These tents atop a mountain in Itogon, Benguet shelter Philex Mining's medical team and employee-volunteers assigned to clean up Balog Creek's convergence area with Agno River


Philex, Itogon team up for tighter security at mine camp

Monday, September 10, 2012
Areas covered are within and near the mine camp that fall within the town’s jurisdiction


Philex Mining Corp. has joined forces with the municipality of Itogon, in this province, to ensure enforcement of tighter security measures covering areas within and near the company’s mine camp that fall within the town’s jurisdiction.
 
This comes after Itogon Mayor Oscar Camantiles sought the mining firm’s help for the construction of Community Police Action Center (COMPAC) and the improvement of the Itogon Sub-office at eastern Saddle, in Barangay Ampucao.
 
In a letter to the company, Mr. Camantiles said the project would surely redound to the benefit of the constituents in the area. Philex Mining and the mayor’s office have organized an ad hoc Joint Monitoring Committee for the project.
 
The new COMPAC station will cover monitoring of industrial areas within the Philex mine site, such as the milling area, the decommissioned tailings storage facility (TSF) No. 2, TSF3, and the areas leading to the tributaries.
 
Senior Police Officer Ramon Casiwa, COMPAC chief, said the new station in Saddle would also be policing activities of small-scale miners and illegal loggers from the outside who are reportedly operating in the area.
 
The manager of Philex Mining Security Department, Bonifacio de Castro, welcomed the partnership, saying, “This is a very good move as police deterrence and visibility play a big part in maintaining peace and order in the community.”
   
Charles Orteza, the department manager, said the Philex mine site is generally a very peaceful community with a steady “close to zero” crime rate. “Most of the disturbances in the community are only petty crimes like those against property, juvenile fights, and illegal gambling,” he added.
  
On top of the company’s very own security personnel, who are regularly monitoring the mine camp, policemen and a number of barangay tanods patrol the area to ensure strict implementation of security measures, such as curfew, and liquor ban. These forces are also strictly monitoring the registration of people who go in and out of the camp.
 
A barangay tanod is a local volunteer who has been deputized and received training in basic security functions
 
As an added security, Mr. Casiwa disclosed that the police are eyeing the establishment of a checkpoint along Philex-Kias Road, specifically in Ud-udan, the boundary of barangays Ampucao and Kias.