Philex-backed social enterprise signs coffee distribution agreement

Philex-backed social enterprise signs coffee distribution agreement

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A COFFEE social enterprise supported by Philex Mining Corp. has signed a distribution agreement for its roasted beans, in an arrangement covering national and export markets.

A farmer tending to coffee seedlings in Sitio Torre, Tuba, Benguet, part of a planting program initiated by the Philex Group Foundation, Inc., the social development arm of Philex Mining Corp. — PHILEX MINING

 

In a statement, Philex Group Foundation, Inc. (PGFI), said the social enterprise, Px Community Foods and Marketing, Inc. (PxCFMI), signed the partnership agreement with Ryokudo Eco-Services and Trading, Inc.

The deal expands the engagement of the community around the company’s Padcal mine in livelihood programs sponsored by Philex. “We are confident that this partnership will further improve the economic condition of our local community members who are also our key partners in this endeavor,” Paulino M. Buenconsejo, PGFI executive director, said in a statement.

“In our last discussion, we also talked about exporting our coffee beans to the US, Japan, Thailand, and Hong Kong,” Mr. Buenconsejo said.

PGFI will supply 50 kilos of roasted Arabica coffee to Ryokudo monthly.

“Meanwhile, our beans are also set for nationwide distribution not just in coffee shops and restaurants, but also supermarket chains, like SM, Robinson’s, Puregold, Rustan’s, Landmark, and (Davao-based) NCCC,” he added. 

Each plantation will have a consolidated area of more than two hectares within Padcal and nearby areas such as Torre, Sante Fe, and Ampucao, the statement said.

In 2014, PGFI undertook a multi-year program designed to mentor selected coffee farmers on organic coffee farm management, harvesting techniques, and value-adding post-harvest activities that will increase the volume and quality of their produce. 

“The farmers are also trained to understand, appreciate, and apply the discipline required in engaging a coffee business enterprise” Mr. Buenconsejo said.

Lawyer Michael T. Toledo, senior vice-president for Public and Regulatory Affairs at Philex Mining, said the agreement with Ryokudo will help sustain social services and job creation among its beneficiaries. 

“This is testament that mining, agriculture and other revenue-generating enterprises like tourism can coexist and actually support each other,” Toledo added.

Earlier, Philex Mining announced that additional resources have been discovered in its Bumolo porphyry copper-gold deposit in Benguet which may extend its Padcal mine’s life by two more years to 2024 from 2022. 

“The development that we are discussing today is sustainability — at the onset, what the company planned, or the joint venture plans to address the immediate need for employment of the community, when the end of mine life comes,” Mr. Toledo added.

 

Philex social development programs reach P400M

Philex social development programs reach P400M

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Philex Mining Corp. has allocated more than P400 million for various projects under its Social Development Management Program (SDMP) over the last five years, according to the company’s 2016 Annual Report. “We incurred P117 million for SDMP-related Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and an aggregate sum of P454 million over the last five years to further our goal of inclusive economic growth and progressive social structures within our areas of operation,” Philex Mining president and CEO Eulalio Austin Jr. said. The company’s CSR campaign is divided into five divisions under the iHELP model, which stands for: I-Information, Education and Communication; H – Health and Sanitation; E – Education; L – Livelihood and Skills Development; and P – Support to Public Infrastructure.

Philex spends P16 M for infra in Padcal mine

Philex spends P16 M for infra in Padcal mine

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MANILA, Philippines – Philex Mining Corp. has invested P16 million for infrastructure projects in the first semester, as part of its social development program in its Padcal mine operations.

Philex said about P15.8 million worth of public infrastructure projects had been completed for its host community in Padcal mine, the company’s gold and copper operations in Benguet.

The projects include the rehabilitation of slope protection walls in several barangays which have been destroyed due to typhoons, and close to 400-meter farm-to-market roads. 

“These projects that we have so far delivered this year are part of the company’s commitment to continue helping its outlying communities through the implementation of the needed infrastructure,” Padcal mine Community Relations manager Aurora Dolipas said. 

Padcal mine has Camp 3 and Ampucao for its host barangays, while its neighboring barangays consist of Camp 1 and Ansagan in Tuba and Dalupirip in Itogon. 

This year, Philex has allotted P110 million for its community-development projects under the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), a requirement of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for every mining company.

This includes community engagement and development programs, health services and medical missions, equipment turnover, construction and rehabilitation of several school buildings, educational assistance programs, and scholarship grants. 

Philex has earmarked P1.8 billion for its capital expenditures this year where P700 million is allocated for mine development while the remaining budget is for machineries and equipment. – Louise Maureen Simeon

 

How Philex is helping Benguet coffee farmers

How Philex is helping Benguet coffee farmers

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A Benguet farmer tending his coffee seedlings in Sitio Torre, Tuba, Benguet, one of many beneficiaries to the coffee planting program of the Philex Group Foundation Inc., the social development arm of Philex Mining Corp.

MANILA, Philippines – Px Community Foods and Marketing Inc., the social enterprise set up by Philex Mining Corp.’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm Philex Group Foundation Inc. (PGFI), has entered into a strategic partnership with Ryokudo Eco-Services and Trading Inc. for the nationwide distribution and export of its roasted coffee beans.

“Our partnership with Ryokudo comes at an opportune time as Philex has been robust on its goals to engage the Padcal community on our livelihood programs. We are confident that this partnership will further improve the economic condition of our local community members who are also our key partners in this endeavor,” said Paulino Buenconsejo, executive director of PGFI.

The joint agri-enterprise is hinged on providing a ready and fair trade market, technology knowledge transfer, and equipment for indigenous coffee farmers at the company’s host communities in Padcal, Benguet.

“In our last discussion, we also talked about exporting our coffee beans to the US, Japan, Thailand, and Hongkong,” Buenconsejo said.

PGFI will allot 50 kilos of roasted Arabica coffee to Ryokudo monthly.

“Meanwhile, our beans are also set for nationwide distribution not just in coffee shops and restaurants, but also supermarket chains, like SM, Robinson’s, Puregold, Rustan’s, Landmark, and NCCC,” he added. 

Each plantation will have a consolidated area of more than two hectares within Padcal and nearby areas such as Torre, Sante Fe, Ampucao, and Padcal.

Given the territorial limits, the project undertakes to respect the rights of the indigenous coffee farmers that inhabit the area, particularly in the area of Philex’s  Mineral Sharing Production Agreement.

In 2014, PGFI undertook a multi-year program designed to mentor select partner-coffee farmers on proper organic coffee farm management, harvesting techniques, and value-adding post-harvest activities that will increase the volume and quality of their produce. 

“The farmers are also trained to understand, appreciate, and apply the discipline required in engaging a coffee business enterprise” Buenconsejo said.

For his part, Philex SVP for public and regulatory affairs Michael Toledo said the strategic foray into agribusiness with Ryokudo underscores Philex’s corporate objective to sustain social services and job creation among its present beneficiaries.  

“This will further strengthen our social commitment: making good on a long-term promise made to the community,” he said.

“This is testament that mining, agriculture and other revenue-generating enterprises like tourism can coexist and actually support each other,” Toledo added.

Philex earlier announced that additional resources have been discovered in its Bumolo porphyry copper-gold deposit in Benguet which may extend its Padcal mine’s life to two more years to 2024.

“The development that we are discussing today is sustainability – at the onset, what the company planned, or the joint venture plans to address the immediate need for employment of the community, when the end of mine life comes,” Toledo said. 

The Bumolo deposit lies within the mineral production sharing agreement of Philex.

 

 
Philex takes the lead in responsible mining

Philex takes the lead in responsible mining

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Philex Mining’s SVP for Public and Regulatory Affairs Mike Toledo told us that the country’s biggest gold and copper producer continues to be at the forefront of responsible mining, going above and beyond what is required by law as far as taking care of the environment is concerned. 

According to Mike, Philex has spent almost P90 million or over 20 percent of its total budget of P437 million for 2017 on environmental and enhancement projects that include the management of natural resources and third-party monitoring of its mining facilities.

In its report to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ mining regulatory body Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), the company said it spent more than P23 million in the first quarter alone for various reforestation and forest protection projects under its 2017 Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program, for which a P97.8 million fund has been allocated.

The mining executive also disclosed that they strongly support Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu who has given his firm assurance the government would push for responsible mining that utilizes mineral resources “based on technical feasibility, environmental sustainability, cultural and social acceptability, and financial viability.”

Philex has actually been very proactive in its environmental management initiatives as seen in its Padcal mine in Benguet. According to Philex president and CEO Euls Austin (seen in photo with Philex chairman Manny Pangilinan) – an engineer who started out as a trainee and moved up the corporate ladder to his current position – Padcal was already a “logged out” area before the mining company came in. Over the years, reforestation activities have transformed the almost barren forest into an area rich with foliage and greenery, with the company having planted an estimated 10 million trees in upland and coastal areas since 1967.

The reforestation activities in Padcal have been replicated in Bulawan in Negros Occidental, and Sibutad in Zamboanga del Norte which have been converted into a natural sanctuary for wild ducks and a lush mangrove plantation, respectively, after the company decommissioned mining in the said areas.

The fact is, there are a lot of false beliefs and misconceptions about the industry especially from those who insist that mining areas should be utilized for agricultural use. On the contrary, not all land is suitable for agriculture as there are geographical areas that are not fertile enough for agri purposes.

On the other hand, there are grounds that are rich with mineral resources and, therefore, are best harnessed for mining activities – whose output are utilized for everyday things that people take so much for granted, like cellphones and even cookware. The key, of course, is the careful and responsible manner of harnessing such mineral resources.

Philex was one of only 12 large-scale mining companies that were allowed to continue their operations by former DENR secretary Gina Lopez who ordered the shutdown of 28 other large-scale miners last February. Lopez decided not to suspend or order the shutdown of Philex and the other 11 miners because they did not pose a significant threat to the environment.

In 2012, when unusually heavy rainfall damaged one of Padcal’s storage facilities, the company displayed its strong commitment to responsible mining, instituting remediation measures and a rehabilitation program until the damage was fully restored – paying a P1 billion fine in the process.

One issue anti-mining activists love to throw against miners is the claim that areas where mining companies operate are steeped in poverty. The case of Itogon and Tuba in Benguet, where Philex operates, easily dispels such accusations. Both municipalities are considered “first class,” while the other areas with agriculture as the main source of income are classified as third, fourth and even fifth class municipalities.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Office’s 2015 poverty statistics also show Benguet having a low poverty incidence rate of 3.5 percent – even much lower than the National Capital Region which registered a poverty incidence rate of 3.9 percent, while the estimated national poverty average is at 21.6 percent. Not surprisingly, the province with the highest rate of poverty incidence is Lanao del Sur (with Marawi City as its capital) at 71.9 percent.

As to the accusations that mining companies contribute very little to the national economy, industry players point to the huge revenues local governments generate from mining activities, from the taxes, fees for permits and various other charges which, in turn, are used to fund national infrastructure projects.

In 2016, Philex paid a total of P937 million for local and national taxes, while another P414 million went to various fees, permits, withholding taxes and other charges – totaling P1.35 billion which could fund the construction of about 1,350 classrooms or build 135 kilometers of concrete roads that could go a long way in helping decongest traffic in Metro Manila.

A lot of observers agree Philex can serve as a “poster boy” of responsible mining in the country with its social development and management programs that benefit the host and neighboring communities in the areas where they operate – with schools, hospitals, roads and bridges built and maintained by the miner. As one mining industry player admitted, “Philex is ‘good as gold’ as far as responsible mining is concerned.”

Philex Mining’s SVP for Public and Regulatory Affairs Mike Toledo told us that the country’s biggest gold and copper producer continues to be at the forefront of responsible mining, going above and beyond what is required by law as far as taking care of the environment is concerned.  According to Mike, Philex has spent almost P90 million or over 20 percent of its total budget of P437 million for 2017 on environmental and enhancement projects that include the management of natural resources and third-party monitoring of its mining facilities. In its report to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ mining regulatory body Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), the company said it spent more than P23 million in the first quarter alone for various reforestation and forest protection projects under its 2017 Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program, for which a P97.8 million fund has been allocated. The mining executive also disclosed that they strongly support Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu who has given his firm assurance the government would push for responsible mining that utilizes mineral resources “based on technical feasibility, environmental sustainability, cultural and social acceptability, and financial viability.” Philex has actually been very proactive in its environmental management initiatives as seen in its Padcal mine in Benguet. According to Philex president and CEO Euls Austin (seen in photo with Philex chairman Manny Pangilinan) – an engineer who started out as a trainee and moved up the corporate ladder to his current position – Padcal was already a “logged out” area before the mining company came in. Over the years, reforestation activities have transformed the almost barren forest into an area rich with foliage and greenery, with the company having planted an estimated 10 million trees in upland and coastal areas since 1967. The reforestation activities in Padcal have been replicated in Bulawan in Negros Occidental, and Sibutad in Zamboanga del Norte which have been converted into a natural sanctuary for wild ducks and a lush mangrove plantation, respectively, after the company decommissioned mining in the said areas.

The fact is, there are a lot of false beliefs and misconceptions about the industry especially from those who insist that mining areas should be utilized for agricultural use. On the contrary, not all land is suitable for agriculture as there are geographical areas that are not fertile enough for agri purposes.

On the other hand, there are grounds that are rich with mineral resources and, therefore, are best harnessed for mining activities – whose output are utilized for everyday things that people take so much for granted, like cellphones and even cookware. The key, of course, is the careful and responsible manner of harnessing such mineral resources.

Philex was one of only 12 large-scale mining companies that were allowed to continue their operations by former DENR secretary Gina Lopez who ordered the shutdown of 28 other large-scale miners last February. Lopez decided not to suspend or order the shutdown of Philex and the other 11 miners because they did not pose a significant threat to the environment.

In 2012, when unusually heavy rainfall damaged one of Padcal’s storage facilities, the company displayed its strong commitment to responsible mining, instituting remediation measures and a rehabilitation program until the damage was fully restored – paying a P1 billion fine in the process.

 One issue anti-mining activists love to throw against miners is the claim that areas where mining companies operate are steeped in poverty. The case of Itogon and Tuba in Benguet, where Philex operates, easily dispels such accusations. Both municipalities are considered “first class,” while the other areas with agriculture as the main source of income are classified as third, fourth and even fifth class municipalities.

 Data from the Philippine Statistics Office’s 2015 poverty statistics also show Benguet having a low poverty incidence rate of 3.5 percent – even much lower than the National Capital Region which registered a poverty incidence rate of 3.9 percent, while the estimated national poverty average is at 21.6 percent. Not surprisingly, the province with the highest rate of poverty incidence is Lanao del Sur (with Marawi City as its capital) at 71.9 percent.

As to the accusations that mining companies contribute very little to the national economy, industry players point to the huge revenues local governments generate from mining activities, from the taxes, fees for permits and various other charges which, in turn, are used to fund national infrastructure projects.

In 2016, Philex paid a total of P937 million for local and national taxes, while another P414 million went to various fees, permits, withholding taxes and other charges – totaling P1.35 billion which could fund the construction of about 1,350 classrooms or build 135 kilometers of concrete roads that could go a long way in helping decongest traffic in Metro Manila.

 A lot of observers agree Philex can serve as a “poster boy” of responsible mining in the country with its social development and management programs that benefit the host and neighboring communities in the areas where they operate – with schools, hospitals, roads and bridges built and maintained by the miner. As one mining industry player admitted, “Philex is ‘good as gold’ as far as responsible mining is concerned.”

Philex rebuild reaches P16m

Philex rebuild reaches P16m

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TUBA, Benguet—Philex Mining Corp. has completed during the first half of the year about P15.84 million worth of public infrastructure projects, part of its 2016 social program intended for the host and neighboring communities of Padcal mine, the company’s gold-and-copper operations in this province.

A P3.61-million rehabilitation of a slope protection wall in Itogon’s Sitio Samoyao, Brgy. Ampucao, led the three projects delivered during the second quarter. which amounted to a total of P5.95 million. The two other projects were a slope protection wall constructed in Sitio Upper Camp, also in Brgy. Ampucao, worth P1.25 million, and a P1.1-million box culvert work in Tuba’s Sitio Alang, Brgy. Camp 3.

Jamal Agustin, who monitors the infra projects being implemented by Philex Mining through its Community Relations (ComRel) Department, said the slope protection wall in Sitio Samoyao had been destroyed by a typhoon and was rehabilitated by the company, which had also built the original wall.

He added that between January and March, Philex Mining delivered 22 infra projects worth P9.88 million, foremost of which were a 379-meter long farm-to-market road with pavement widening in Camp 3’s Sitio Bastian, that amounted to P1.49 million, and the 44-meter two-bench grouted riprap built at a cost of P1.23 million in Brgy. Ampucao’s Sitio Catcatbal. 

“These projects that we have so far delivered this year are part of the company’s commitment to continue helping its outlying communities through the implementation of the needed infrastructure,” Aurora Dolipas, ComRel manager at Padcal mine, said. Dexter A. See

Padcal mine has Camp 3 and Ampucao for its host barangays, while its neighboring barangays consist of Camp 1 and Ansagan (both in Tuba) and Dalupirip (Itogon). These five barangays are collectively called outlying communities.

Dolipas said Philex Mining had allotted P81.53 million for its 2016 community-development projects under the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), which includes health, education, livelihood, and public infrastructure.

In its revised and final 2016 report submitted to government regulators, Philex Mining also had set aside P16.31 million (P33 million including 2015 backlog) for the Information, Education and Communications (IEC) campaign as well as P10.87 million for the Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG).

This brought to P108.71 million or P110 million (including the P1.3 million intended for the company’s Poro Point Installation, in San Fernando, La Union) the total budget allocation for the 2016 SDMP, IEC, and DMTG. The total amount was 1.5 percent of Philex Mining’s total operating expenses of P7.3 billion in 2015.

SDMP eats up 75 percent of the required fund allocation while IEC gets 15 percent and, DMTG, 10 percent. 

For 2017, Philex Mining has allocated a total of P110.48 million (including for Poro Point) for its SDMP, IEC, and DMTG. 

Dolipas said these programs are being implemented by Philex Mining with the cooperation of and after a series of consultations with the concerned stakeholders. She added, “Our host and neighboring villages have been our active partners in community development throughout our more than six decades of responsible mining.” -Dexter A. See

 

Bumolo resources could extend Philex’s Padcal mine life to 2024

Bumolo resources could extend Philex’s Padcal mine life to 2024

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PHILEX Mining Corp. said resources discovered in its Bumolo porphyry copper-gold project in Benguet may stretch its Padcal mine’s life to two more years to 2024 from its earlier projected end in 2022.

Resources discovered in Philex Mining Corp.’s Bumolo project could extend its Padcal mine’s life by two more years. – AFP

 

“Hopefully, identified resources in Bumolo could potentially add two more years to Padcal mine life,” Philex President and CEO Eulalio B. Austin, Jr. told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s annual stockholders meeting held Wednesday.

“It is still subject for further study. If ever proven mineable, it could extend from 2022 to 2024,” Mr. Austin added, noting that the firm has yet to consider if the input cost, among other factors, in mining these resources will be economically viable.

In October 2015, Philex Mining said it found an additional 111 million tons of resources at the 800-600 meter level, extending Padcal Mine’s life by two years to 2022 from 2020.

The maiden inferred resource estimate of 21.7 million tons identified in the Bumolo Project, which is adjacent to the Padcal mine, can provide additional ore to Padcal and further stretch the mine’s life to 2024.

As for its Silangan project operated by its wholly owned subsidiary Silangan Mindanao Mining Co., Inc., the firm said it has completed its feasibility study.

“We are expanding some parts of the feasibility to make it a more comprehensive study. In the meantime, we have to complete all of the requirements and approvals from the government,” Philex Mining Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan told reporters on Wednesday. 

Asked on seeking joint ventures (JV) for the Silangan project, Mr. Pangilinan said they will be seeking “strategic investors” to partner with.

For his part, Mr. Austin noted that the controversial ban on the open-pit mining method issued by former Environment Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez on the basis of claims that the method can harm the environment has to be resolved first.

Sino JV sa’yo kung wala rin, kung mayroong ban on open-pit? (Who will enter a JV with us if there’s a ban on open-pit mining?)” Mr. Eulalio said.

Miners have raised that the open-pit ban should be revoked as the method has been internationally accepted as a safe way to mine and deemed economically viable. 

Philex Mining to develop Silangan as open pit and underground mine

Philex Mining to develop Silangan as open pit and underground mine

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Should the government approve the operations of the Silangan Mine of Philex Mining Corp., the Pangilinan-led company said it will push through with the project under a two-stage development scheme.

“It’s a two-stage mining development,” Philex Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting in Pasig City on Wednesday.

“The first stage is an open pit situation, and the second stage is underground – and it’s sequential,” Pangilinan noted.

The Silangan Mine operations in Surigao del Norte has been put on hold after then-Environment Secretary Gina Lopez issued an order a banning all open pit mining operations in the country.
https://www.google.com.ph/amp/www.gmanetwork.com/news/money/companies/608823/philex-mining-puts-on-hold-silangan-open-pit-operations/story

“In the meantime, we have to complete all of the requirements and approvals from government,” Pangilinan said.

The open pit mine will be smaller than other similar operations.

“The size of the open pit length may be less than 2 kilometers. So it’s not a big crater as such,” Pangilinan said.

“It’s not a big pit as such. So after ten years, more or less, we have to go underground, so it’s not a long-term open pit operation as such,” he added.

Pangilinan is optimistic about the mining industry under the leadership of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

“My understanding is he’s acting secretary. As such … I’m not a lawyer … my understanding is that he’s authorized to sign at this stage until he’s appointed as the secretary of DENR. So, I think, we just have to patient until that happens,” he said.

“Maybe that could happen once Congress reconvenes on July 24, together with the SONA of the President,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to deliver his second State of the Nation Address when the 17th Congress reopens next month from a recess. — VDS, GMA News

Mineral rent and taxation

Mineral rent and taxation

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The Philippines’ mining potential is inversely proportional to government mining policies. 

Until about two years ago, the debate was on how much tax hike would be imposed on mining. Then early this year, the debate shifted to outright suspension and cancellation of operations by many mining companies. After the Commission on Appointments rejection of Ms. Gina Lopez as DENR secretary last May 3, the uncertainties have greatly subsided and certain sectors are reviving the old debate — how much tax increases to imposed on big mining companies.

Many of the anti-mining sentiments and groups will be jumping on this issue. Very high taxes on metallic mining companies will produce three results that are all favorable to them: (a) some operating companies will be forced to close down especially when global metallic prices are low; (b) planned projects or expansion of existing mines will be discontinued; and (c) companies that continue to operate will be forced to somehow underdeclare output and these groups will further demonize them and lobby for their closure.

In some developed countries like the US, Canada, and Australia, it seems that even big environmentalist groups do not lobby for mining closure but their counterparts in the Philippines are so adamant in this philosophical nirvana.

Consider some data for member-countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) below. Two technical terms are used:

1. Mineral rent: the difference between the value of production for a stock of minerals at world prices and their total costs of production. This rent is not the same as value added to GDP. Rent is pure profit (price minus marginal cost multiplied by quantity) while value-added is the sum of earnings from production that are due to residents. Thus, salaries of mine workers are included in GDP value-added but not in rent.

2. Mining Contribution Index (MCI) is calculated based on aspects of mining contribution to national economies, composite for three variables: (a) Mineral export contribution in 2010 as percent of total merchandise exports, (b) Increase/decrease in mineral export contribution 2005 to 2010, and; (c) Mineral production value as a percentage of GDP in 2010.

The numbers show the following:

1. China being a powerhouse producer of copper, silver, zinc, lead, and gold is the world’s biggest mining country despite having a low MCI. Australia comes second and its output is almost twelve times than that of the Philippines.

2. Countries on the “ring side” of the Pacific Rim generally have higher MCI — Australia, Chile, Papua New Guinea, Peru — than those a bit far from the Rim.

3. The Philippines is estimated to have $1 trillion-mining potential yet its actual output in a year is low, only $7 billion in 2013, much of it from nickel production as the country is the world’s second biggest producer of nickel, next only to Indonesia.

So a rich and developed Australia allows and optimizes mining while a poor Philippines with big potential for mining discourages it, at least in the minds of many environmentalists and some accidental DENR officials.

Responsible mining is happening here and abroad. So long as local mining companies follow the law in environmental protection and rehabilitation, and doing plenty of community projects as specified by law, they should not be demonized and over-taxed and/or over-bureaucratized.

The Philippine government can improve the mining attractiveness of the country via two important taxation policies:

One, do not further increase taxes as existing taxes, fees, royalties, bonds, fines, mandatory contributions, mandatory community projects, and environmental rehabilitation are already high and plentiful.

Two, the government should also ensure stable tax rates, or reduce demand for ad hoc taxes on excess or windfall profits as there are also no ad hoc tax breaks or subsidies for excess losses when world metal prices are low. Tax stability is more useful for private players than giving them certain fiscal privileges because these policies may later be challenged and reversed.

Having rule of law in mining audit, environmental rehabilitation, and tax stability is the single most important function of any government in economies with proven high mining potential. The Philippine government should take this path.

 

 

 

Philex bets shine in arnis, sikaran tournament

Philex bets shine in arnis, sikaran tournament

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BENGUET. A referee watches over an arnis match at Philex Mining’s Padcal camp as stick fighters battle it out for the gold. Philex Mines recently hosted the 2nd National Martial Arts Games. (Contributed photo)

FOURTEEN athletes from Philex Mines punched their ticket for a stint in Europe after winning their respective events during the 2nd National Martial Arts Games held recently in sitio Padcal, Camp 3, Tuba, Benguet.

Philex Mining’s Julie Ann Manungod and April Langaoan won gold and bronze, respectively, in the girls – juniors division category while Joey Gapuz clinched the silver medal in the adult division.

“I am so happy that my efforts have paid off,” Renie David, a pump tender at Padcal mine’s Central Mechanic Services Dept., who coached the squad said. “Well, I have never been disappointed by the performance of my wards.”

David, a member of the Philippines’ national arnis team and who teaches martial arts at the Padcal mine, free-of-charge, but with the support of Philex Mining, said the international martial-arts games will be held at the Minsk-Arena Complex, a multiuse indoor arena, in Minsk, Belarus, on November 29 to Dec. 4.

Winners in the sikaran games include Jam Tolentino and Arvy Abalos adjudged champions in the large category – white belt division, while Justin Montino also clinched the championship in the division’s medium category.

Manungod also won a gold in the girls B category, junior division, followed by Ashley Cerna, while Sugar Cabaltera clinched the gold medal in the girls C category. Gapuz bagged the silver medal in the boys B category.

In the kids division of sikaran, Philex Mining’s Raymond David and Edward Fagto were awarded the gold medal in the boys A and B categories, respectively, while Mico Mayen got the silver medal (Boys B). Maricar Viernes and Sedin Daquingas won gold in the kids girls A and B categories, respectively, while Rosenda David clinched the silver medal (Girls B).

Three athletes from Bulacan—Manuel Daliyong, Carlo Daragato, Renz dela Rosa—clinched the gold medal in the boys C, D, and F categories, respectively, of the kids division. Another Bulacan participant, Jazylyn Baluarte, won silver in the girls A category. Rovic Arzador, of Baguio City, won gold in the boys E category.

The event aims to foster a holistic development of children, youth, and other residents of Philex’ Padcal mine camp with 120 players participating in the event also dubbed Open Invitational Tournament and Festival of Arnis and Sikaran.

Stressing arnis, a Filipino national sport and martial art has gone global, Jonathan Abaya, international president of Arnis Philippines, said his group now has chapters in Japan, the US, Nepal, Australia, Iran, and India.

“This sports intends to promote health wellness and fitness, but, most of all, it is a skill to protect oneself or for self-defense, coupled with the right attitude,” Abaya said, addressing participants and the audience in a speech during the event. “Arnis has greatly influenced the young generation in terms of engaging in worthwhile events, such as tournaments.”

Roy Mangali, Padcal assistant resident manager, said Philex Mining will continue to support athletic events—either competitive, friendlies, or regular activities—in line with the company’s initiative to promote a healthy and holistic community built and nurtured through responsible mining.

“We have various sports events here at the mine camp, including our annual sports fest among officers and employees, as well as other athletic activities participated in by the host and neighboring villages,” he added. “We have a holistic community here, as we provide free education to children as well as free health services to our workers and employees.”

Teresita Biscaro, president of the Jendo Philippines Association meanwhile said jendo is one of the many styles of arnis, but has “safer” movements than other techniques.

Biscaro added jendo motivates the athlete to execute the principles of linear and circular movements, a fighting art that utilizes empty hands as a means of self-defense formulated based on the ancient system of discipline.

“We do tournaments around the country to encourage the youth to immerse themselves in sports that builds their character, health, physical, and emotional wellbeing,” she said. “We are thankful to the Philex Mining management for hosting this second national tournament.” (Roderick Osis)