner-up in the Safest Cement Plant Operations.

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The Holcim Philosophy For Michael Cabalda, Holcim Philippines Sustainable Development Manager, the recent accolades prove that “what we say is what we do. And that our dedication to sustainability is non-negotiable!” “We value the safety of all our stakeholders, especially when they are in any of our plants or facilities. We are committed in mitigating the impact of our business operations to the environment. And we take to heart our responsibility to take good care of our host communities,” Cabalda explained. “These standards hold true in any Holcim facility anywhere around the globe.” He added, “We are proud to say that not only do we strictly abide by existing Philippine laws governing our operations, but we also go beyond the minimum requirements as Holcim’s global standards impose stricter metrics.” This has been driven by Holcim’s commitment to the triple bottomline and reflected in various initiatives that allow the Company to reduce its carbon footprint and help manage the effects of climate change. “One concrete effort is Holcim’s co-processing technology. Operating under our Geocycle business, this technology allows us to substitute fuel with alternative materials such as rice husk. This technology also allows us to assist municipalities and other industrial establishments through the efficient disposal of various waste streams,” explained Holcim Philippines Senior Vice President for Manufacturing Andre Caluori. Caluori also pointed to various systems and programs that have allowed Holcim plants to manage the impact of its manufacturing operations for the benefit of the surrounding communities. Among these efforts, Holcim’s award-win-

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ning global framework of responsible quarry operation and progressive rehabilitation continue to be a source of pride. Explaining one of its best practices, La Union Plant Manager Andy White said: “Essentially, we ensure that we rehabilitate all the areas where we operate, so they remain productive for the residents. As an example, we convert our limestone quarries into reforested areas or parks.” This approach is being practiced in all Holcim plants. Considered a success measure is the fact that these rehabilitated and reforested areas now serve as habitat of various flora and fauna species which the Holcim plants continuously propagate. In its La Union plant for instance, Holcim has worked on a Memorandum of Agreement with the community to adopt a 50-hectare forest tree plantation within the Lon-oy Watershed in Barangay Lon-oy, San Gabriel, La Union. Community partnership The plant also boasts of many protection and conservation initiatives in partnership with nearby community and local government units. One of them is the sea urchin conservation program that includes seaweed propagation, which aims to enrich the marine life. Today, through the people’s initiative, the site has already been declared a marine protected area. This approach of partnering with the community to take care of the environment is likewise common among Holcim plants. The Bulacan plant, for example, is actively promoting a mindset of proper waste segregation within its communities. Its Materials Recovery Center taps the community to help in the plant’s environmental

01 01 • Holcim Davao employees and community partners join hands for the Adopt-a- Mangrove Site project in Brgy. Lasang.

protection efforts, while providing opportunities for added income. “We make sure that we secure the cooperation and commitment of our communities for our CSR and environmental projects because it is

through their assistance that we can ensure the success and sustainability of these efforts,” said Bulacan Plant Manager Bobby Sajonia. Meanwhile, Holcim’s Lugait plant prides itself with a six-year

record of having the best mining forest program among nonmetallic miners. Much has been written about its butterfly garden and bird roosting “condotel.” The roosting condotel

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INDUSTRY profiles 51 01 • The Lugait plant keeps several indigenous tree species in its nursery for use in the rehabilitation of mined out areas. 02 • Young mango trees in one of Holcim’s reforestation projects

This is the fourth straight year that Holcim Philippines has won the top honor—and only the second time that a single company was awarded with two PMIEAs


houses doves, swiftlets, starlings, and other avian species—giving them a safe haven while conveniently keeping them away from the areas of operations. In Davao, Holcim has almost three hectares of quarry areas planted to bamboos that provide nourishment and shelter to various animal species. Working together with the city, Holcim continues its commitment to restore and enhance mangroves in the area. Today, the Holcim Davao plant has a total rehabilitated area of 409 hectares with over 700,000 trees.


All these reflect Holcim’s commitment to ensure environmental sustainability in all its operations. “We take environmental protection seriously, not just for the sake of having the ‘numbers’ to report, but because we believe this is the right thing to do,” said Caluori. “I think it is the consistent and sustained implementation of these practices that convinced the PMEIA judges to recognize Holcim anew,” van Wijnen said. “It is good that early on, we’ve learned to have a healthy competition among our

plants so we are continually on our toes. At the same time, knowledge sharing is a way of life at Holcim, so we don’t hold back in sharing best practices so everyone can listen and learn.” Quite clearly, the recent PMIEA grand slam for Holcim is certainly well-deserved. One, it upholds the company’s commitment to the environment through responsible operations. But more importantly, it affirms its passion to a sustainable future. And that, indeed, is award-winning.


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holcim - davao PLANT

Improving Lives 03 Tichot San Pablo photographs by BOBOY BORROMEO




he Holcim plant is one of the most imposing structures in the skyline of Davao City. Everything about the plant is impressive. Buildings are huge. Machinery is modern. Processes are streamlined. People are efficient. But Holcim Davao is not all business; it also has a very big heart, proof of which is its commitment to community development and environmental protection. Holcim Davao approaches community development with a five-year development plan with yearly strategic planning. This effort is concentrated on a five-stage strategy: activation, empowerment, strategic alliances, project management and feedback mechanisms. The law mandates that mining companies spend at least one and a half percent of their direct mining

and milling costs on community development. Holcim spends many times that amount. Gone are the days of donations and philanthropy - enter sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility programs. Community Relations Officer Ms. Base Devilleres heads a lean group of men and women dedicated to improving the lives of people living in six communities around the Holcim plant, partnering and coordinating with barangay officials, local government units and social services departments to launch various development projects. During regular meetings by Social Development Management Program (SDMP) representatives and barangay captains, community needs are identified and analyzed and probable courses of action are mapped out.



Education Education is the number one priority on the Holcim agenda. Holcim has built or helped build several school buildings for different learning institutions, providing much needed classrooms for public schools. Some of these buildings are built as phased-in structures with upper floors added after one or two years. This allows for use of the classrooms, even if the building is not yet completely built. Holcim currently supports 65 high school students as scholars, providing for tuition and related fees, uniforms and transportation allowances. The selection process for prospective scholars does not put too much emphasis on good grades as on a perceived drive to succeed as a scholar. Holcim decided to give transportation allowance to the students because it was learned that most of the scholars did not have enough money to cover transportation expenses. Since then, the scholarship program’s dropout rate has decreased dramatically.

01 • Young mangrove saplings 02 • Slightly older mangrove trees showing off their network of roots 03 • Holcim’s Base Devilleres (4th from left) with barangay officials and staff 04 • Weighing an infant at a health center built by Holcim 05 • Preschool students from one of Holcim’s Daycare centers


Holcim Davao aims to upgrade public school education in Math, Science and English to approach private school standards. Aside from school buildings, the company provides laboratory equipment and computers. E-media is also sourced from the ABSCBN Foundation for donation to schools. In partnership with the Ateneo de Davao, Holcim

provided students with reference materials for Math, equipment for Science and books for English. Also, Holcim provides for additional training for teachers. As part of its scholarship program, Holcim also offers apprenticeship programs wherein interested students are trained in cement manufacturing technology and later employed by the company.

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01 • The Holcim Ecopark showcases the early reforestation achievements of the company. The ecosystem has been restored to an almost undisturbed state. 02 • A nursery built by Holcim where young trees are nurtured for later planting 03 • Dense foliage is evident in the Holcim Ecopark. 04 • Visitors are welcome to enjoy a walk in the Ecopark.

In a joint project with the Davao City government, Holcim sponsors an annual football tournament which has been ongoing for six years. How are these projects monitored? Quarterly projects assessments are undertaken by SDMP coordinators to monitor these projects until completion of term. Sustainability is achieved through technology transfer, where community leaders and members are involved in all aspects of the project, learning everything there is to learn about implementation. Concerning the aspect of safety, Holcim has a trained Emergency

Response Team (ERT) in its plant. It is currently in the process of organizing ERTs in the surrounding communities. Also, selected community members undergo home safety seminars to become trained firefighters. Livelihood Holcim’s Bigasan ng Bayan livelihood project has exceeded all expectations of success. Several years ago, Holcim donated sacks of rice to members of a women’s association and they turned this into a business opportunity. The target of the project is to see a complete turnaround in three years, with the

original capital generating enough income to spin off a business to be handled by another group. This guarantees sustainability of the business. Some members have been so successful as to expand their rice distribution business to include other goods. Environment Holcim Davao is committed to high standards of environmental performance, meeting and exceeding requirements of all applicable government laws, regulations, standards and codes. Air pollution control measures ensure that emissions are always below the limit set



Community Development Through its Barangay Development Plan, Holcim caters to some barangay needs which are not funded by the local government. Primary among these are water systems for communities. Since not all communities are reached by water utility providers, Holcim helps some barangays without water by building much needed deep wells and water reservoirs and donating numerous submersible pumps. Holcim has also built day care centers for pre-schoolers, in partnership with the barangay, which provides for operational expenses.



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by the Clean Air Act. Color-coded trashcans all over the plant are proof of proper waste management, segregating reusable, recyclable, biodegradable, residual and hazardous wastes. Holcim is likewise committed to protect and conserve water, according to provisions of the Clean Water Act. Holcim Davao is the first in the Philippines to get approval of their Final Mine Rehabilitation Plan from the DENR-MGB. This plan aims to eliminate adverse long-term impacts of decommissioned mines through a series of five-year rehabilitation plans from 2009 to 2025. The company has won many awards, both local and international, including: 2009 Platinum Awardee, Philippine Mineral Industry Environment Award (PMIEA); 2010 Presidential Awardee, PMIEA; 2010 Best Mining Forest Program, 2nd runner-up; 2011 Green Leadership Winner, Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards; 2011 Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice, presented at the House of Commons in England on November 14, 2011.

Philippines. Mangrove forests serve as a fish sanctuary where many species of fish lay their eggs. Local residents watch over the adopted mangrove sites, tending to its needs, cleaning the plants of floating debris, and protecting the young plants with nets.

According to Ms. Faye Gerasta, Holcim Environment Officer, these are some of the company’s projects for sustainable environmental protection:

03 01 • A two-door classroom of the Sto. Niño Elementary School is one of the many school buildings built by Holcim. 02 • Holcim has constructed many facilities for barangay water projects. 03 • Holcim builds school buildings in phases, allowing for vertical expansion. 04 • Regular meetings are held by Holcim with barangay officials and staff to plan out community development strategies.

• Adopt Ilang River – Trees were planted by the banks of a stream running beside the Holcim plant, with the aim of preventing erosion of the banks. • Adopt-a-Mangrove site in Barangay Lasang in partnership with the local government unit, the local DENR office, and the Pag-asa Youth Association of the




• Progressive reforestation – In 2010, a total of six hectares of land was rehabilitated with almost 20,000 planted seedlings. To date, Holcim Davao’s tree inventory records a total rehabilitated area of more than 400 hectares with over 730,000 planted seedlings. • Eco-trail – an old growth plantation of trees has reverted to a forest ecosystem needing no maintenance after three years.

Holcim conducts regular biodiversity assessments to determine what plants and animals exist in the area. Visitors are toured through the eco-trail, which ends at the siltation ponds. • Holcim Davao supports the work of the Kinaiyahan Foundation, and environment-focused NGO headed by Executive Director Betty Cabazares. The foundation is currently raising environmental awareness through community-based reforestation in the uplands of Marilog District, about 60 kilometers from the Holcim plant. The area is occupied by the indigenous Matisalog tribe which used to farm using the destructive kaingin method. Modern farming methods such as Sloping Agricultural Land

Technology (SALT), a method of upland farming applicable for small farmers, was introduced. The area is now planted to diversified crops. Plans With data and feedback culled from regular meetings with SDMPs and barangay officials, Holcim is equipped to identify priority projects. The beneficiary communities do not receive equal funding for their projects. Disbursement is strictly on a needs basis, and this need is determined by intelligent, sometimes lively discussions during these meetings. But in the end, all these communities benefit from improved facilities and services in education, health, water, and other areas, with the help of the company with a very big heart – Holcim.

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PHILSAGA’s Heart of Gold by

Tichot San Pablo

photographs courtesy of



hilsaga Mining Corporation, an affiliate of Australianbased gold producer Medusa Mining Limited, is located in Agusan del Sur, about three hours drive from Davao City. The plant is located just a few hundred meters from the main highway, and it looks everything like a mine mill should be, except for a newlyconstructed nine-hole golf course surrounding the tailings ponds! This seemingly incongruous idea actually exemplifies this mining company’s commitment to taking care of the surrounding community and environment. Philsaga and MPFI As early as the year 2002 and even before becoming a large scale mining operation, Philsaga established a mechanism for community building in conjunction with the Mindanao Philsaga Foundation, Inc.(MPFI), headed by Dr. Victor P. Salvado. The company’s involvement in CSR and environmental protection programs is in fact twopronged: Philsaga undertakes projects through its own Community Relations Office and it funds many projects of the MPFI. In-house programs of Philsaga include an Information, Education & Communication program; infrastructure


projects such as water systems, street lights, road gravelling, multipurpose halls and covered courts; training programs; provision of a school bus; and livelihood projects. The MPFI runs its own projects, some of which are complementary to those of Philsaga. The Manobo tribe The minesite is located in Upper Co-O, Bunawan, about 12 kilometers from the mill site. It is accessible through a network of limestone and gravel roads. These lands are home to indigenous people belonging to the Manobo tribe, who are the direct beneficiaries of many projects of both Philsaga and MPFI. The access road going to the mine is lined with visible signs of the benefits of these projects, of which the most densely populated is the resettlement area for displaced Manobos. Although far from being rid of squalid conditions, the resettlement area affords the Manobos better living conditions than before, and easier access to the mining site where some of them work. MPFI coordinates closely with chieftains and datus to determine the needs of the IPs, so as to design better, more beneficial programs for them.


03 01 • The Philsaga main portal - a door way into a gold mine 02 • A miner coming out of a manway. 03 • A view into a seemingly endless pit. Actually the mine is 250 meters deep - about as tall as a 75-story building!

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A socially responsible company Philsaga believes in social responsibility – its community would best be served if it could flourish even after the mining company has pulled out from the area. Most of its CSR programs are geared towards achieving this, looking at long-term rather than short-term gains. This is why education and livelihood programs are the top CSR priorities of the company. Educational programs Education is one guarantee of a brighter future for members of the community. MPFI’s scholarship program started in 2002, offering full scholarships to selected students, including free tuition and miscellaneous fees to a school of the students’ choice, a monthly allowance of PhP 4,000, a book allowance of PhP 1,000 per semester, and a uniform or clothing allowance of PhP 1,000 per academic year. Already 15 beneficiaries have entered the professional world. Today, there



01 • Office buildings and living quarters at the minesite on top of a mountain. 02 • Miners taking a much-needed breather before diving back into the mine. 03 • The main mode of transportation for miners and other employees motorcycles.

04 • Saplings for the rubber plantations of Philsaga. 05 • The 9-hole Philsaga golf course is already playable. 06 • The tailings pond - a surprisingly unexpected location for a golf course.

are 20 full scholars availing of the program. Other selected students receive partial educational assistance, including monthly allowance of PhP 2,500 to PhP 3,800, and a book allowance of PhP 1,000 per semester. There are about 30 students currently enjoying this benefit. MPFI also has an Adopt-aSchool program which today benefits 14 public elementary schools, and its 4,400 students and 70 teachers. The foundation provides school supplies, instructional materials, honoraria and training, aside from building additional classrooms. Other programs of the MPFI include its Day Care Center Support Program and Teacher’s Training Program. Twelve day care centers are currently beneficiaries of the foundation, which provides funds to cover honoraria for teachers, instructional materials, and building maintenance. MPFI marks the fifth year of the Teacher’s Training Program, which is run in partnership with the Department of Education.

According to Dr. Salvado, MPFI president, Philsaga augments funds from the Government Assistance to Students in Private Education to cover the school’s salaries and wages, maintenance, school bus operations, food and other expenses. However, Philsaga has never claimed these donations as tax deductions.

The Philsaga High School A few years ago, MPFI acquired a high school located on the mine’s access road. A new building consisting of ten classrooms was built, and the old building, which has five classrooms, is scheduled for repair. Living quarters were constructed for teachers, who enjoy free board and lodging. The Philsaga High School Foundation, Inc. (PHSFI) was established to look after the needs of the school, its 600 students and 16 teachers. In 2010 the PHSFI was accredited by the Philippine Council for NGO Certification. The foundation was given a donee status, meaning that donors to the foundation can claim their donations as tax deductions.

Livelihood programs Helping make the community selfsufficient is a task that Philsaga and MPFI address through livelihood programs. One such program is the planting of rubber trees. Rubber trees are not cut down for timber; rather the sap is collected and sold, guaranteeing the sustainability of the program. Philsaga grows the saplings in its nursery, provides these to identified IP beneficiary farmers, and supports them with funds to cover land development costs, fertilizer costs and maintenance costs. After seven years, the sap can be collected and the farmers have to incrementally pay back MPFI for the expenses. The rubber trees are intercropped with banana trees or cacao trees, which will supplement the income of the farmers. In two years since the project was launched, 150 hectares have already been planted. Already on its fifth year, MPFI’s Palay Financing program addresses the number one problem of rice farmers – funding. MPFI provides funds to cover seedling costs, land preparation costs, planting costs, farm inputs and harvest costs, which the farmers are supposed to pay back after harvesting. Dr. Salvado admitted that the project has some collection problems, and MPFI is still looking for solutions. Other livelihood projects include: organic fruit farming communities

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01 • This majestic toog tree (Combretodendron quadrialatum), in all of its 100-foot splendor, was adopted and is protected by Philsaga. 02 • The Philsaga Hospital provides medical services to employees and their dependents. 03 • A rice retailing project in cooperation with a women’s organization. 04 • One of the many Philsaga ambulances.


to raise durian, rambutan, lanzones, pomelo and mangosteen; a goat raising project to supply goat meat, milk and skin; and a hydrated lime production project in the municipality of Tagbina, aimed at supplying Philsaga with its lime requirements at an agreed market price.


Health and environment Philsaga’s mining operations are underground, currently reaching a level of 250 meters. Because of this, its operations result in a very small environmental ‘footprint.’ Rehabilitation of areas around new operations is incorporated as part of the land development. In addition to this, reforestation of other areas is undertaken by the company. Seedlings are grown in the company nursery, including plants of differ-

ent varieties and even hardwood trees such as narra, mahogany, and the toog tree. Fronting the nursery are two majestic fifty-year old toog trees protected by the company, each reaching a hundred feet tall. In the field of community health, Philsaga has put up a modern 16bed hospital near the mine site, for the benefit of company employees and dependents. The company also maintains several ambulances both in the mine site and in the mill site. Aside from these, Philsaga conducts minor surgical and dental missions in nearby villages. Water systems have also been put in place in close cooperation with local governments to benefit their communities. Organizational ties Philsaga and MPFI have established working ties with different IP organizations, LGUs, various departments of the government, and NGOs. The company is also working with other foundations such as the Pag-Amoma Children’s

Place, which is a home for children of indigenous descent who have been abandoned by their parents. Support is also given to the Lady of Victory Chapel for the Disabled. Cleaning up There are at present five existing tailings ponds on the mill site of Philsaga. The water in these ponds is the industrial byproduct of extracting gold from ore. The company treats the water with chlorine day and night and its established water pollution control facilities are subject to regular inspections by various authorities. These facilities have been recognized for their adherence to statutory requirements regarding pollution control. Water samples from all over the plant are tested to monitor water quality. And the water has been deemed clean enough to construct a golf course around it. If you get a chance to visit Philsaga, bring your golf irons and enjoy a round!

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From Barren to Lush: There is Green in Gold Philex Mining’s ‘mountainous’ environmental leap article


& photograph courtesy of PHILEX MINING CORPORATION

magine a barren area, a completely logged out one, about 20 kilometers off the road that was only accessible through a logging trail where very few people dwell. Decades later, this once desolate place is now a bustling, self-sustaining community, home to approximately 15,000 people of various cultural backgrounds and different sorts of terrestrial plant and animal species all living harmoniously. As early as 1929, the area was already being eyed as a potential abundant mineral source but it wasn’t until a decade later that it was declared as mineral land and was excluded from the scope of Proclamation 217 or the Cordillera Forest Reserve. The conservation of these biophysical resources has been the heart of Philex Mining Corporation’s (PSE:PX) operations since the discovery of this so-called ‘Gift of God,’ which is now known as the Padcal Gold-Copper Project. When mine production commenced in 1958, Philex Mining has painted

progress across this once isolated area with what ‘A Work of Man’ has promised – sound business ethics through environmental conservation and stewardship. Philex Mining implements environmental programs in all phases of its mining operations – from exploration, mine development, operations, and decommissioning – across all projects including Padcal in Benguet, Silangan in Surigao del Norte, Sibutad in Zamboanga del Norte, and Bulawan in Negros Occidental. The company’s commitment to green initiatives speaks volumes, with environmental investments exceeding what the national law requires. In 2010, Philex Mining spents 5.5% of its total mining and milling cost in environmental protection and enhancement programs versus the 3-5% required by law. Philex Mining is the first mining company in the country whose Environmental Management Systems (EMS) have achieved and sustained ISO 14001 certification.

The continued compliance to international environmental standards showcases the company’s advocacy for sustainable mineral resource development. Crown worthy Philex Mining’s Padcal Project was recently awarded as the ‘Best Mining Forest’ at the Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference. The award highlights the importance of strengthening and sustaining a harmonious partnership with the community where it operates through community-based social and environmental projects. Since the launch of the awards for Best Mining Forest in 1989, the Padcal Mine, on which Philex Mining has reforested 2,000 hectares with over seven million trees which have enjoyed a 90% survival rate, has been champion for the years 1991, 1994, 2000-2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008. Padcal’s aggressive nursery operation was able to consistently produce around 300,000 to 500,000

seedlings of various species since it started operations in 1987. As of June 2011, the in-house nursery had produced more than 500,000 seedlings for the year. Interestingly, Padcal Mine’s reforestation program started as a community project, which at its earliest stage already engaged members of the community and purok organizations. Programs such as Agro-forestry, which encouraged the kaingeros to improve and protect slopes from environment degradation while earning a living, and the “Philex Community Plant A Tree, Adopt A Forest Program,” an environmental enhancement and protection contest among the puroks, are the cornerstones of Philex’s environmental programs. Job creation is another consequence of Philex’s environmental programs. Apart from the foresters, deputized forest guards and regular reforestation personnel, the company also taps additional manpower for forest protection and seedling propagation and

maintenance, grasscutting, and fireline construction. “Vengineering” -- a combination of vegetative and engineered erosion control and slope stabilization measures -- is one of the year-round reforestation activities that Philex Mining implements. It utilizes technologies such as bench brush layering, vegetative mattings, wattlings, and tree-planting on the slopes. ‘Pro-environment, propeople’ While the Padcal operation continues to be a model for responsible mining, Philex Mining’s Silangan Project strives to surpass the standard Padcal has set. The SMCCI Silangan Project is also being recognized for its promotion of a ‘pro-environment’ and ‘pro-people’ mineral exploration and mining operation activities. The forest nursery at the Silangan exploration site, which has the capacity to produce 200,000 seedlings annually, is used as a major source of planting materials for

the reforestation projects of various government agencies and private organizations. The aggressive and continuous environmental efforts of the company consistently earned it awards and recognitions such as the “Adopt-A-Mountain, AdoptA-Mining Forest Program” of the government. Recently, the exploration company was conferred the coveted Platinum Achievement Award-Exploration Category in the 2011 Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Awards (PMIEA). It also placed as a runner up at the Safest Mines Award – Safest Exploration, Category A. Philex Mining’s Sibutad project in Zamboanga del Norte is also continuously undergoing mine rehabilitation and has been one of the local government’s tourist areas for picnics, forest trekking, horse-back riding and mountain biking. For these, it has also been consistently awarded the government’s “AdoptA-Mountain, Adopt-A-Mining Forest” program. TR Mesias

66 giving back

giving back 67


Engr. Louie R. Sarmiento, ASEAN Eng. President, Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA)


hen we launched the Pusong Minero program during the 58th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference (ANMSEC) in Baguio last November, we never imagined that the capabilities of the miners to rescue people and assist the victims of natural calamities would be immediately tested by Typhoon Sendong in Cagayan De Oro and Iligan City, the landslides in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, and the earthquake that struck Negros Oriental. The vision of the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) when we presented the Pusong Minero video documentary is to show the heroic acts of the miners and the true character of the majority of people who work in the industry – that is we have the heart to serve and the heart to save lives. Prior to November, very few people know that we were able to rescue four survivors who were trapped for eleven days in Real, Quezon during the landslides in November 2004 and the other accomplishments of the industry under the Safety Networking Action Program (SNAP). The majority of people who are against the mining industry do not know what we are really doing on the ground especially in times of disasters. On December 20, a few days after Typhoon Sendong badly damaged Cagayan de Oro and Iligan city, PMSEA deployed the

02 01 • Round the clock rescue operation in search of possible survivors in Pantukan, Compostela Valley. 02 • FREE SAFE DRINKING WATER FOR OVER 8,000 FAMILIES. Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) President Engr. Louie Sarmiento (4th from left) leads the distribution of more than 120,000 liters of free purified drinking water to more than 8,000 affected families, hospitals, schools and churches during the Pusong Minero mission in Cagayan de Oro City.


Nomad water purifier donated by Canadian NGO Global Medic. Teresa Marble Corp. transported the machine to CDO along with a truckload of relief goods. With the help of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regions V and X and volunteer students from Bukidnon State University, we were able to set up the unit in coordination with the CDO Water District on December 23. We started distributing water using the vehicles provided by Holcim and Expedition Mining on Christmas day at Isla de Oro, the hardest hit area in the City. When we ended our month-long mission in CDO, we were able to produce and distribute more than 120,000 liters of safe drinking water to more than 8,000 affected families, hospitals, schools and churches in the city. Pusong Minero volunteers worked day and night even on holidays as though people’s health depended on them.

Responding to a similar need in Iligan, PMSEA member companies assisted Global Medic in setting up a similar water purifier near the tank of Holcim in Brgy. San Roque on January 2, 2012. The objective was to provide water to several affected barangays who had no access to potable drinking water since three production wells in Brgy. Upper Hinaplanon were damaged by Typhoon Sendong. A unique partnership was born -- Global Medic and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) purified the water coming from the Holcim water transfer tank. Water was then stored in tanks donated by Lafarge and Holcim, then fed to a bladder provided by the Swiss Humanitarian Aid. Initially, water was transported using a vehicle of the Mindanao Sanitarium and Hospital. PMSEA and Lafarge boosted the production by providing more than 5,000 reusable water containers (6 liters and 20

68 giving back

giving back 69

01 • Local top officials led by Misamis Oriental Governor Oscar Moreno receive relief goods from PMSEA President Engr. Louie Sarmiento and PMSEA Director Engr. Roger Casido. A total of P2 million worth of relief goods was distributed by PMSEA and sponsors SMI, CoreMin2, Atlas, Lepanto, DMCI, Philippine Mining Business Club, SMEP to the victims of typhoon Sendong in CDO and Iligan. 02 • PMSEA is the only volunteer organization from Manila that reached out as far as Limunsudan Proper, Brgy. Rongoron, a war torn area between the border or Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte. Around 160 families and 3,000 dependents received medical treatment and free medicines during the mission.

The vision of the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) when we presented the Pusong Minero video documentary is to show the heroic acts of the miners and the true character of the majority of people who work in the industry... 01

liters capacity) and enlisting local volunteers. A local NGO, the Fraternal Order of the Philippine Eagles provided trucks to transport the Pusong Minero bottled water to remote communities in Iligan to expand the number of beneficiaries that have access to clean drinking water. The Land Rover Club of the Philippines also set up the Trident water purifier inside the Iligan Cement Plant to augment our water production capabilities and this unit will operate until the end of February 2012. Inspired by the initial pledges and volunteers from Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) and the Coalition for Responsible Mining in Mindanao (CORE-Min2), PMSEA embarked on relief goods distribution for the first time. We distributed more than two million pesos worth of relief goods and services to the

victims in CDO and Iligan. Our relief goods were also purchased with a heart. We conducted a needs assessment of our target areas and with the help of local partners like Iligan Lights, we purchased and distributed these relief goods to communities even in far flung barangays. We responded to the needs of the communities based on the resources that we have. On December 27, we followed Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman to Brgy. Mandulog in Iligan. We noticed that the 245 families living in the evacuation area in Brgy. Mandulog were sharing blankets and mats. The following day, we delivered 245 sets of these items to the evacuees in Mandulog. We had 7,000 blankets and 3,000 sleeping mats and we made sure that these items reached the evacuees in

CDO and Iligan immediately. Brgy. Mandulog is also the first recipient of the used tarpaulins donated by the Phil. Franchise Association to shelter the survivors from the cold winds and the rains. When the Land Rover Club of the Philippines (LRCP) joined the PMSEA Pusong Minero Team, we found enough resources to embark to conduct medical missions in the hinterlands with medicines donated by Angel Brigade, LRCP, Maria Reyna Xavier University Hospital, Phil. Institute of Supply Management (PISM), etc. Our first medical mission was during the Feast of Sto. Nino on January 15 at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, benefitting more than 500 residents of Brgys. Digkilaan, Mainit and Rogongon, Iligan City. When we started the Iligan mission on January 10, there were just four volunteers from Manila.

Five days after in Digkilaan, we had more than 80 volunteers from Holcim, Lafarge, LRCP, Angel Brigade, Mindanao State University-College of Medicine, Dios Mabalos Po Foundation, Bukidnon State University, MSU-IIT College of Engineering, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Facial Care Center, and the military. The activity made the Feast day of Sto. Nino more meaningful, not just to Christians, but to volunteers of other faiths who participated in the mission. The second medical mission was in Brgy. Bonbonon in partnership with the Jesus Christ is Lord (JCIL) group and Pastor Bayani Areola, a local councilor. Doctors from MSU and nurses from Dios Mabalos Po Foundation from Bicol joined the mission which benefitted more than 100 patients, mostly children suffering from cough and colds. The third medical mission was in Limunsudan Proper, Brgy. Rogongon, the remotest barangay

of Iligan city, which can only be accessed via CDO and Bukidnon via a four hour trip on rough roads since access was cut from the Iligan side due to the landslides. We were requested by the LGU to assist in this mission since there were 160 affected families with 3,000 dependents who had not received any relief goods nor medical attention prior to our arrival. There was no medical officer or health clinic in this area. Limunsudan is an area prone to ambush and encounters among the military and lawless elements. It is located along the border of Bukidnon and Lanao Del Norte. The only volunteer group from Manila willing to work with the LGU, DSWD and local NGOs was PMSEA. We worked alongside NGOs opposed to mining but who considered us as friends in this mission. In fact, we are being requested to conduct medical missions in the area every six months.


70 giving back 01 • Free shipments of relief goods were realized through the partnership forged by PMSEA and Teresa Marble with new transport partners including Macroasia, Air Philippines, Negros Navigation and the Philippine Navy.

Our team transported volunteers and relief goods to the hinterlands using the vehicles provided by Expedition Mining and Holcim. Early on, SMI and MGB Region X also provided transportation. Without these vehicles and room and board provided by Holcim Lugait, our mission would not have lasted for a month. Since we had access to vehicles, we often provided free transportation to other NGOs who were conducting relief missions in the area. We transported truckloads of vitameals of Dios Mabalos Po, an organization that feeds at least 1,000 people per day in partnership with the Social Action Centers. We helped deliver the relief goods of the Archdiocese of Iligan, Maria Reyna Hospital, La Salle Iligan, UNFPA, and other groups. We strengthened the linkages with the church through OceanaGold’s commitment to provide half a million worth of medicines to Maria Reyna Hospital and Mercy Hospital in CDO and Iligan.

warm smiles, helping hands, kind hearts and generous spirits. When another landslide struck Pantukan, Compostela Valley on January 5, 2012, miners from Apex, Philsaga, Philex and Nadecor/St. Augustine were quick to respond and tried to rescue survivors and recover the bodies of the victims. Some of these companies were also part of the rescue and recovery teams during the previous landslide in the same area that occurred on Good Friday last year. In Pantukan, miners handled the bodies of the victims with dignity. When other rescue groups and the media left, only the miners and local volunteers 01 We shared the journey to continued with the recovery efforts. win hearts and minds with the When an earthquake struck Negros military and the police. They Oriental on February 5, 2012, we provided us with security escorts deployed miners from Carmen Copper, and logistical support during the Apex, Philsaga and Philex to help duration of the mission. with the rescue and recovery efforts Because of the partnership with in Guihulngon and La Libertad. We LRCP, Shell provided free fuel to also deployed our water purifier in the all the vehicles involved in the area to provide drinking water to the missions. The Pusong Minero residents. team was also fortunate to be the We learned a lot from these Pusong conduit of sharing food and joy to Minero missions but more importantly the residents of Brgy. Bonbonon. we believe we won over a lot of hearts Angel Brigade and LRCP donated over to our side. 500 Jollibee chickenjoy meals Cito Beltran, LRCP member whom to the small community we had we met in our CDO-Iligan relief somehow adopted. operations, offered a good review of our More importantly, we listened efforts in his column at the Philippine to the stories of survivors. How Star which was published on January do you respond to the statement 2, 2011. He said, “I saw anti-mining of children who point to landslide people working side by side with areas and ask, “doon nakatira ang people who worked directly for mining mga ka-klase namin”? When you related companies and assisting each feel that you have given enough, other to get their respective missions you just listen to the stories of accomplished. I saw competitors in loss and survival and then you the cement industry work at a common feel as though you can give more goal, to give relief goods, as if they were of yourselves in order to ease partners. It is ironic how for most of their sorrow. And we felt that the year various sectors of our society we did. Because of the Pusong were locked in combat either in media Minero volunteers and generous or in court about politics, business or donations of member companies, the environment, only to reach the we showed them that miners have year-end working together.”

the Academic world SCHOOLS OFFERING MINING ENGINEERING AND OTHER RELATED COURSES Adamson University BS in Mining Engineering BS in Geology BS in Ceramics Engineering San Marcelino, Metro Manila, Philippines Tel No: 63(2) 524-0307 • Fax No.: 63(2) 524-2011 loc 405/406 Bicol University - Legazpi BS in Mining Engineering BS in Geothermal Engineering Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines Tel No.: (052) 821-7939 Cebu Institute of Technology BS in Mining Engineering N. Bacalso Avenue Cebu City, Philippines Tel No.: +63 32 2617741 • Fax No.: +63 32 2617743 • Mapua Institute of Technology BS in Geology BS in Mining Engineering BS in Metallurgical Engineering BS in Materials Science and Engineering BS in Geology-Geological Engineering (GEG-Double Degree) major in: Geotechnical Engineering BS in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) major in: Semiconductors and Electronic Materials / Metallurgy Department of Earth Science and Engineering Bachelor Ground Floor, Northwest Building Muralla St., Intramuros, Manila 1002 Philippines Tel Nos.: 63(2) 247-5000 loc. 2206 /63(2) 301-0096 Fax No.: 63(2) 301-0096

giving back 71

Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology BS in Ceramics Engineering (BSCerE) BS Metallurgical Engineering Andres Bonifacio Avenue, Tibanga, 9200 Iligan City, Philippines • Tel No.: + / + to 55 local 130 • • coe.dean@g. Negros Oriental State University BS in Mining Engineering BS in Geology BS in Geothermal Engineering Dumaguete City, 6200 Negros Oriental, Philippines Tel No.: (035) 225-8485 (035) 225-9400 • ST. PAUL UNIVERSITY - SURIGAO BS in Mining Engineering San Nicolas cor. Rizal Streets, Surigao City, Philippines 8400 Tel No.: 826-4325 • St. Louis University BS in Mining Engineering Bonifacio Street, Baguio City, Philippines 2600 Tel No.: 444 8246 to 48, 444 8253 Loc. 213, 382, 299, 229 Fax No. : (063) (74) 442 2842 • University of Southeastern Philippines BS in Mining Engineering BS in Geology BS in Metallurgical Engineering F. Inigo Street, Obrero Davao City 8000 Philippines Tel no.: (63 82) 2254696, (63 82) 2217737 php?m=58&id=55&pg=static University of the Philippines - Diliman BS in Geology BS in Mining Engineering BS in Metallurgical Engineering Melchor Hall, U.P. Campus 1101 Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines Tel No. 63 2 920 8860, 63 2 981 8500 ext.3103 Fax No: 63 2 920 8860 •

72 the Academic world

the Academic world 73

USeP at a Glance by

engr. Loi Castillo jenes sarael

photographs by


he University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) recently produced its first batch of licensed geologists and made it as the second overall top performing school last year in the Geologist Licensure Examination. The feat accomplished by the graduates of USeP’s Department of Geology and Mining Engineering marked its formal entry into the league of the schools that offer courses related to the minerals development industry. USeP ranks 5th in the 2011 Asian University Rankings by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, making it as the top university in the Visayas and Mindanao to be included in the international prestigious ranking. The other four schools included in the ranking are based in Luzon, namely Ateneo de Manila University, University of Sto. Tomas, De La Salle University and UP Diliman. The forerunner schools of USeP, which is considered as a premier university in the ASEAN region,

before it was integrated into a state university in 1978 are the University of the Philippines-Master of Management Program in Davao (UP-MMPD), Mindanao State University Davao (MSU-Davao), Davao School of Trades and Arts (DSAT) and the Davao National Regional School Agricultural School (DNRSAS). Under its setup, USeP has four campuses in its system, located in Bislig, Surigao del Sur, Mabini-Tagum City, Davao del Norte, Mintal Campus, Davao City and the main campus in Obrero, Davao City. As early as 2004, the conceptualization to offer the geology and mining engineering courses was initiated by Dr.Rosello Lyndon H. Roble, the Dean of the College of Engineering. The two courses were part of the new engineering programs that also included geodetic engineering and metallurgical engineering. Currently, geodetic engineering is also being offered while the

preparation for the curriculum and programs of metallurgical engineering is being developed. The idea was brought out in coordination with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Davao Region and its concept paper was introduced by Dr. Roble during 15th Annual Mining Symposium of the Mindanao Association of Mining Engineers (MAEM). This was welcomed by professionals from the minerals industry as it was anticipated that in the Davao Region alone, the mining industry will need geologists and engineers because it is in the NEDA development plan that the said industry is clustered with agro-industries, forestry, IT development and tourism. The first batch of geology students enrolled in 2007 while the first batch of Mining Engineering students enrolled the following year. The current student population for the said program are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Student Population Engineering Program BS Geology BS Mining Engineering

Engineering Program BS Geology BS Mining Engineering

Second Semester AY 2007-2008

AY 2008-2009

AY 2009-2010

AY 2010-2011

AY 2011-2012










first Semester AY 2007-2008

AY 2008-2009

AY 2009-2010

AY 2010-2011

AY 2011-2012











Like other students in USeP, those taking courses in geology and mining engineering come from as far as the Zamboanga Peninsula and provinces in the Visayas. They came down to Davao and took the course because they saw the potential of the courses to prosper in the advent of renewed interests in the industry. It is also noteworthy that some of the students are members of the Indigenous Peoples group who are scholars of the mining companies in their host communities. The department is headed by Ms. Mae Soria-Roferos, a geology graduate from UP-NIGS who took up her Master of Science on Applied Science Major (geology) from James Cook University inAustralia. She is complemented by part-time instructors who are also working in the government sector (DOE and MGB) and in private exploration and mining companies around the country. Exposure programs for the students include holding of periodic sympo-

siums, fieldworks and fieldtrips to the sites of the nearby mining companies and an On-the-Job Training program in their senior years. When asked about the challenges that the program is facing, Dr. Roble said. “Students were initially confronted with a negative perception of the industry but because of the symposiums and continued interaction with other engineering courses, they began to understand what mining is all about. It is just like any other course that uses scientific methods and is fact-based.” In conclusion, Dr. Roble said that the college is gearing their students to move forward and undertake in-depth studies on responsible minerals development and geology particularly looking from the perspective of a Mindanaoan. The necessary competency of its graduates is now in place and it is now prepared to undertake its responsibilities towards the island’s sustainable development.

01 • A student gets his hands dirty learning the basics.

The author is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering from Mapua Institute of Technology. He took up his Masteral Studies in Business Administration at Ateneo de Davao University. He started his career as a junior geologist at the Exploration Department of Philex Mining Corporation. He later joined the Mines and Geosciences Bureau for six years and went back to the private sector to work in the different advance stage feasibility projects around the country. He is currently a part-time faculty member of USeP teaching the subjects in Structural Geology, Surface Mining, Mining and Environmental Laws.

hard hat


Figure 1.

The Importance of Water Use Characteristics of Native Trees Species On A Rehabilitated Mine Site : A Case Study at Kidston Gold Mine. WILFREDO B. SANIDAD,PhD.

Introduction In the mining industry, the term “rehabilitation” means the return of a disturbed site into a form and productivity that conforms to a predetermined land-management plan. The immediate objective of rehabilitation is to achieve stability of the disturbed surface against the erosive forces of wind and rain, in order to reduce both on-site and off-site environmental damage. In Australia, one approach to rehabilitation is the establishment of native tree species directly on the tailings surface to increase the overall land use sustainability. There are many reasons for the interest in the use of native tree species in the rehabilitation of highly disturbed land. Most of the native tree species, particularly the Acacias and Eucalyptus genera, have the ability to grow even on degraded and infertile sites (Dury and Manjunath 1992). This suggests that they are efficient in extracting and internally cycling nutrients (Crane 1978; Florence 1981, 1986; Gill et al. 1987). There are also many documented reports that eucalypts were used to drain marshes near Rome in the 18th or 19th century (Ghosh et al. 1978) and in Uganda (Nshubermuki and Somi 1979) and in Israel (Saltiel 1965) in the present century, and that eucalypt plantations are currently being used as “water pumps” to deliberately lower water tables in parts of Australia that are experiencing salinity problems (Calder

1992; Greenwood et al. 1982). Recognising potential environmental effects from on-site and off-site discharge associated with mining activities, the Kidston Gold Mine Limited, Australia conducted a research program in 1994 to determine appropriate criteria for the final decommissioning and rehabilitation of the mine main tailings dam. Key aspects of this research were the sustainability of the surface cover and the long-term stability of the tailing material. The company rehabilitation strategy is the establishment of Australian native plant communities directly into the final tailing surface. This paper deals with the water relations of these native plant communities growing under a highly disturbed soil conditions with a shallow water table. The absence of caps or soil cover over tailing would greatly affect the water relations of the re-constructed ecosystem under the distinct wet and dry rainfall patterns at Kidston. Once water has entered the confined tailing-groundwater system, the single largest route for water loss is through use by vegetation or evapotranspiration. Therefore, to understand the requirement for a sustainable ecosystem, it is necessary to quantify the pattern of water use by the mixed re-constructed native vegetation. The objective of this component of the research program is (1) to quantify the relative contributions of the grass understorey and trees,

to tailing dam evapotranspiration in the wet and dry seasons, and (2) to determine the contribution of the water table to evapotranspiration from the tailings dam. Materials and Methods The experimental design consisted of four plots in the driest, wettest and two intermediate locations within the main tailings dam within the 11ha revegetation trial site(Fig. 1). A weather monitoring station within the main tailing dam recorded the climatological data. Field experimentations were initiated during the 1999 wet season mainly focused to test and establish the heat pulse technique to measure tree water use. This was followed by the 1999 dry season for a complete assessment of the two intermediate plots only (IW and IE) was intensively instrumented for measurement of soil water using the Neutron moisture meter (NMM), the occurrence and duration of fluctuations in depth of the water table (auger hole and piezometer techniques), and plant water relations (pressure bomb, linear variable differential transducer). The grass understorey water use was estimated by the change in soil moisture content beneath the grass canopy in an area where the influence of trees was negligible. Similarly, a 2000 wet season measurement was conducted in the two intermediate plots, except that measurements were made concurrent in between two plots.

Results and discussions During the wet and dry season of 1999, transpiration rates, as measured by the heat pulse method at two locations within the 11ha revegetation area, showed that the trees present in the intermediate west (IW) plot used more water than the trees present in the intermediate east (IE) plot (Fig. 2). Plot average daily transpiration rate by trees per unit canopy area is 6.36 (wet), 3.49 (dry); 5.32 (wet), 6.04 (dry) mm d-1 from the IW and IE plots, respectively. The differences between plots may be due to their location within the 11ha revegetation area. Trees in

the IE plot experienced prolonged flooded soil conditions for most of the year, as observed when water table depths were monitored during the 1999 dry and 2000 wet seasons. The observed finer texture of IE plot would tend to promote anaerobic conditions. Tree species and their smaller canopy size within the plot (15.1% and 12.6% of plot in IW and IE plot respectively) may also have contributed to the differences in water use. Hence, a comprehensive comparison of the spatial variability of the two locations becomes difficult and perhaps warrants further investigation.

Table 1. Estimates of water balance components of IW and IE plots in the absence of rain Water Balance Components*

1999 Dry season* IW Plot

2000 Wet season*

IE Plot

IW Plot

IE Plot


mm d plot area

mm d plot area

Soil Water storage* (D S)






Transpiration from trees (Tt)*






Transpiration from grasses (Tg)*



0.345 (0.67)

0.014 (0.26)

0.107 (0.47)

Water uptake from WT (Wg)






% contribution of WT to transpiration (Wg /Tg + Tg)










Figure 2. Mean daily transpiration rates of IW and IE plots 1999 wet and dry seasons Wet season

Transpiration ( mm d-1per unit canopy area)


Dry season

8 6.36 5.32




0 IW Plot

IE Plot

Abbreviation and notes (Table 1) : DS = the change in soil water storage in the unsaturated zone down to 160 cm; Tt= trees total sap flow divided by the total plot area; Tg = estimated amount of water taken up by grass understorey using independent estimates using soil water depletion away from trees; Wg = estimated amount of water taken up by the trees from water table (WT) as: Wg = (Tt + Tg ) – DS; and Wg/Tt + Tg (%) = uptake from watertable as proportion of transpiration. Tg in brackets are estimates using grass understorey dry biomass / WUE. *Mean Epan for the period of measurement 6.8, 5.1 mmd-1 during the dry and wet seasons respectively. DF was estimated as 2.6 mmd-1 consisting of water uptake by plants and lateral fluxes of water.-Could not be used in the water balance equation. Water uptake was estimated by difference as Wg.

76 hard hat

hard hat 77

Table 1 shows the estimates of the water balance components of the IW and IE plots during the 1999 dry and 2000 wet seasons. The unsaturated zone of the soil provided small amount of water transpired by the vegetation. This suggests that the water table provides more than 90% of the water transpired. On average, trees from the two experimental plots transpire 0.63mm d-1 plot area-1. If the plots have a full canopy cover the estimated rate of evapotranspiration (ET) would be 4.47mm d-1. The average daily rainfall in the Kidston area, if evenly distributed within the year is 3.27mm d-1. Therefore, trees can transpire all water addition from rainfall and will keep the water table low to prevent water logging in the tailings dam. The grass understorey contribution to ET was calculated from the mean water depletion with in the experimental plots. Estimated mean grass understorey contribution to ET from the two experimental plots was 0.107 mm d-1plot area-1. However, (Edraki 1999) reported that the water use of the trees and grasses under well watered condition were similar and are largely related to the fertility status of the soil and hence the size of the tree. Using the biomass. This suggests that the rate of water use by the grass understorey is most likely to be an underestimation of the actual rates. Results also show that Melaleuca leucadendron, Acacia auriculiformis and Eucalyptus camaldulensis show the highest growth rates and water use on these tailings.

of water use from a full canopy of trees should be able to keep water table at sufficiently low levels in the tailings dam. Tight relationships between tree water use and parameters such as the stem diameter at probe implantation site (approx. at DBH) and projected canopy area, as well as the lack of differences between species under well watered conditions suggest that the results can be extrapolated to stand and community levels.

Dury, S. J., and Manjunath, B. E. (1992). The influence of site factors on eucalypt growth in Karnataka. In: ‘Growth and Water Use of Forest Plantations’. I. R. Calder, R. L. Hall, and P. G. Adlard (Eds.). John Wiley and Sons. pp. 83 - 101.

Future Work One common feature of trees in the tailings dam appears to be their continuous access to water at high potential, either through their position within the tailings dam, or through penetration of the roots to the water table. Future studies could focus on the comparison of root characteristics, canopy structure and tree density under field conditions of multiple sample species stands. Trials on the 11 ha revegetation trial site are required to elucidate these interactions between the species. Deep rooted trees would be most beneficial in accessing the deeper water table during the dry periods but this maybe disadvantageous to the shallow rooted vegetation which may not survive a prolonged drought. Further work is required to understand the relationship of the tree stem diameter measurements at breast height and the tree water use in the absence of a water table or during stress.

Florence, R. G. (1981). The biology of eucalypt forest. In: ‘The biology of Australian plants’. J. S. Pate and A. J. McCombs (Eds.). The University of Western Australia Press.

Conclusions Changes in stem diameter as measured by the LVDT on various trees species during the wet and dry seasons provide an accurate way of monitoring canopy water potential and water stress levels of the trees. The water balance of the plots showed that most (over 90%) of the water transpired by the vegetation is derived from water table. Therefore, the estimated rate

References Calder, I. R. (1992). Water use of Eucalypts - a review. In: Growth and Water Use of Forest Plantations I. R. Calder, R. L. Hall, and P. G. Adlard (Eds.) John Wiley and Sons. pp. 168 - 179. Crane, W. J. B. (1978). Phosphorus stability in eucalypt forests. Aust. For. 41 (2): 118 - 126.

Edraki M (1999) Soil hydrology and water balance under trees and pasture irrigated with secondary treated sewage effluent. Ph.D. Thesis, The University of Queensland, Australia 231pp.

Ghosh, R. C., O. N. Kaul and Subba Rao, B. K. (1978). Some aspects of water relations and nutrition in Eucalyptus plantations. Indian Forestry. 104: 517 - 524. Gill, H. S., Abrol, I. P. and Samara, J. S. (1987). Nutrient recycling through litter production in young plantations of Acacia nilotica and Eucalyptus tereticornis in a highly alkaline soil. For. Ecol. Manage. 22: 57 - 69. Greenwood, E. A. N., Beresford, J. D., Bartle, J. R. and Barron, R. J. W. (1982). Evaporation from vegetation in landscapes developing secondary salinity using the ventilated-chamber technique. IV. Evaporation from a regenerating forest of Eucalyptus wandoo on land formerly cleared for agriculture. Journal of Hydrology. 58: 357 - 366. Nshubermuki, L. and Somi, F. G. R. (1979). Water use by eucalypts - Observations and probable exaggerations. Tanzania silviculture technical notes (new series). 44. Saltiel, M. (1965). The afforestation possibilities of Israel from a hydrological point of view. La-Yaaran. 15: 64 - 61.

Book review

GEOLOGY OF THE PHILIPPINES (second edition) courtesy of



his much anticipated publication is a revised edition of the 30-year old first edition published by the then Bureau of Mines and Geosciences and entitled ‘Geology and Mineral Resources of the Philippines, Volume 1 (Geology).’ The book presents an update on the state of knowledge of Philippine Geology as a consequence of the rapid influx of information between 1981 and 2004. It is also a much awaited book as it addresses the clamor for an updated reference on Philippine geology. The book is an improved version of the first edition in terms of the format of presentation. In the 1981 edition, the geologic formations were presented according to their types (e.g. sedimentary, volcanic or metamorphic), ages (e.g. pre-tertiary, tertiary, quaternary) and physiographic province affinities. This old format proved to be unwieldy and inconvenient to the reader as it often required cross-referencing to other chapters while remaining in one stratigraphic sequence. In

addition, physiography as a basis for the format of presentation is not geology-based. Hence, the new volume avoids such confusions by adopting a new format wherein geology is discussed based on stratigraphic grouping. This is a geology category and is clearly defined on page 67 (Stratigraphy and Petrology) of the new book. The Stratigraphic Groupings are shown in Fig. 2.1 and summarized in Table 2.1 of the present edition. The new edition is up-to-date in content. A cut-off date of end of 2004 was drawn for the inclusion of new data. The book adopted the provisions of the Philippine Stratigraphic Guide by Pena and others, 2001, which necessitates the renaming of some stratigraphic units in the old volume that do not conform to such provisions. Also, the new edition used the new Geologic Time Scale in the construction of stratigraphic columns. This was taken from version 2009 of the International Stratigraphic Commission.

The chapters on Tectonics provide a useful and updated reference for geoscientists, students and the general public, local and foreign alike. The sections dealt with an introductory chapter on the regional geodynamic setting of the Philippines, followed by an in-depth discussion on the Philippines as a complex plate boundary and concluded by a summary of significant tectonic events in the Philippines. Figures and illustrations are abundant in the first three chapters of the book but are lacking in the succeeding chapters on Stratigraphy and Petrology. This part may be highlighted by the inclusion of maps and figures for each stratigraphic grouping. More importantly, the new edition comes with an updated Geologic and Tectonic Map of the Philippines. By and large, the Geology of the Philippines, Second Edition is currently the most excellent and comprehensive reference on Philippine geology. Indeed it is considered an accomplishment of a milestone of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

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