Sonieta Campos (L), chairperson of Brgy. Boyongan, leads residents in joining Philex Mining’s SMMCI employees for the cleanup of Timamana River, June 29 | ALT

Philex’s SMMCI adopts Surigao river for environmental protection

Friday, August 23, 2013

‘Silangan has been a blessing to us’

The Silangan Mindanao Mining Co., Inc. (SMMCI), a Philex Mining Corp. subsidiary, has adopted a portion of Timamana River in this province as part of the company•€™s environmental-protection program.

Alfa Moog, SMMCI environment manager, announced this following the cleanup drive conducted by the company on the two tributaries of the river, whose water ultimately flows to the south of Lake Mainit, the country•€™s fourth-largest lake in terms of surface area, and the deepest, reaching a maximum depth of 223 meters.

She said that 40 SMMCI staff trooped June 29 to the tributaries and worked with residents of Purok 3, in Tubod town•€™s Barangay Timamana, and Purok 1 of Barangay Boyongan, Placer, in cleaning up the river systems with trash and debris.

Yulo Perez, SMMCI president and COO, said the company intends to play an active role in taking care of the environment not just in its host-community but also in the entire province of  Surigao del Norte.

  • €œAs a matter of policy, environmental stewardship is an integral part of SMMCI•€™s activities in Silangan, even if it is still in the exploration phase,•€ he stressed. •€œIn fact, SMMCI spent about P33.47 million for various environmental programs last year. Our goal this year is not just to continue with these programs, but also to expand our involvement in protecting the environment.•€

Members of Philex Mining•€™s environment team at SMMCI cleaning up a tributary of Timamana River, in Purok 1 of Barangay Boyongan, Placer, Surigao del Norte, June 29 |  ALT

The cleanup of Timamana River near a cockfight arena and a recycling center in Tubod was part of and concluded SMMCI•€™s activities carried out in June to celebrate the •€œEnvironment Month.•€ This has made residents realize the importance of keeping the river clean by disposing their garbage properly.

  • €œThis was a fitting culmination activity for the Environment Month,•€ Ms. Moog said. •€œThe clean up was also SMMCI•€™s way of supporting the •€˜Adopt-an-Estero•€™ program of the Environmental Management Bureau [EMB] under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.•€

On June 7, EMB Region 13 Director Metodio Turbella requested SMMCI to join the other supporters of EMB•€™s Water Body Program in the •€œorchestrated cleanup of adopted estero [drainage canal], creek, and river with schools and other sectors of the community.•€

Sonieta Campos, chairperson of Brgy. Boyongan, said continuous downpour at the start of the rainy season had worsened the clogging of Timamana River last June, resulting in floods extending to the main road after three consecutive days of heavy rainfall.

  • €œIt•€™s a good thing we are part of Silangan•€™s host-community because its people are on hand to help us carry out our environmental projects, such as the cleanup of Timamana River,•€ she added.

She also noted the various social projects that SMMCI has been implementing for its host- and neighboring communities. She said, •€œSilangan has been a blessing to us. We have greatly benefited from its infrastructure projects, such as the construction of school buildings, a drainage system, and a health center.•€


Employees of Philex Mining•€™s SMMCI having a cleanup drive at Timamana River in Brgy. Boyongan, Placer, Surigao del Norte, June 29