Philex foundation enables ‘knowledge transfer’ among coffee farmers

Philex foundation enables ‘knowledge transfer’ among coffee farmers

Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet –Philex Group Foundation, Inc. (PGFI), the corporate social responsibility arm of Philex Mining Corp., has enabled the “knowledge transfer” between its farmer-beneficiaries engaged in organic-coffee farming, helping the latter improve their production capacity as well as saving funds for the company.

“Our country needs more coffee growers to sustain the coffee industry and coffee lovers,” Paul Buenconsejo, executive director of PGFI, told the 11 farmers who gathered Wednesday, Feb. 21, at a workshop in this town’s Sitio Ligay, Brgy. Camp 1. “That’s why we’re here to share the knowledge and skills of our two farmer-trainers.”

Stressing the foundation’s successful program on transferring of knowledge from one part of the organization to another, or what is known as knowledge transfer in organizational theory, he added, “Trainers are no longer hired consultants which costs us so much—as there are already capacitated farmers in the community who can train those who are interested to engage in coffee production, with organic-vegetable farming as cash crops.”

Funded by the Metrobank Foundation, Inc., the workshop, dubbed “On-site Training on Coffee Farm Rehabilitation and Processing,” was facilitated by Osmundo Sabelo and Charwel Olo-an, who are farmer-beneficiaries themselves and had earlier trained and learned from the organic-farming experts hired by PGFI.

“This training is one of the missions that PGFI wants to implement which is to build local capacities who will train their interested neighbors in coffee farming and organic-vegetable farming,” Buenconsejo said in a speech during the workshop.

With an average of 1,500 shrubs of Arabica coffee that each of the 11 farmers in Sitio Ligay own and tend to, the PGFI now has a total of 22,500 plants of Arabica coffee as its source, including the 6,000 plants belonging to coffee growers in Tuba’s Sitio Torre, Brgy. Camp 3, and in Itogon town’s Sitio Sta. Fe, Brgy. Ampucao.

“Going into organic farming was a difficult decision for me to sustain, but my willingness to help our planet and also to realize my dream of producing healthy crops pushed me to continue improving our organic farm,” said Olo-an, a 28-year-old agroforestry graduate and synthetic farmer-turned-organic farming enthusiast, who tends a family farm together with his father.

He and Sabelo taught their fellow farmers, among other things, the wet-process technique, which requires the use of specific equipment and substantial quantities of water in taking care of their coffee plants. This also requires the berries to first be sorted out by immersion in water as against drying them under the sun right after harvest where bad or unripe fruit will float and the good ones will sink. The initial process also includes a machine removing the skin of a berry by pressing it in water through a screen.

The trainers also taught the 11 farmers some other tips on how to rejuvenate their plants the proper ways of pruning, trimming, and nourishing and how to make organic fertilizer, so they can harvest more coffee berries.

“We are thankful for Philex Foundation for extending their program here in our community, as this was timely and informative,” Romana Nalibsan, 71, who participated in the workshop, said in an interview after the event. Speaking in her dialect, she added, “We can apply the techniques you taught us as early as tomorrow in our gardens. We can also teach our children and grandchildren on the proper way of coffee farming and the great benefits of producing organic crops.”

The 43-year-old chayote farmer, Elvie Cul-lao, said, “With this training, I can now prune and rejuvenate our old coffee plants which my grandfather had planted. I am also inspired with the traditional preparation of fertilizers, which, actually, are free and found locally.”

Buenconsejo said the foundation is looking to expand into areas where coffee beans can be produced according to taste. In Sitio Torre, for instance, there is a brand named Torre Coffee, which, he revealed, tastes “fruity,” while the one found in Sitio Sta. Fe tastes “chocolate-y.” But he added, “The produce of these two areas are very minimal, it cannot sustain the demand of our buyers.”

He said his team is prepared to look for more distributors once its farmer-beneficiaries increase their yield. PGFI now has 10 major distributors of its roasted and ground coffee beans, as compared to eight in 2016, the latest addition of which are the Ideal Space Foundation and the Ryokudo Eco-Services and Trading, Inc. It wants to improve on the number of its distributors of organic vegetables, however, as it has seven only now as compared to eight in 2016.

Tasked to establish livelihood programs for Philex Mining beneficiaries in the host and neighboring villages of its gold-and-copper operations in Benguet, the PGFI, which was incorporated in September 2010, is confident it could increase its yield of vegetables and coffee this year, citing an increasing number of farmer-beneficiaries going into organic farming.

In 2017, the PGFI sold 817 kilogram of organic Arabica coffee (roasted and ground) as compared to 755 kg a year earlier, while it sold 5,020 kg and 3,800 kg of organic vegetables for the same period. The foundation also produces organic strawberries and vegetables, including lettuce (romaine, baby red romaine, and iceberg), red sugar beet, French bean, radish, potato, carrot, spinach,wombok (Chinese cabbage), and flowering pechay (cabbage).

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Philex backs DENR crackdown on illegal mining

Philex backs DENR crackdown on illegal mining

Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet – Staying true to its role as a government partner in the “right-and-principled” way of mining, Philex Mining Corp. has expressed and shown support for a nationwide crackdown against illegal mining launched recently in this province by a task force, which could become a formal and permanent unit, under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“Since Philex is a responsible and conscientious mining company that has lived up to its vision-mission of discovering and processing minerals for the use of society, as well as delivering excellent value to its stakeholders, it is just fitting that we support any government efforts against illegal mining,” the company’s president and CEO, Eulalio Austin, Jr., said. “It’s all part of the way we do mining that is, right and principled.”

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu led the blasting of entrance holes leading to the underground tunnels of illegal small-scale mining operations which the newly formed NTF-MC, or National Task Force – Mining Challenge, raided earlier within the reservation of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), in Brgy. Kias, Baguio City, and in Tuba’s Sitio Basa, Brgy. Camp 4. This was preceded by the task force’s formal launch at the Training Center of the DENR-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), also in Baguio City.

“We’re here to show our support for this very laudable effort by the DENR to get rid of illegal mining not only in the province of Benguet, but also nationwide,” Roy Mangali, assistant vice-president at Philex Mining and assistant resident manager of Padcal mine, the company’s gold-and-copper operations in Benguet, said in an interview. He attended the event together with the manager of Padcal’s Legal Division, Eduardo Aratas.

In his Feb. 12 letter to Mangali, DENR-CAR Regional Director Ralph Pablo said, “This nationwide crackdown on illegal mining operations seeks to put an end to the illegal and irresponsible practices in the country and pave the way for genuine reforms in the mining sector. We hope to be with you during this special occasion and stand with us for responsible and sustainable mining in the Philippines.”

Created through a special order on Jan. 26, the NTF-MC is Cimatu’s first major project against illegal miners, the idea of which he hatched last November while he was at the PMA grandstand watching a performance of the cadets when he saw an area of the ground collapse, caving in. He came to know the presence of illegal miners just at the back of the PMA premises, and that they were operating underneath.

“So I created a task force to regulate these small-scale miners,” Cimatu said in a speech at the NTF-MC launch. “And I am contemplating to make this not just a task force but a full-time bureau or a formal unit of government, as one of the weakest branch or group of the DENR is enforcement. We have the laws, we are mandated to comply with the law and implement the laws.”

In an AVP shown during the launch, the DENR said the NTF-MC, whose 50 of its 101 members attended Wednesday’s event, had worked undercover to track down illegal mining activities in Baguio City and Benguet.

On Feb. 10, the task force announced its operation dubbed “Golden Sunrise,” which was composed of five groups that confiscated the pieces of equipment used by illegal miners as well as the voluminous mineral products dug out from the tunnels they had created. Composed of personnel from the DENR, Philippine Army, and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, the task force blasted 18 adits a horizontal or nearly horizontal entrance to an underground mine made by five illegal small-scale mining operations within the PMA boundary, which is a timberland site.

Meanwhile, Lomino Kaniteng, president of the Benguet Federation of Small-Scale Mining, was quoted in Baguio City’s newspapers as saying that his group has been gearing up for a further crackdown against illegal mining. He said small-scale miners are willing to get permits from the government in order to legalize their operations, as he pushed to fast track the creation of a “Minahang Bayan” (National Mine), where small-scale mining operations must be done only within the declared areas.

News reports also said the small-scale mining industry in Benguet has 23,000 miners in 70 associations and cooperatives, only 10 groups of which got permits to operate in Tuba and Itogon.

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Philex to turnover P2M potable water project to village

Philex to turnover P2M potable water project to village

Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet  –  Philex Mining Corp. was set to turn over during the weekend a P2-million potable water system to the local government and residents of Sitio Sta. Fe, in the Itogon village of Ampucao, for the benefit of 67 households.

The newly finished project, whose construction started from September, was funded through the company’s social programs in areas of exploration and operation, according to the Community Relations (ComRel) Dept. of Padcal mine, the gold-and-copper operations of Philex Mining in this province.

ComRel’s Ferlyn Caslangan, area coordinator for special projects, said P1.5 million of the total budget came from the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) while P500,000 was taken from the Community Development Program (CDP). SDMP projects are carried out in an area where there is production or mining operation while the CDP is through which socioeconomic and cultural projects are being implemented in areas where there are ongoing exploration activities.

“We have been implementing projects for community development as well as other socioeconomic and cultural programs being required of us as a large-scale miner,” Roy Mangali, AVP at Philex Mining and Padcal resident manager, said. “We have also been a good taxpayer, as our host towns have repeatedly acknowledged in public.”

Being a host town, Itogon, especially its Brgys. Ampucao and Dalupirip, has been a constant recipient of free health-care services, educational assistance, livelihood funds, and public infrastructure projects from Philex Mining.

The potable water system in Sitio Sta. Fe is part of at least 33 infra projects worth P14 million that the company, through its ComRel, is going to turn over formally to the local government of Itogon. The projects cover the company’s social-program accomplishments for the second and third quarters of 2017, Mangali has said.

Already, Philex Mining turned over last August five infra projects worth more than P6 million under its 2016 budget allocation to Brgy. Ampucao, according to Jamal Agustin, ComRel’s coordinator for public infrastructure. From the whole 2016 up to the first half of 2017 alone, Philex Mining had completed P40.34 million worth of projects, such as farm-to-market roads, grouted riprap wall (to prevent soil erosion), and potable water systems.

He added that in 2016, the company delivered a total of 67 projects to all its outlying communities (both host and neighboring) in the host towns of Tuba and Itogon, amounting to P24.5 million, or 36.58 percent of the year’s total infra budget of P66,987,723.13.

In its 2017 Annual SDMP report submitted to the government regulator MGB, or Mine and Geosciences Bureau, public infrastructure got the biggest budget of P53.48 million, or P93.16 million including the carryovers from unspent budget in 2016 and 2015, while education got P15.73 million (P17.74 million, health had P7.42 million (P8.72 million), and livelihood and enterprise development had P5.56 million (P9.5 million).

Last year’s total SDMP budget amounted to P82.19 million, which ballooned to P129.12 million including the carryovers from the two previous years. Its allocation for every outlying community is 42.5 percent each for Brgys. Camp 3, in Tuba, and Ampucao (host villages), and 5 percent each for the neighboring barangays of Camp 1 and Ansagan (both in Tuba), and Dalupirip (Itogon).

The company had also allocated P16.6 million its media and public campaign Information, Education and Communication (IEC) on the benefits derived from mining, and another PP11 million for the DMTG, or Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences, which focuses on the improvement of the sector through the trainings of and funding the R&D activities by industry professionals.

Philex Mining has ongoing exploration activities in its MPSA 156-200-CAR and 157-2000-CAR, as it wants to prolong its current mine life of 2022. MPSA, or Mineral Production Sharing Agreement, is where the government shares in the production of the contractor (miner), whether in kind or in monetary value.

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Unified mining industry key to rural development – Mangaoang

Unified mining industry key to rural development – Mangaoang

Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet  – Kalinga Rep. and Mountain Province caretaker congressman Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang challenged the country’s large-scale mining industry to unite and be instrumental in rural development to effectively and efficiently address poverty in the countryside.

Mangaoang, the vice-chair of the House committee on natural resources, said large-scale miners in other parts of the country should emulate the best practices of Philex Mining Corporation which continues to excel in the practice of responsible mining, thus, responsible mining is the key to improve the overall image of the country’s mining industry.

“We had witnessed how Philex excellently worked with its employees to achieve its current status as one of the  model responsible miners in the country today. Philex must continue to innovate its practice of responsible mining to remain as the model mining company in terms of adhering to or even exceeding the present standards in the industry,” Mangaoang stressed.

He underscored that he already brought to the attention of the officials of the Chamber of Mines the need for the responsible miners to get their acts together and make the necessary noise to match the aggressive publicity being done by the anti-mining advocates that seem to have discredited the benefits of mining, especially to the host and neighboring communities.

According to him, what is important is for responsible miners to make known to the people what they had done, what they are currently doing and what will they still do while exploding, utilizing and developing the rich resources of the State so that the citizens will be aware that there are far more good benefits of mining compared to what had been projected as the bad state of mining.

Mangaoaong explained that for decades now, anti-mining advocates had overshadowed pro-mining stakeholders in gaining the sympathy of the public to their cause that is why people have a negative impression whenever mining is being discussed.

The Kalinga lawmaker underscored that he favors the creation of a strong oversight committee composed of congressmen and senators who will be in charge of monitoring the compliance of mining companies to existing standards instead of requiring mining to be the subject of franchising through the issuance of legislative franchises which could be prone to abuse in the future.

On the other hand, he added the House of Representatives is awaiting the proposal of the Chamber of Mines on the percentage of reduction of their corporate income tax to offset the 2 percent increase in the excise tax charged to the minerals produced by the companies contained in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) so that lawmakers could start working on the other packages of the tax reform.

Mangaoang, a geologist by profession, said the atmosphere in Philex is totally different from the prevailing atmosphere in other mining communities in the country because the host local governments and the people living in the surrounding communities have learned to value the contribution of mining to their current living condition due to the significant improvements in the infrastructure within their villages aside from the various forms of  assistance extended to them through the years.

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PHILEX ACHIEVES DOUBLE ITS 2017 REFO-PROGRAM TARGET   144,714 trees, other floras planted in 110 hectares of land in Tuba, Itogon

PHILEX ACHIEVES DOUBLE ITS 2017 REFO-PROGRAM TARGET 144,714 trees, other floras planted in 110 hectares of land in Tuba, Itogon

Press Releases

On the way to tree planting: Philex employees doing their share in environmental protection

TUBA, Benguet – Philex Mining Corp. had more than double the area it had targeted for reforestation in 2017, planting 144,714 trees and other floras in 110 hectares (ha.) of land in Tuba and Itogon—the two municipalities that host its gold-and-copper operations in this province—between July and October.

With a 90-percent survival rate, last year’s environmental-protection program also covered new refo areas and those being rehabilitated—replanted to replace the seedlings that did not survive in the previous reforestation programs, which run between three and five years.

Leon Mocate, senior forestry coordinator at the Environmental Quality Monitoring and Enhancement Dept. (EQMED) of the company’s Padcal mine, in Tuba’s Sitio Padcal, Brgy. Camp 3, said in a report that about 2,000 of the total number of trees and other tropical plants used last year had been donated to the outlying communities.

“Our refo program does not only involve us and our contractors planting trees in our host municipalities, but also us donating seedlings to local governments, schools, and other institutions that have established projects on and are adamant about environmental protection,” Julius Bayogan, EQMED manager, said in an interview.

He also said the 2017 reforestation program—which had been designed to reforest 50 ha. of land with 83,350 trees only—involved the planting of the forest trees Benguet pine, kupang, narra, gmelina, teak, ipil-ipil, and antsoan dilau; the medicinal trees eucalyptus and dapdap; the fruit-bearing trees avocadao, bugnay (local wild berry), jackfruit, and guava; the tropical flowering plants bougainvillea, calliandra, and coffee; and vetiver, a bunchgrass used to prevent soil erosion.

In his report updated toward end-2017, Mocate said it was Padcal mine’s different departments and faculty members of the Saint Louis High School – Philex and the Philex Mines Elementary School that had kicked off the planting of trees and tropical plants—a project worth at least P900,000—and reinforced through the company’s engagement of 10 contractors, each with a team of at least five people.

Philex Mining, which has won numerous awards for its various projects on environmental protection, had allotted for its 2017 refo program P345,968 for the maintenance of 50 ha. of land that was on its second year of reforestation, another P637,215 for 100 ha. of reforested land on its third year, and P210,000 for the 75 ha. on its fifth year of reforestation.

Its latest environmental award was given last November by the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) as a first runner-up in the Exploration Category of a government-initiated reforestation contest. In formal ceremonies held during PMSEA’s 64th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference, in Baguio City, Philex Mining was honoured 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.

After spending close to P70 million for its reforestation activities in the outlying communities—both host (Brgy. Camp 3, in Tuba, and Brgy. Ampucao, in Itogon) and neighboring villages (Brgys. Camp 1 and Ansagan, Tuba, and Brgy. Dalupirip, Itogon)—for 30 years, the company has reforested about 3,000 ha. of land in its host municipalities.

Before 1987, Philex Mining had pursued in the 1960s a community-based reforestation program, which served as a livelihood project for some of its stakeholders.

 

 

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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.

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Philex Mining supports, runs in IBP Marathon

Philex Mining supports, runs in IBP Marathon

Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet – Supporting sports events as part of its advocacy for a healthy and holistic lifestyle, Philex Mining Corporation through its Padcal mine in this province, took part in the recently concluded fun run organized by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Baguio City-Benguet Chapter where two of the 34 candidates it fielded finished as major winners in their respective categories.

Beverly San Juan, a Grade 9 student at the Saint Louis High School-Philex, was the champion among the girls in the 3-kilometer (3K) run, while Eunice Bacoco, an underground safety engineer at Padcal’s Safety/Loss Control Division, placed second among the 5K female finishers in the “2nd IBP Baguio-Benguet Law Run,” which started and finished at the Melvin Jones Grandstand, in Baguio City’s Burnham Park, on Saturday, Sept. 30.

WINNERS. Beverly San Juan (left), the champion among the girls in the 3-kilometer (3K) run and Eunice Bacoco, the second placer among the 5K female finishers of the 2nd IBP Baguio-Benguet Law Run, posses for a shot. Contributed photo.

“We are glad that we were able to extend our support and participate in this worthy endeavor by our friends in the law profession in Baguio City and the whole of Benguet,” Eduardo Aratas, manager of Padcal’s Legal Division, said after the event, where he ran in the 3K category. “We look forward to running again with the IBP next year. While we have our own annual sports fest and other sporting events at the mine camp, we still go out of our way to support similar activities.”

Philex Mining also supported the maiden “Philippine Councilor’s League (PCL) – Benguet Fun Run,” held in the provincial capital of La Trinidad, on June 24, where Rico Arceo, of Padcal’s Legal Dept., finished 8th in the 10K run, clocking 41:40. The company had fielded more than 30 participants in the fun run, which had 130 overall finishers in the 3K, 5K, and 10K categories.

On April 29, Philex Mining hosted the “2nd National Martial Arts Games: An Open Invitational Tournament and Festival of Arnis and Sikaran,” at its Padcal mine’s APP Sports Center, in Tuba’s Sitio Padcal, Brgy. Camp 3, where 14 of the company’s 33 players were among the winners who had since been tasked to represent the Philippines at an international martial-arts event in Minsk, Belarus, on Nov. 29 to Dec. 4.

It was the second time for Padcal to host the annual event, where more than 40 of the 120 participants had won awards in the white and black belt divisions as well as other categories of arnis, a Filipino national sport and martial art using a rounded stick of rattan or wood, and sikaran, where players use their feet only during a fight match. Arnis is becoming popular even in other countries, with Arnis Philippines, a group of martial artists headed by Jonathan Abaya, having chapters in Japan, the US, Nepal, Australia, Iran, and India.

Philex PR.

 

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Philex graduates 1st batch of geologic aides

Philex graduates 1st batch of geologic aides

Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet – Adhering to its mandate of helping improve the industry it belongs in through R&D, or research and development, as well as seminars and workshops, Philex Mining Corp. has recently facilitated the completion of training and/or retraining by 23 geologic aides through a company-organized, -funded, and -run program, which espouses continuous learning that leads to “better life situations” for the participants and graduates.

“I support and agree to continue this program provided there are interested trainees,” said the company’s CEO and president, Eulalio Austin, Jr., in a speech during formal ceremonies to honor the first graduates of the Geologic Aide Training Academy (GATA), held Wednesday, Sept. 20, at the Social Hall of Saint Louis High School  Philex, in Itogon’s barangay Ampucao. “We must not forget that education is the greatest inheritance we can have.”

Roy Ronald Luis, manager at Padcal’s Exploration Group, said the program had focused on improving the skills set of the company’s geologic aides and other participants and, consequently, on developing the information dissemination of exploration activities to the communities concerned.

“Geologists of ongoing exploration activities on the different sites of Philex Mining’s MPSA-156 needed more skilled geologic aides to assist them in the conduct of field activities,” he stressed. “And the company’s current geologic aides also required refresher and additional training covering a wide range of subjects to satisfy the different needs of the ongoing exploration projects.”

MPSA, or Mineral Production Sharing Agreement, 156 as well as the company’s MPSA 276 cover more than 5,010 hectares (has.) of land in Tuba and Itogon, but Philex Mining utilizes a measly 580-ha. area of these for its mining operations 410 has. for mining facilities and 170 has. for residential and institutional use.

Eleven of the 23 graduates either had worked or have been working at the Geology and Exploration Division, of Philex Mining’s Padcal operations, in this province, while the rest hailed from the different villages of the company’s host municipalities of Tuba and Itogon.

“I congratulate the organizers of this academy, as well as the graduates for having participated in this training program,” Redempta Baluda, VP for Exploration at Philex Mining, said. “Dear graduates, do not stop learning; continuous learning will lead you to better life situations. Learning fulfills your dreams to having a successful life.”

Austin said, “Congratulations to those responsible in organizing and implementing this program, considering our continuing project to extend the mine life of Padcal [beyond 2022] because the chances of opening new sites in other areas are difficult. Thus, we need to continue exploring adjacent communities where people are already familiar with what a mine looks like.”

Luis, who was one of the brains behind GATA, said the program consisted of about 30 sessions that were completed in four months, with materials/booklets and snacks provided free of charge. A team of Philex Mining geologists, on the other hand, had administered the lectures and guided the field works done after office hours and during weekends also pro bono.

He also said that besides being well-equipped to work as geologic aides, the graduates who had learned, among other subjects, structural and geologic mapping, sampling procedures, and drilling could now serve as vehicles for the dissemination of information on Philex Mining’s ongoing exploration projects in their respective villages.

“We congratulate the graduates of this first batch of geologic-aide trainees composed of the dependents of company employees as well as those from the host towns of Tuba and Itogon,” said Aurora Dolipas, manager for Community Relations (ComRel) at Philex Mining’s gold-and-copper operations in Padcal, whose department provided the P209,600-budget for GATA through the Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG). “ComRel is more than willing to be a partner in any exploration activities.”

DMTG, which provides for the pursuit and implementation of programs to develop the mining industry, is one of the company’s major programs on CSR, or corporate social responsibility. And as mandated by the mining-industry regulator, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), a government body under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), DMTG, the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), and the Information, Education and Communications (IEC) campaign get an annual budget of 1.5 percent of a miner’s total operating costs in the previous year.

Dolipas earlier said P11 million had been set aside by Philex Mining for the 2017 DMTG; P16.6 million for IEC, which is tasked to disseminate information on the benefits derived by society from the mining industry; and P82.9 million for the SDMP, through which the company has implemented its community projects on health, education, livelihood, and public infrastructure.

Ulysses Wais, a community officer at ComRel who used to work as a geologic aide at the Geology and Exploration, took a refresher at GATA and said he looks forward to sharing the knowledge and experience he has acquired to his peers and neighbors in Tuba’s Brgy. Camp 3. “My experience as a dragger, hauler, core-checker, geologic logger, and, now, a community organizer will surely help me continue working in Philex Mining and with my community,” he stressed.

That is the challenge—how to involve the host and neighboring villages in community organizing, negotiations, and social-projects implementation—according to Austin. “I congratulate you, and be the models for the next batch of trainees,” he added, addressing GATA’s newly minted geologic aides, who are all at least high-school graduates.

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Philex supports ‘National Cleanup Month’

Philex supports ‘National Cleanup Month’

News Related, Press Releases

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.

 

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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).

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