Women’s month activities slated

MGB organizes ‘hataw’, cook fest

Hataw1In celebration of the Women’s Month this March, the Mines and Geoscience Bureau Regional Office No. II (MGB R0II) has lined up activities for the National Women’s Month.

Lined up activities include: Zumba dance dubbed as hataw exercise; cook festival to be participated by the female employees of the bureau; floral arrangement, and fun games.

With the theme: “We Make Change, Work for Women,” Felicitas V. Piligan, Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Person emphasized the importance of recognizing the contribution of women in the society through the conduct of activities that highlight the important roles of women in the society.

MGB Regional Director Mario A. Ancheta discussed during the Monday convocation held on March 13, 2017 the rationale of conducting activities for the women’s month celebration.

He said that the event is a venue to restore camaraderie among employees of the bureau despite their gender differences.

“The cook festival to be participated by female employees of MGB will highlight the vital roles of women in the kitchen, it gives us greater awareness that working women are also great cooks,” RD Ancheta added.

The GAD focal person likewise made emphasis that the hataw exercise is a good activity both for men and women that will encourage healthy lifestyle for the employees.

The conduct of National Women’s Month is embodied in Proclamation 222, series of 1998 that provides for the observance of the month of March as women’s role in history month. #LRSB

MGB spearheads technical confab with OceanaGold

BY: LR BASILIO

JeffThe Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II spearheaded a technical conference with OcenaGold Phils. Inc. (OGPI) recently at MGB Conference Hall. 

The technical conference was conducted to discuss issues stated in the letter of the complainants of the Didipio Community represented by Ms. Annaliza Catteg dated last June 30, 2016. 

In the complaint –letter of Catteg, it stated the alleged violations of human rights, pollution, environmental issues, unfulfilled company commitments, and other issues relevant to the company’s mining operation.

David Way, General Manager of OGPI responded through a letter to the bureau that OceanaGold has always respected the human rights of Didipio Community, with respect as one of the company’s core values.

“ The company continues to be committed to promoting environmental excellence in its operations through implementation of effective environmental management system, achieving compliance beyond the requirements imposed by law and regulations,” Way stated.

Further, Way said that the company is likewise dedicated to advancing social development of the Didipio Community through various social programs such as assistance to education, promotion of health, construction of infrastructures, assistance to livelihood and training programs, and provisions of employment opportunities.

During the technical conference, representatives of the OceanaGold countered the allegations thrown to the company.

Atty. Dyann Castillo, legal counsel of OceanaGold responded on the issue of the alleged violation of human rights/forceful evictions and demolitions of the company, “The letter did not identify the person/s whose rights were allegedly violated and whose properties were demolished. This renders it impossible for the company to specifically address the issue. “

On the issue of deployment of members of the Philippine National Police in the implementation of the Writ of Execution against the heirs of Felipe Lawagan, Atty. Castillo said that, during the acquisition of surface rights for the project, there was only a small group of landowners, including the heirs of Lawagan who didn’t reach  a voluntary agreement with the company over the compensation for the use of the land.

Further, OceanaGold responded that in accordance with the requirements of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, the company filed a petition to enforce right of entry with the Panel of Arbitrators of Regional Office No.II. The company likewise posted a cash bond with MGB to answer for all damages resulting from the company’s entry. Hence, an entry of judgement was issued.

Atty. Castillo further informed that it was the Provincial sheriff of the Regional Trial Court of Nueva Vizcaya who requested the PNP to give assistance in the implementation of the Writ of Execution issued by the Panel of Arbitrators.

OGPI gave assurance that there was no structure owned by Lawagan that was demolished due to the Temporary Restraining Order by the RTC.

OceanaGold denied the allegation that the company has caused the burning of Alawagans’ property, “there was no evidence that supports the allegation and Mr. Lawagan did not file any complaint against the company, its personnel or contractor, nor requested any police investigation,” OceanGold said in their response during the Technical Conference.

The findings in the technical report dated September 2014 on the Environmental Investigation Mission regarding the impacts of large scale mining in Nueva Vizcaya by Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (AGHAM), confirmed the adverse effects of mining in relation to the civil, economic, social and cultural rights of various communities that live in the mining-impacted areas as well as those downstream of the mine operations. 

However, the company responded that it was already fully addressed by the company years ago.

“It must be emphasized that there is full implementation of the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) funding numerous infrastructure, livelihood, health and educational projects, including scholarships,” the company responded during the technical conference.

Atty. Castillo likewise mentioned that there is also an on-going discussion and collaboration with Grameen Australia Philippines (GAP) on development of social business activity which can bring employment and new income opportunities to Didipio and its adjacent communities, which also includes enhancement of agriculture and farm production, and development of agri-business.

The company also responded on the issue of copper contamination in both impact and confluence for Didipio Mining, “ Partnership with the International River Foundation river recovery program for river restoration works is going-on.”

It was also made known during the technical conference that the company is using high-tech water treatment facility in Didipio to ensure that the water it uses in the mining operation is returned clean and of high quality to the ecosystem.

Atty. Castillo also mentioned that monitoring activities of the Multipartite Monitoring Team is also being done per quarter aside from the daily conduct of internal monitoring of odour, water quality, and Total Suspended Solids (TSS).

On the other hand, the company also stressed out that landowners/occupants in the community entered into voluntary Surface Rights Acquisition (SRA) agreements with OceanaGold under the SRA Program.

Status of commitments to the Didipio Community under the 2013 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was likewise presented during the technical conference.

 

MGB holds orientation, deputation of mining officers

By: LRS Basilio

MMD

Tuguegarao City, Cagayan- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II (MGB R0II) recently conducted an orientation- deputation to uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) of the Province of Nueva Vizcaya held at Pasalubong Center, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.

Engr. Raymond D. Carreon, OIC Chief of Mine Management Division (MMD) and Engr. Geoffrey V. Prado, Supervising Science Research Specialist (SRS) discussed the mining policies, rules and regulations on apprehension, documentation, investigation, and report writing procedure.

Also presented during the orientation are the highlights of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

With the deputized mining officers, they will assist in the enforcement of laws, rules and regulations governing environment, forestlands, mineral lands, protected areas and other lands of the public domain under the jurisdiction of the DENR within their locality.

The deputized mining officers shall likewise assist in the issuance of apprehension receipts, seizure orders and notices of administrative hearings including the proceedings necessary for the conduct of the administrative adjudications of illegally procured, transported, owned/possessed and/or utilized mineral resources including the tools/equipment/conveyances used on the commission of the offense.

“The newly deputized mining officers shall help the bureau in enforcing our laws governing mining and quarrying,” Engr. Mario A. Ancheta, MGB regional director said during the orientation.

“You will help us in curbing illegal mining and quarrying in the province of Nueva Vizcaya because the bureau cannot do it alone, and that is your task as mining officers,” the regional director added.

 

 

Capability building for SSM conducted

By: Lyndee Rose Basilio

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II (MGB R0II) recently conducted a capability building for Small Scale Miners (SSM) at Dinapigue, Cordon, Isabela.

With the aim of equipping the small scale miners of the basic knowledge of laws that govern the mining industry, the Bureau lectured on Republic Act No. 7076, otherwise known as an “Act creating  People’s Small Scale Mining Program and for other purposes.”

The Bureau through the Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) team headed by Engr. Geoffrey V. Prado discussed the salient features of the RA 7076 with emphasis on the creating the Minahang Bayan areas, registration of small scale miners and the future of small scale miners.

Extent of Contract Area as well rights of the small scale miners were likewise discussed during the capability building.

As part of its mandate in providing assistance to small scale miners, the Bureau also conducted capability building for SSM in Anonang and Camarao, Cordon, Isabela this 2016.

OceanaGold bags major awards

LRB

Tuguegarao City, Cagayan- OceanaGold Philippines Inc., Australian Mining Firm based in Didipio, Kasibu Nueva Vizcaya bagged five top mining awards during the 63rd Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference (ANMSEC) held at Camp John Hay in Baguio City.

The mining awards included the 2016 Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA), the highest award conferred by the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA).

The Australian Mining Firm likewise won award for being the Safest Mine Operation in Metallic Mine Category; Safest Mineral Processing Concentrator, Safest Surface Mines Operations and third runner-up for Best Mining Forest Program in Metallic Category.

PMIEA was given to mining companies that exhibited outstanding dedication in environmental management, occupational health and safety, and corporate social responsibility.