TUBA, Benguet – Consistent in conscientiously fulfilling its obligations as a responsible miner and carrying out the best practices in the extractive sector, Philex Mining Corp. has been adjudged first runner-up in the Exploration Category of a government-initiated reforestation contest as well as champion in two field and some sports events at this year’s Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA).
Held at the CAP-John Hay Trade and Cultural Center, in Baguio City, on Friday night, Nov. 24, PMSEA’s 64th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference (ANMSEC) honored Philex Mining for its reforestation program of the disturbed areas at its two production-sharing agreements with the government and in connection with its Padcal operations in this province.
“We are delighted that our efforts have paid off and been recognized by the government,” Julius Bayogan, manager at Pacal mine’s Environmental Quality Monitoring and Enhancement Dept. (EQMED), said. “I hope that this award, as well as all our awards in the previous years, would make us more resolute in working toward a better and more sustainable environment for today and the future.”
The award, which covers the fiscal year 2016 – 17, was given by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), an attached agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that is tasked to regulate the mining industry, in line with its Mining Forest Program, under which the Best Mining Forest Contest was hatched.
A team of Philex Mining engineers and miners, meanwhile, clinched the championship in firefighting as a Fire Brigade, at the PMSEA Mine Field Events, held at the grounds of Melvin Jones Grandstand, in Burnham Park, following a parade done on the last day of a four-day ANMSEC, which began on Nov. 21.
Elmer Dapdapig, who works at the Mine Operations-Level Development, of Philex Mining’s Padcal mine, was adjudged champion in Hand Mucking, while Norlie Cabacungan and Jonathan Ay-yato, both of Padcal’s Mine Operations-Block Development, placed first runners-up in Machine Drilling.
The manager of Padcal’s Legal Division, Eduardo Aratas, was the champion of the 2017 PMSEA Golf Tournament, held on Wednesday, Nov. 22, at the Baguio Country Club (BCC). With a score of 59, he received the Lowest Net trophy during the awarding ceremonies at BCC’s Cameron Forbes Ballroom, in the evening.
The Philex Team—composed of the company’s president and CEO, Eulalio Austin, Jr., who scored 69, Aratas (70), Legal Division’s Cesar Romualdo (76), and Louis Leganzo, a dentist at Padcal’s Philex Sto. Niño Hospital, whose score wasn’t counted in a “4-to-play, 3-to-count” format.
In Badminton, Rolando Oania, of Padcal’s Mine Underground Electrical Operations, and Eunice Bacoco-Lipawen, of the Safety Dept., were adjudged champions in the mixed doubles match, while Fernando Fabiculanan, of the General Services Dept., and Finance Dept.’s Reynaldo Cayabyab were first runners-up in the men’s doubles (above 35 years old).
Joven Maxion, manager of the Integrated Management System (IMS), was first runner-up in men’s singles tennis, while Jose Rany Peñaflor and Rolando Refelino, both of the Materials Management Dept., were first runners-up in men’s doubles.
Bayogan earlier said Philex Mining had spent a total of P1.56 million between 2015 and 2016 for its rehabilitation efforts, including the replanting and reforestation, as well as the backfilling of abandoned drill sites, at its MPSA 156-2000-CAR and 157-2000-CAR in the host towns of Itogon and Tuba. The environmental work also involved the sandbagging of excavated soil, soil-erosion prevention, handling of toxic materials, socioeconomic mitigating measures, and protection measures for employees.
An MPSA, or Mine Production Sharing Agreement, provides for the government to share in the production of a contractor (miner) in kind or in monetary value.
The replanting and reforestation activities, Bayogan stressed, got the lion share of the 2016 Environmental Work Program Management (EWPM) expenditure to the tune of P1.28 million. He also said the company had completed drilling six holes at the Bumolo Prospect of MPSA 156-2000-CAR, with an aggregate meterage of 17,782, between July and December last year. It was also in July 2016 when surface exploration was started in the TAPSAN area of Itogon’s Brgy. Ampucao. TAPSAN stands for Sitios Tapaya, Saes, and Nay-en.
Philex Mining holds a renewed certificate in IMS granted by the German-based technical services provider TÜV Rheinland, which covers the miner’s environmental management system and safety management. The latter includes operations in mining, milling, and tailings storage facilities.
The certification consists of ISO 14001:2004—from the International Organization for Standardization—which is a systematic approach to improving environmental-protection efforts, and OHSAS 18001:2007, a British Standard and external assessment of Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Management Systems.
Philex Mining, which was listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) in Nov. 1956, has shelled out over P65 million for reforestation program since 1987 that involves the planting and nurturing of over 8 million different species of forest and fruit-bearing trees and tropical plants, with a 90-percent survival rate, at its mine site in Tuba and Itogon. A community-based reforestation in the area was begun in the 1960s as a livelihood project for the stakeholders.