Philex grants 30 new college scholarships

Philex grants 30 new college scholarships

Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet – Philex Mining Corporation has awarded 30 new college scholarships to beneficiaries in the host and neighboring villages of its Padcal mine in this province, bringing to 95 the total number of scholars for the current academic year enrolled in various schools in Baguio City and Benguet and nearby Pangasinan and Nueva Vizcaya.

Except for six old scholars who failed to achieve the grade-weighted average required by the company, who now receive a 75-percent financial assistance, the rest of the scholars enjoy free full tuition, book allowance, and monthly stipend.

“We are very proud of this program, as everybody agrees on the importance of education for the future of an individual, his or her family, the community, and the whole society,” Philex Chief Executive Officer and president Eulalio Austin, Jr. said. 

The number of new scholars may increase as there are four other applications undergoing screening, according to Aurora Dolipas, manager of Padcal’s Community Relations (ComRel) Department.

The company earlier set aside P14.4 million for its scholarship program for college, high school, and elementary students, as well as for those in the technical/vocational courses.

Last year, Philex Mining allotted P11.8 M for its 114 full college and 24 tech-voc scholars; 374 students in elementary and high school who received educational subsidies; and 130 secondary students who were given education assistance (monthly monetary allowance).

ComRel’s Crisel Alberto-Rosado said the first semester of school year 2017-2018 has 64 full college scholars and five others enjoy financial assistance through the company’s Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), while 25 full scholars and one other receive financial assistance through the Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences.

This year Philex Mining saw 24 of its college scholars graduating in various disciplines, while seven other scholars have finished tech-voc courses. 

The company has also provided scholarships to 90 students in senior high school (grades 11 and 12) and 140 students in junior high school (grades 7 to 10).

About 200 high school students and 300 elementary pupils, on the other hand, were awarded educational subsidies.

Philex supports ‘National Cleanup Month’

Philex supports ‘National Cleanup Month’

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TUBA, Benguet – Supporting the government’s celebration of September as the National Cleanup Month, Padcal mine has cleaned up a river at its mine camp that it also “adopted” as part of its environmental-protection program, with officials and employees collecting rubbish from the riverbed and planting bamboos along the riverbanks.

About 90 personnel from Padcal mine’s 15 departments participated in the cleanup of and planting of 200 seedlings of tinik, bayog, and giant bamboos at the Sal-angan River, in Itogon’s Brgy. Ampucao, on Saturday, Sept. 16. Itogon and Tuba are the host towns of the company’s gold-and-copper operations in this province.

“That’s how we do things around here—always bring any environmental-protection project or an event a notch higher,” said Eduardo Aratas, manager of Padcal’s Legal Division, who participated in the cleanup and tree-planting drive, which was also part of the government’s International Coastal Cleanup Weekend Celebration. “Not only did we rid the river of rubbish, but also plant trees.”

In a Sept. 11 letter to Manuel Agcaoili, SVP at Philex Mining and resident manager of Padcal, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), of CAR, or Cordillera Administrative Region, in Baguio City, said, “We would like to request your participation in the Orchestrated Cleanup in the region of rivers, creeks, and waterways. Please participate in the cleanup of your respective adopted waterbody…”

Julius Bayogan, manager of Padcal’s Environmental Quality, Monitoring and Evaluation Dept. (EQMED), said the cleanup of Sal-angan River and other waterways at the mine camp has been a regular activity for Philex Mining, which has been in the forefront of environmental protection and community development over the past more than six decades of practicing responsible mining conscientiously.

He said the 90 Padcal personnel had collected 15 sacks of rubbish from the riverbed, eight sacks of which were residual wastes, four sacks of plastic bottles, two sacks of tin cans, one sack of various rubber items like slippers, hoses, and boots.

“Those items that were recyclable have been donated to the residents in nearby villages, while the residual wastes had been brought to our sanitary landfill at the decommissioned and rehabilitated TSF2, or Tailings Storage Facility No. 2, also in Brgy. Ampucao,” added Bayogan, who led the four-hour cleanup of the 2-kilometer Sal-angan River. 

He explained that residual wastes include what remains of agricultural, industrial, and mining materials after a treatment process, as well as household trash that cannot be reused or recycled.

On Sept. 19, 2016, Bayogan also led the general cleanup of the Sal-angan River—Padcal’s water source for its mill operation—where the volunteers collected 465 kilograms of waste, 382.5 kg. of which were residual, 45 kg. were biodegradable, and 37.5 kg. were recyclable.

He said the Sal-angan River was “adopted” years ago by Philex Mining to be part of its cleanup drive of waterways and other surroundings at the mine camp.

Last year’s event was also in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Bayan Ko, Linis Ko” (“My Country, My Cleanup”), which promoted cleanliness in coastal and inland waterways, creeks, public places, and private establishments nationwide.

 

Philex Tree Planting

Philex Tree Planting

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Philex Mining Corp. planted over 48,000 different tree species and flowering plants in over half of the targeted number of hectares of land in the towns of Tuba and Itogon, the two municipalities hosting its gold-and-copper operations in Benguet province, for this year’s reforestation program. Padcal finance group manager Dahilan (left) and Asterio Gonzales of the IT department do their share in the tree-planting activity by a roadside of Barangay Camp 1.

Scholars Pay Homage to Philex Mining

Scholars Pay Homage to Philex Mining

Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet – Only the two of them graduated out of the 20 students who had taken up mining engineering in a batch of scholars. The rest had either shifted to other academic disciplines but remained as scholars or lost their scholarships after they failed to make the cutoff grade-weighted average and other requirements by Philex Mining Corp.

One of the two graduates landed on the top 10 among the 281 passers-out of the 317 examinees who took the board exams administered in Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, and Legazpi by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), on Aug. 8 – 10.

“I am proud to say that I was a scholar of Philex Mining,” said Myla Jane Mangoltad, who graduated cum laude and placed 10th in the board exams, in an interview. “This provided a lot of benefits: first is the financial aspect, as Philex Mining became the partner of my parents and I in attaining my degree; second is the bond me and my co-scholar created together with the management, especially the ComRel [Community Relations Dept., Padcal mine] through the different activities it has implemented for its scholars; and, lastly, is the pride of being a scholar of this prestigious company.”

Mangoltad, 21, and her co-scholar, the 22year-old Jason Adonis, both hail from Tuba, one of the two towns-the other being Itogon-hosting Padcal mine, Philex Mining’s gold-and-copper operations in Benguet. She lives in Sitio Mangga, Brgy. Camp 3, while he is from Sitio Piminggan, Brgy. Ansagan. They both went to Saint Louis University (SLU), in Baguio City, and became Philex scholars in 2013, enjoying free tuition, a monthly stipend, and book allowance.

Stressing that free education is one of the best gifts a company could give to its stakeholders, Eulalio Austin, Jr., CEO and president of Philex Min- ing, said, “And I am so happy and very proud that we are able to provide this to our deserving students. Not only have we adhered to our commitment in community development and environmental protection, we also have secured the future of the youth in our host and neighboring communities through our various education projects.”

The company has for this year set aside P14.4 million for its scholarship grants to college, highschool, and elementary students, as well as for those in the technical/vocational (TechVoc) courses. Last year, it allotted P11.8 million for its 114 full college and 24 TechVoc scholars; 374 students in elementary and high school who received educational subsidies; and 130 secondary students who were given education assistance (monthly monetary allowance).

Philex seeks investors for Silangan mine

Philex seeks investors for Silangan mine

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MANILA, Philippines — Pangilinan-led Philex Mining Corp. is now looking for potential investors for the company’s $2-billion Silangan copper and gold project as the government is leaning towards lifting the open-pit ban issued by former environment chief Gina Lopez.

While the open pit ban has not been lifted, Philex Mining president and chief executive officer Eulalio Austin Jr. said the company is scouting possible investors for Philex’s next big prospective mine in Surigao del Norte with an investment opportunity of P40 billion.

“We are starting the legwork on searching for investors. We are now gathering a pool, which will be the possible investors and financiers. We are looking for equity investors,” Austin told The STAR on sidelines of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines briefing Monday.

He added that the lifting of the ban would fasttrack the search for potential investors and would encourage more investors to put in their money for the gold and copper project.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and the interagency Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) are now discussing the lifting of the ban. The MGB maintained that the ban has no legal basis and was not mandated by any mining law.

“It will help improve the value of the project. We are granted an income tax holiday and the longer it will be delayed, the more we lose on the opportunity,” Austin said.

Philex is already working on attaching the pre-feasibility study of the underground mining to the definitive feasibility study of the open pit mining.

“First project is open pit then after mining for 10 years, we do underground. We are now trying to maximize the value of the asset, the value if we add underground. Investors would definitely ask that,” Austin said.

The Philex chief also thumbed down the latest proposed bill in Congress that may require mining firms to obtain a legislative franchise before they begin operations.

The bill also proposes the shortening of the duration of mineral agreements from 25 years to 10 years.

“In my thinking, it cannot be. We have vested rights, we have an MPSA (mineral production sharing agreement) that is approved already and that is a binding contract,” Austin said.

“The worry is if once the MPSA expires, assuming the bill will be approved, we don’t know if we will be covered. In the MPSA, once your MPSA expires, you are given the privilege to renew it for another 25 years. Shortening that would mean violating the contract,” he added.

  • – Louise Maureen Simeon
Philex kicks off planting trees and tropical plants

Philex kicks off planting trees and tropical plants

Press Releases

PHILEX MINING Corp. has so far planted more than 48,000 different tree species and flowering plants in over half of the targeted number of hectares of land in this town and Itogon, the two municipalities hosting its gold-and-copper operations in this province, for this year’s reforestation program.

Leon Mocate, senior forestry coordinator at the Environmental Quality Monitoring and Enhancement Dept. (EQMED) of the company’s Padcal mine, in Tuba Sitio Padcal, Brgy. Camp 3, said the new tree-planting projects will see massive implementation this month, after which the program is seen to focus on the maintenance of previously reforested areas. 

He said personnel of Padcal mine’s different departments kicked off the planting of trees and tropical plants, a project worth P910,281 that has been reinforced through the company’s engagement of 10 contractors, each with a team of at least 5 people. With a survival rate of 90 percent , this year’s reforestation program, which aims to reforest 50 hectares (has.) of land with 83,350 trees, involves the planting of forest trees Benguet pine, kupang, narra, ipil-ipil, and antsoan dilau; guava, a fruit-tree; and the tropical flowering plants bougainvillea, calliandra, and coffee.

“We are committed to continue marching on with our reforestation program every year, which we have adhered to over the past more than six decades of conscientious and responsible mining,” the company’s CEO and president, Eulalio Austin Jr., said.

Already, Philex Mining has reforested close to 3,000 has. of land in Tuba and Itogon with over 8 million trees planted

Philex gives free health-insurance coverage

Philex gives free health-insurance coverage

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TUBA, Benguet—Philex Mining Corp. has granted health-insurance coverage to 620 families to the tune of P1.48 million, bringing to P3.4 million the total amount of coverage given to the indigent residents in the outlying communities of its Padcal mine in this province over the past four years.

“We received and still continue to receive so many requests for free health insurance from residents in our host and neighboring villages, and granting them such is our way of being in the frontline of  humanized, conscientious and responsible mining,” said Aurora Dolipas, manager at Padcal’s Community Relations (ComRel) Department

ComRel’s Crisel Rosado and Mila Salinas, who are part of a team that screens and processes applications for free health insurance, said Philex Mining shelled out P897,600 for the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., (PhilHealth) coverage of 374 individuals last year; P655,200 for 273 beneficiaries in 2015; and P366,000 for 183 people in 2014 when the project was launched.

They said that spouses and children of the respective beneficiaries were given the same free health-insurance coverage, the funds of which were taken from Padcal’s Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), one of the three major corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects being pursued by Philex Mining in line with its adherence to conscientious and responsible mining.

The company is mandated to allot 1.5 percent of its previous year’s total operating expenses for the current year’s SDMP; Information, Education and Communications (IEC) campaign; and Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG). Of the total allocated budget, SDMP gets the lion’s share of 75 percent, while IEC is given 15 percent, and DMTG, 10 percent.

Padcal, the company’s sole operating mine, has two barangays—Camp 3 in Tuba and Ampucao in Itogon—for its host communities, as well as three neighboring villages, namely: Camp 1 and Ansagan (both in Tuba) and Itogon’s Dalupirip.

These five barangays, with a total population of more than 27,000 in 7,896 households, are collectively referred to as outlying communities.

Rosado and Salinas said that of this year’s total beneficiaries, 285 are residents of Barangay Camp 3 while 200 are in Barangay  Ampucao, 50 in Barangay  Ansagan, 45 in Barangay Camp 1 and 40 in Barangay  Dalupirip.

As part of its health projects under SDMP, Philex Mining has held medical and dental missions to remote villages, bringing doctors, dentists and nurses to the doorsteps of their less fortunate stakeholders and spending hundreds of thousands of pesos for medicines in each visit.

Between 2003 and 2015 alone, Philex Mining had spent P25.2 million for its health-care program in its host and neighboring villages. The company had also constructed health-care centers and sanitary facilities in the outlying communities.

By: Mauricio Victa

Firm grants P1.4-M worth of health insurance to indigents

Firm grants P1.4-M worth of health insurance to indigents

Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet — Philex Mining Corp. granted P1.48 million worth of health insurance to 620 individuals, together with their families this year, bringing to P3.4 million the total amount of coverage given to the indigent residents in the outlying communities of its Padcal mine in this province over the past four years.

“We received and still continue to receive so many requests for free health insurance from residents in our host and neighboring villages, and granting them such is our way of being in the frontline of a humanized, conscientious, and responsible mining,” Aurora Dolipas, manager at Padcal’s Community Relations (ComRel) Dept., said.

ComRel’s Crisel Rosado and Mila Salinas, who are part of a team that screens and processes applications for free health insurance, said Philex Mining shelled out P897,600 for the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., coverage of 374 individuals last year, P655,200 for 273 beneficiaries in 2015, and P366,000 for 183 people in 2014, when the project was launched.

They stressed spouses and children of the respective beneficiaries were given the same free health-insurance coverage, the funds of which were taken from Padcal’s Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), one of the three major CSR, or corporate social responsibility, projects being pursued by Philex Mining in line with is adherence to conscientious and responsible mining.

The company is mandated to allot 1.5 percent of its previous year’s total operating expenses for the current year’s SDMP; Information, Education, and Communications (IEC) campaign; and Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG). Of the total allocated budget, SDMP gets the lion share of 75 percent while IEC is given 15 percent and, DMTG, 10 percent. Padcal, the company’s sole operating mine, has two barangays—Camp 3, in Tuba, and Ampucao, in Itogon—for its host communities, as well as three neighboring villages, namely, Camp 1 and Ansagan (both in Tuba) and Itogon’s Dalupirip.

These five barangays, with a total population of more than 27,000 in 7,896 households, are collectively referred to as outlying communities.

Rosado and Salinas said of this year’s total beneficiaries, 285 are residents of Barangay Camp 3 while 200 are in Barangay Ampucao, 50 in Barangay Ansagan, 45 in Barangay Camp 1, and 40 in Barangay Dalupirip. As part of its health projects under SDMP, Philex Mining has also held medical and dental missions to remote villages, bringing doctors, dentists, and nurses to the doorsteps of their less fortunate stakeholders and spending hundreds of thousands of pesos for medicines in each visit.

Between 2003 and 2015 alone, Philex Mining had spent P25.2 million for its health-care program in its host and neighboring villages. The company had also constructed health-care centers and sanitary facilities in the outlying communities. (PR) 

Philex pays tribute to scholars, allots P14M budget

Philex pays tribute to scholars, allots P14M budget

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TUBA, Benguet – One youth talked about having self-discipline and the right attitude in school while another said about parents being his inspiration while studying, and another believing that you would reach your goal if you worked hard for it.

They were all recent graduates from college—beneficiaries of scholarship grants from Philex Mining Corp., which for this year has P14.4 million for deserving students—talking before the company’s current scholars. The latter were also regaled and inspired by the other speakers, notably the guest of honor, with their respective stories from their student days and on life lessons.

“Your goal will guide you,” Norman Alberto, a high-school teacher and a 2005 graduate of the Benguet State University (BSU), in the provincial capital of La Trinidad, said during formal ceremonies titled “Philex Salutes the Scholars: A Tribute Program for the Graduates.” “It will lead you to the right way, he added. “So you need to have a goal in your life.”

Held Thursday, July 27, at the Smith Hall of Philex Mining’s Padcal mine, in Tuba’s Sitio Padcal, Brgy. Camp 3, the event had for its main speaker Andrew Macalma, dean of Student Affairs Office, Saint Louis University, in Baguio City, who was all praises for the scholars, saying, “I hope that you will remain and continue to become better every day. He added, “You only have not given your parents hope, but also a promise that life would be better.”

He reminded them, however, to listen and treat everybody fairly, no matter their status in life. “It is when you have reached this kind of mindset that you become a gift to others and to society,” said Macalma, who enlivened about 30 scholars and their parents, as well as government officials and other guests with his critique of “outliers” and “vincular.”

In Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success, he said, where the author discusses what makes some people achieve high levels of success, it is repeatedly mentioned that the key to obtaining world-class expertise in any skill is practicing this the correct way for a total of around 10,000 hours, thus the “10,000-Hour Rule.” Macalma was quick to remind the scholars, however, about the need to connect (a vincular or link) with and a man for others, even if, as scholars, they are some sort of outliers or a cut above the rest.

“Be of help to others,” says Macalma, who gushes at the lush vegetation around a well-developed Padcal community, brought about by over six decades of responsible mining, and reveals that this is his third visit in the mine camp, the first of which was almost 30 years ago. “You must have a ‘conscious conscientiousness.’ ” He adds, “Even when you cook rice or egg, do it like a scholar.” And despite being scarred nowadays by a number of social factors like corruption and deceit, he told the scholars to be an inspiration to anyone, anywhere, and whenever—and make many others realize that, “Even with small people, big dreams are possible.”

Aurora Dolipas, manager of Community Relations (ComRel) Dept. at Padcal, said 24 college scholars graduated this year in various disciplines, and seven other scholars finished their technical-vocational (TechVoc) courses. She added that the screening for some of this year’s scholars is still ongoing.

The company is also providing scholarships to 90 students in senior high school (Grades 11 & 12) and 140 students in junior high school (Grades 7 – 10). Educational subsidies, on the other hand, is set for awarding to 200 high-school students and 300 elementary pupils.

Last year, Philex Mining allotted P11.8 million for its 114 college scholars, 24 TechVoc students, 374 students in elementary and high school who received educational subsidies, and 130 secondary students who were given education assistance (monthly monetary allowance).

These scholarship grants are being funded through Philex Mining’s Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) as well as its Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG), which, together with the Information, Education and Communications (IEC) campaign, are funded 1.5 per cent of the company’s previous year’s total operating expenses.

Abraham Banos, a mechanical engineer from SLU (2016), said in his testimonial that he’d made his parents as his inspiration while he was studying, as “I’d always wanted to be an engineer.” As his face lit up with fond memories of his student days, he told the scholars: “If we have dreams, we must take action!” For her part, Florina Liwan, a mining engineer who also graduated from SLU last year, told the scholars to work hard and “be whatever you want to be.”

Addressing the event, Victorio Palangdan, mayor of Itogon, one of the two Benguet towns (the other being Tuba) hosting the Padcal operations, spoke of Philex Mining as a dutiful taxpayer, telling the scholars to be thankful to the company that has helped them pursue their studies. He said, “Philex Mining has also implemented a lot of social projects through its SDMP.”

By HENT

Mine firm assures integrity of storage facility

Mine firm assures integrity of storage facility

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BAGUIO. Philex Mining Corp. president and CEO Eulalio Austin briefs DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu; DENR-Cordillera regional director Ralph Pablo and DENR Asst. Secretary Juan Miguel Cuna on the integrity of Padcal mine’s TSF3. (Photo by PMC) TUBA, Benguet — Philex Mining Corp. assured Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on the integrity of its Tailings Storage Facility No. 3 (TSF) at the company’s Padcal mine, as well as the continuation of its programs on environmental protection upon the instruction of the Cabinet official, who came over on Wednesday afternoon.

“We can assure you, Mr. Secretary, that our tailings pond can handle the volume of rainwater more than what the worst typhoons had caused,” Eulalio Austin, Jr., CEO and president of Philex Mining, said during a presentation at the Philex Guest House.

Austin also said the tailings pond could withstand earthquakes equivalent to the strongest that have hit the country.

Cimatu, who arrived July 19 with a 25-man entourage at Padcal mine, the company’s gold-and-copper operations hosted by the Benguet towns of Tuba and Itogon, pressed Austin and other Philex Mining officials on the ability and reliability of TSF3 and its accompanying structures to withstand flooding and earthquake, bearing in mind the 2012 accident following two typhoons.

Philex Mining SVP and Padcal resident manager Manuel Agcaoili said TSF3’s open spillway, which has replaced its underground drainage system since August 2013, was built with embankment-design parameters based on ANCOLD and ICOLD guidelines and could, therefore, handle the amount of rainwater more than what Typhoons Ondoy (2009) as well as Ferdie and Gener (2012) had caused.

The Aussie apolitical industry body ANCOLD, or Australian National Committee on Large Dams, and the ICOLD, or International Commission on Large Dams, a European NGO founded in Paris, provide guidelines in the building of dams that are safe, economical, and environmentally and socially sustainable. These are vital to achieving excellence for all aspects of dam engineering, management, and related issues.

While at TSF 3, in Itogon’s Sitio Balog, Brgy. Ampucao, which is an hour drive from the Padcal mine offices, Cimatu acknowleged the efforts Philex Mining has been exerting to further improve its facilities, particularly the ongoing improvement of the open spillway, through which nontoxic water passes from the tailings pond and onto the Balog Creek, a tributary to the Agno River.

“You can continue what you are doing to protect the environment, ensuring no community will be affected in case a disaster strikes again,” he said.

Assuring him of the company’s adherence to its obligations, Austin said, Padcal mine and Philex Mining have been consistent in the implementation of the various programs on community development, nation-building, and environmental protection. He also stressed Philex Mining has been known as the “poster-boy” of responsible mining in the country.

On August 1, 2012, Philex Mining suspended operations voluntarily as nontoxic tails and water discharged from the TSF3 and onto the Balog Creek, following historically unprecedented rains brought about by Ferdie and Gener, which hit Benguet successively. It resumed production only starting from March 8, 2013 based on a four-month temporary lifting order issued by government and which was extended indefinitely afterwards. The formal resumption of operations started from August 27, 2013.

The government allowed Philex Mining to resume operations after the company implemented urgent remediation measures, such as providing immediate assistance to the affected residents, cleaning up the Balog Creek, and ensuring the integrity of its TSF3 by building an open spillway.

It also paid P188.6 million as environmental obligation to the Pollution and Adjudication Board (PAB), in relation to Republic Act 9275, otherwise known as the Clean Water Act, on June 5, 2013, and P1.034 billion to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), on Feb. 18, 2013, as fees over the accidental discharge of sediment. Having three chutes, each measuring 12 meters wide and 300 meters long, the open spillway can channel up to 1,500 millimeters (mm) of rain over 24 hours, or more than thrice the 455 mm of rain that Ondoy dumped over a 24-hour period.

Government regulations say an open spillway must be able to withstand a flood event having an unusual rainfall with a 1-percent chance of occurring at any given time. With the TSF3 and its open spillway, this unusual rainfall would be equivalent to 1,000 mm in 24 hours. -MARIA ELENA CATAJAN