Cliton Binalay, Austin Bitaga, and Rustom Tanacio win first, second, and third prizes respectively at the poster-making contest held at the Ampucao National High School, in Itogon, Benguet, on Oct. 3 | BF

Responsible mining from the mouth of babes

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

High-school students write, draw their thoughts on the mining industry

They all espouse responsible mining, saying this helps fund education, create employment, develop communities, and grow the economy.  

€œResponsible mining changes a simple community into a productive and progressive one,•€ says Melody Ayang, in an essay written during an on-the-spot writing contest at the Laurencio Fianza National High School (LFNHS)-Bantic Annex, on Sept. 11. •€œThis agent of change will benefit everyone through unity and cooperation.•€  

Ms. Ayang, a senior at LFNHS-Bantic Annex, at Sitio Bantic, Barangay Dalupirip, in Benguet•€™s Itogon town, won first prize for her article, Responsible Mining: An Agent of Change, beating more than 30 other classmates and schoolmates in the contest conducted by Philex Mining Corp. for the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).  


Students of Saint Louis High School-Philex participating in the essay-writing contest on Oct. 4 | BF

Judy Ann Fragata and Vergy Madas, also seniors at the same school, clinched the first prize for their combined entry to an on-the-spot poster-making competition, held parallel with the writing contest and having the same theme: •€œThe Role of Responsible Mining in Community Development.•€  

€œHolding contests such as these is our way of challenging the students to speak up for the mining industry•€”what the sector has done for economic progress and environmental protection,•€ Remy Ortega, community-affairs officer at MGB-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), said.  

Mila Molintas, coordinator of information and education campaign (IEC) at the Community Relations Department of Padcal, Philex Mining•€™s gold-and-copper producer in Benguet province, said the competitions were conducted in five high schools located in the host- and neighboring barangays of Tuba and Itogon.  

At the main campus of LFNHS in Brgy. Dalupirip-Proper, seniors Sheena Mae Tiago and Climpson Docto won first prizes for the writing and drawing contests respectively, held on Sept. 10. The second and third prizes for the writing contest went to Gelyn Cayat, a junior, and senior Rudynne Pa-as respectively, while Jolly Raye Samson and Jayson Tagapan, both seniors, were granted the second and third prizes for the drawing/poster-making contest.  

Besides the two LFNHS schools, the high schools that fall under the cluster assigned by the MGB to Philex Mining for the contests include Twin Peaks National High School (TPNHS), in Tuba•€™s Brgy. Twin Peaks; Ampucao National High School (ANHS), in Brgy. Ampucao, Itogon; and Saint Louis High School-Philex (SLHS-Philex), at Brgy. Camp 3, Tuba.  

Ms. Molintas said that over 300 students participated in the contests, which were also held at SLHS-Philex on Oct. 4, ANHS (Oct. 3), and TPNHS (Oct. 2). The first, second, and third prize winners received P2,000, P1,500, and P1,000 respectively, while three consolation prizes were given for each contest with a prize of P500 each.  


The grand-prize winning entry by Kenneth Balbin in the poster-making contest held at Saint Louis High School-Philex on Oct. 4 | BF

The other winners were: Jazlyn Villanueva, Brett Daps Maslang, and Trishia Paulyne Villanueva for the first, second, and third prizes for the essay writing and Kenneth Balbin, Kert Hedric Ventenilla, and Richard Levi Calica for the poster making at SLHS-P; Gemma Palina, Marissa Tambik, and Mary Rose Culimay (essay writing), and Austin Bitaga and Rustom Tanacio (poster making) at ANHS; and Jordan Palista, Bilbey Clark Palicdon, and Ayra Briones (essay writing), and Angelica Mendoza, Danielle Cabesa, and Joriza Grett Gale (poster making) at TPNHS.

Ms. Molintas said the participants had exhibited varied portrayals of what responsible mining was all about, but they all had the same message: that responsible mining, such as not using chemicals more than the internationally acceptable amounts, planting more trees in mine sites and forests, helps develop the community.  

€œI am for responsible mining, like what I have depicted in my drawing,•€ said Cliton Binalay, a junior at ANHS, who won the grand prize for the poster-making contest in his school. •€œMy focus here is the hardworking hand of a miner that helps in the development of a community through reforestation, education, and many other social projects.•€   

Philex Mining and the MGB will choose next week one essay and one poster out of the winning entries from the five schools, to represent the Philex Mining cluster in a province-wide competition among the respective clusters assigned to the other mining companies operating in Benguet.  

The overall champions will be announced at the 60th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference, to be held in the Philippine summer capital of Baguio City in November. 

Gemma Palina, a junior at the Ampucao National High School, Itogon, Benguet, reading her winning essay after the contest on Oct. 3 | BF