The hosts of The Last Wild Place: Rico Calero, Ivan Sarenas, Paul Cuenca, and Anna Varona, with their guide, at the Padcal Mine site of Philex Mining Corp., in Benguet | BENARD TESTA

Philex Mining to get exposure on ‘Last Wild Place’

Thursday, August 23, 2012
Some episodes will showcase Philex's activities on responsible mining

Philex Mining Corporation has opened its doors to the crew of a television travel show that will soon give viewers a glimpse of the company•€™s eco-tourism projects and related plans for its other mining sites once they cease operations.  

The episodes featuring Philex Mining will illustrate the company•€™s policy on responsible mining, which goes well with the show•€™s focus on presenting tourism as a venue to creating positive impact on local communities.  

•€œThe public will get acquainted with how mining has shaped the environment, how it should be handled responsibly, and how the local communities have relied on mining as their source of livelihood,•€ Michael Toledo, senior vice-president for Corporate Affairs at Philex Mining, said.  

A one-hour TV program, Last Wild Place will soon launch at the Lifestyle Network, taking viewers to the remaining wild natural sanctuaries of the Philippines, such as Romblon, Babuyan Islands, Mindoro, Mindanao, Apayao, and Negros.  

The TV crew has completed shooting at the Padcal Mines, in Benguet, which will be converted into an eco-tourism park upon mine closure. Philex Mining has been operating the Padcal Mine, which produces gold, copper, and silver, for 54 years.  

Mr. Toledo said the TV crew is also set to shoot at Philex Mining sites in the boundaries of Sibutad and Rizal, Zamboanga del Norte, and in Bulawan, Negros Occidental.  

•€œPeople will benefit from the information and awareness, even gain informed insights, as they see the fruits of responsible mining,•€ he stressed.  

He added that part of Philex Mining•€™s mission is to implement programs that promote environmental stewardship and community empowerment, such as providing health and sanitation assistance to host- and neighboring communities.  

The programs also include education assistance, such as building schools in communities where Philex Mining operates, and providing various training in livelihood and skills development to employees and residents in these communities.  

Parts of Sibutad are already being used by tourists for horseback riding while Bulawan, where Philex Mining plans to re-open operations, has been rehabilitated for the past 10 years.  

Bulawan•€™s two tailings pond are now sanctuaries for wild ducks while 500 hectares of the area have been reforested. Philex Mining had used only 100 hectares of the entire 10,000-hectare Bulawan property, where mining operations were closed in 2002.   

Last Wild Place, which promises viewers with a series of travel adventures, is hosted by the adventurer and eco-traveler Paul Cuenca, the wildlife photographer Ivan Sarenas, the artistic photographer and writer Anna Varona, and the group•€™s comic relief and social-glue, Rico Calero.