1. (Front row) Bolante, Manzo, and Pamintuan (holding white hard hat) pose for a souvenir photo with the Padcal managers at the Philex Guest House. On the extreme right are Aratas and Mangali

TUBA, Benguet – Having passed with flying colors a previous technical audit done by government on its operations, Philex Mining Corp. is now the “benchmark” for an “objective, fact-finding, and science-based process” of review to be conducted by an interagency tasked to recommend policies to improve the mining sector.

“It’s not going back to the review, but moving forward,” Gabriel Pamintuan, a consultant for the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), said during a visit at Padcal mine, Philex Mining’s gold-and-copper operations in the Benguet towns of Tuba and Itogon.

He expressed this clarification on Sunday, March 4, as part of a five-man team from DAP—a state-run economic development agency tasked by the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) to review this year the performance of operating mines—that visited the Padcal mine camp, and to dispel any idea that there is a technical re-audit to be done.

“The review is intended to be an objective, fact-finding, and science-based process to identify interventions that would effectively address existing mining issues and concerns, and to recommend policy measures that will further improve the management and regulation to ensure the development of a more sustainable and responsible mining sector,” Winnie Manzo, project manager at DAP, said in a letter, dated Feb. 19, to Philex Mining AVP and Padcal Asst. Manager Roy Mangali. “The review shall cover the performance [of] mining companies in the technical, legal, social, environment, and economic aspects.”

Manzo, who was with the five-man team, added in her letter, “Philex Mining is not one of the mining companies to be reviewed in this initial batch. However, we would like to visit your mining site as a benchmark for us.”