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PORTAL: Blast Off - 2015 Volume 4 No. 4 4TH QUARTER ISSUE
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MGB3 GEOSCIENCES DIVISION UPDATES SAN JOSE CITY GEOHAZARD MAPS
contributed by MINES AND GEOSCIENCES BUREAU REGIONAL OFFICE III

Site validation with the barangay official

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. III Geohazard Assessment Team conducted the updating of the 1:10,000 scale geohazard maps of San Jose City, Nueva Ecija as part of the regular activity for 2015. The objective of the assessment is to update the geohazard data (hazard polygons, structures, location of Purok/Sitio/Barangay) and other relevant information due to the changing weather conditions and to further evaluate the vulnerability and exposure of the population to the geohazards which would be useful in the conduct of the vulnerability and risk assessment of the area.

Landslide and Flood Threat Advisories were re-issued especially to barangays within high and moderate risk. Information, Education and Communication Campaign was also conducted in order to enhance the knowledge of the local communities to geohazards. An updated 1:10,000 Geohazard Map was prepared as an output of this activity.

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EstablishMGB- 8 FACILITATES TRAINING-WORKSHOP TO SPUR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY
by CELESTE FAITH S. DE LA CRUZ, MGB RO8



The importance of community development including the valuing process was the core of the Community Relations, Education, Development and Organization (CREDO) training workshop cum immersion facilitated by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. 8 (MGB-8) in coordination with the Alliance of Responsible Miners of Region-8 (ARMOR-8) on July 20- 25, 2015 at MacArthur, Leyte. The workshop was participated by the Community Relations Officers, Socio-Environmental Managers, Human Resource Managers and Information Officers from 36 mining permittees and contractors in the region and three personnel of MGB-8.

Social acceptability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) have always been at the forefront of every company’s thrust in bringing a mining operation closer to the hearts of the community. The fact remains however, that some company community program implementers lack proper training on community management, immersion, mobilization and holistic development concepts. Hence, Social Acceptability and CSR programs have become less effective in getting the wide understanding and acceptance of some communities involved.

MGB Regional Director Alilo C. Ensomo, Jr. stressed that the Regional Office gives emphasis on how local residents themselves express negative sentiments against how a mine operates but also on how Social Development Management Programs (SDMPs) has been implemented at the community level by some mining companies.

“The training workshop intended to give significant inputs particularly to the program proponents and implementers for them to be socially prepared to manage a business enterprise and expose them to business planning and other community development activities,” he said.

Apart from the lectures and focused group discussions, the participants in the workshop were also exposed to the community in MacArthur, Leyte through their immersion. Such was done to enable them to commune with the locals and have a better understanding of their daily lives touching topics concerning livelihood, social, and political among others. Covering the four (4) puroks of Brgy. San Pedro, MacArthur, Leyte, some of the important accomplishments of the training workshop was the following: 1. Establishment of zone maps; 2. Conduct of community pulong-pulong and 3. Para-tech gardening.

The community through its Brgy. Chairman expressed appreciation for the activities held in the barangay as part of the training workshop, emphasizing that they likewise benefitted from the experience.

“We are fortunate that we are the chosen community for the immersion since through the training workshop, our real situation in the community will be better understood and that we will be guided on how to go about our problems together as one community. Likewise, we will always be grateful for the projects that they have left behind,” said Hon. Remegio Gabradilla.

The participants on the other hand, underscored the significant inputs they have learned in various aspects which will accordingly prove useful for them on the field. These include among others, management and technical skills, proper ethics and work values in the implementation of livelihood and community projects, monitoring and evaluation systems understandable both for the company implementers and community project proponents and enhancement of a deeper sense of social responsibility among mining companies program implementers and community stakeholders.

“It was an insightful and worthy experience for all of us since it helped us to truly appreciate the importance of building a good rapport with host communities and how to implement programs reflective of their needs and that which will truly benefit them on a greater scale. It has likewise been stamped in our hearts how having a deep sense of social responsibility in our undertakings undertakings will bring milestones that will benefit the people at large,” shared Mr. Nelson Balagusa.

The CREDO training workshop is considered a big step for mining companies to realize the industry’s advocacy on community development and sustainability even after mine life.


Participants during the Community Relations, Education, Development and Organization (CREDO) Training Workshop cum Immersion held on July 20- 25, 2015 at MacArthur, Leyte.

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PMRB OF SARANGANI PROVINCE FINALLY CONVENED
by MARY ANN C. TENORIO


With the issuance of DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje of the special order reconstituting the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB) of Sarangani, the board has finally convened on its first meeting at Kasfala Hall of Sarangani Provincial Capitol Compound on September 23, 2015. Chaired by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) XII Regional Director (RD) Constancio A. Paye, Jr., the members of the board are the governor of the province, representatives of the large and small scale mining sectors and non-governmental organization.

Presiding the meeting on behalf of RD Paye is Engr. Hernani G. Abdon, officer-in-charge of the Mine Management Division of MGB XII. Atty. Emma P. Nebran of the Provincial Governor’s Office represented the governor of Sarangani while Joel Q. Bernales, Anita L. Martin and Martiniano L. Magdolot for the large and small scale mining sectors and the NGO, respectively.

Discussed in the meeting were the procedure on the application for the establishment of Minahang Bayan (MB) along with the orientation on the powers and functions of the board. Executive Order No. 79 which contains the reforms of the mining sector provides that activities/operations of the small-scale mining are now being confined to an area declared as MB by the Board subject to review by the Secretary. All small-scale mining operations outside of the declared MB are now considered illegal pursuant to DENR Administrative Order No. 2015-03 or the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act No. 7076 or the Small Scale Mining Act of 1991. With the reconstitution of the PMRB, all MB applications will now be processed accordingly by the board.

Nemrad Paul E. Butil representing the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Sarangani and presently constituting the secretariat of the board informed that the province welcomes the issuance of the special order and is very much willing to engage and actively participate in the PMRB. The Provincial Natural Resources Council (PNRC) however will still be operational considering that this is the venue to discuss all environmental concerns, except of course on mining related issues and concerns, he said.

PMRB is guided by the pertinent provisions of Consolidated DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2010-21, DAO Nos. 2012-07 and 2015-03 which are the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 7942 otherwise known as the “Philippine Mining Act of 1995,” Rules and Regulations to implement Executive Order No. 79; and the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Republic Act No. 7076 or the Small Scale Mining Act of 1991 respectively together with other laws, rules and regulations and circulars governing the administration and disposition of mineral resources.

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MGB XII AND DA-RFO XII COLLABORATE TO REVIEW SAFDZ MAP OF THE REGION
by MARY ANN C. TENORIO


Seated at the center is OIC-RTD for Operations of DA XII Zaldy M. Boloron and MGB XII RD Constancio A. Paye, Jr. (in white barong)

To come up with the final map of Strategic Agriculture Fisheries and Development Zone (SAFDZ) without overlapping the boundaries of other land classification, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Region XII and the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) XII joined forces to conduct desk review with the planning officers of the provinces and cities of Koronadal and General Santos.

The half-day review at EMR Hotel and Convention Center on October 20, 2015 focused on the SAFDZ areas identified outside of the alienable and disposable (A&D) lands. SAFDZ areas determined by the provinces and cities of Region XII during their updating had been found to encroach on forest and timber land areas which is beyond the very main criterion that SAFDZs shall only be confined within A&D areas or with a slope of 18% or less.

Updating of SAFDZ map is a continuous activity of the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM) in coordination with the SOCCSKSARGEN Area Project Development Office (ADPO), a project management unit of DA. ADPO provided technical assistance to the local government units in their preparation of the SAFDZ map given the criteria of the BSWM and the importance on giving priority to the food security of this government. MGB on the other hand have a directive to indicate on their maps the SAFDZ areas as this was now closed to mining applications pursuant to the reforms instituted on the mining sector or Executive Order No. 79 of President Benigno “Noy” Aquino.

DENR XII LEP Coordinator Macaurog M. Guinar presented the classification map of Region XII showing the alienable and disposable lands while the officer in charge of the Mine Management Division of MGB XII Engr. Hernani G. Abdon presented the consolidated SAFDZ map provided by the provinces and cities of the region.

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BALANCING ENERGY SECURITY WITH SAFETY- DOE
contributed by DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY


01 • Drilling activities in Service Contract 49 located in South Cebu covering an area of 265,000 hectares, which is operated by China International Mining Petroleum Co., Ltd.
02 • The Semirara Open-Pit Coal Mine in Caluya, Antique under Coal Operating Contract No.5 has produced about five (5) million metric tons of coal as of August 2015. The coal area is being operated by Semirara Mining and Power Corporation.


(Taguig City) In view of the growing energy demand, the Department of Energy (DOE) remains committed in pursuing exploration, development, and utilization of coal, oil, and natural gas reserves within the Philippine territory, while also ensuring safety across all energy projects.

Through its Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR), the DOE has been promoting to international and local investors several areas nationwide with probable yet untapped fossil fuel resources. PECR is a transparent activity to attract exploration companies to look at the potential of the areas being offered.

Last May 2014, the DOE launched the 5th PECR wherein there are eleven (11) petroleum areas with large concentration in Luzon, and fifteen (15) coal areas mostly in Mindanao were offered. The petroleum blocks were also showcased in international roadshows, including energy conferences in Singapore, Australia and Turkey.

Out of these potential areas, seven (7) coal contracts were awarded to Coalblack Mining Corporation (1), SAHI Mining Corporation (4), and Philsaga Mining Corporation (2) in December 2014. Meanwhile, the DOE also hopes to award petroleum contracts under 5th PECR by October this year, which is still awaiting finalization of recommendation from the DOE-Review and Evaluation Committee.

More than conducting investment promotion activities in upstream oil industry, the DOE is also aggressively pushing for the development of natural gas infrastructures and facilities (i.e. natural gas terminal and pipeline). These initiatives will prepare the country on the Malampaya production slowdown which is expected by 2024.

Malampaya is the Philippines’ largest successful oil exploration project. It fueled three (3) power plants amounting to 2,700 megawatts and accounts to 30% of Luzon’s supply since 2002.

The DOE likewise continues to strictly monitor safety mining practices for all energy projects it supervises in light of the recent events in the mining operations at the North Wall, Panian Pit located in Semirara Island, Caluya, Antique.

Currently, the DOE has initiated the review and public consultation to update the coal mine safety rules and regulations which have been in place since 1970s. The safe-guarding and minimization of hazards for coal mining employees are in light of the advances in technology.

The DOE assures the public of its continued commitment to balance energy security with safety as to protect the people’s general welfare of sustained energy supply without impediments cause by either natural or human induced disasters.

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CARAGA LIVELIHOOD PROGRAMS SPURRED BY VILLAR SIPAG AND AGATA MINING
THE VILLAR SIPAG PROGRAM PARTNERS WITH AMVI IN PROMOTING MORE COMMUNITY LIVELIHOOD PROGRAMS.
contributed by TVI RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, INC.



01 • For environment and livelihood. Members of the Barangay Tagbuyacan Women’s Organization harvest water hyacinths from the AMVI-adopted Kalinawan River. These will be used as raw materials for the joint Villar SIPAG-AMVI Water Lily Handicraft livelihood program.

Santiago, Agusan del Norte / August 2015 – In a joint commitment towards sustainable social development, the TVIRD-led Agata Mining Ventures Inc. (AMVI) and the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar SIPAG) – an organization dedicated to the welfare of overseas Filipino workers and assistance to their families – recently undertook the initiative to establish income-generating projects for communities situated within AMVI’s mining concession area. As AMVI has previously created community livelihood programs as part of its Social Development and Management Programs, the partnership aims to interface the company’s existing development mission with new and innovative livelihood projects conceived by Villar SIPAG.

This year, the institute teamed-up with AMVI and provided seminars, skills development training and the basic technology for women organizations in the riverside barangay communities along Kalinawan – the company’s adopted tributary. The program also provided business orientation that helped pave the way for women to produce traditional bags (bayong), baskets, sleeping mats (banig), floor mats and other marketable products in the future. The sustainable livelihood program employs a zero-cost approach that effectively cleans the river on one hand, and enables women to engage in a viable livelihood that contributes to the overall development of their barangays on the other.

Founded in 1992 by Hon. Senator Cynthia Villar, the institute strives to improve the Filipino’s quality of life, especially OFWs and their families. Villar SIPAG, which was formerly known as the Villar Foundation, is also a staunch advocate of environmental conservation and preservation as precipitated by its earlier program, Pagtatanim Para Sa Kinabukasan (Planting for the Future). It also promotes the use of raw materials derived from wastes and other organic sources to provide alternative and eco-friendly livelihood at very little or no capital needed.

AMVI likewise conceived its existing livelihood programs from the successful blueprints of TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD) – lead joint venture partner at the Agata Nickel Project in Tubay, Jabonga and Santiago Municipalities. At the height of TVIRD’s mining operation in Canatuan, Zamboanga del Norte, the company generated employment for some 1,200 people, including its indigenous Subanons hosts, and introduced various downstream livelihood programs – both of which contributed to Siocon town’s elevation to a first-class municipality.

“Knowing that both AMVI and Villar SIPAG are equally committed towards community empowerment, it is high time that we work together in providing economically-viable livelihood projects to benefit the communities that we both serve,” said AMVI Liaison Officer Genome Fortun.


02 • AMVI Liaison Officer Genome Fortun and AMVI Environment Manager Jesalyn Guingguing discuss the mechanics of the “Gulayan sa Kabalayan” livelihood program prior to seed and fertilizer distribution to Barangay Tinigbasan community members.
03 • Getting started. AMVI Community Relations Officer Tyron Hans Salas turn-over supplies and initial inventory to the Binuangan Women’s Organization for its “Barangay Bigasan and Mini Grocery” livelihood program.
04 • Getting started. AMVI Environment Officer Sheila Mae Arcala and AMVI Liaison Officer Genome Fortun turn-over seeds and fertilizers to barangay La Paz for its “Gulayan sa Kabalayan” livelihood program.



WATER LILY HANDICRAFT
Water Hyacinths (Eichhornia Crassipes), more commonly known as water lilies in the Philippines, is a variety of freshwater plants that originated from South Africa and has been regarded as the world’s “most troublesome” aquatic plant. But prior to this, it has been widely propagated as a water ornament. Today, several countries face the enormous task of controlling the alarming increase of water lilies that form vast blankets covering lakes, rivers and ponds, which in turn cause problems for fishing, water transport and biodiversity.

In the Philippines, water lily “infestations” have caused severe flooding in different areas during monsoon season and rampant fish kills as it blocks sunlight and starve fish species from oxygen. While several local government units waged several attempts to mitigate this, Villar SIPAG established its water lily handicraft program primarily to rid the Zapote River and the Las Piñas City waterways of the aquatic pest.

What started as a backyard industry nearly a decade ago grew to an enormous livelihood program as more people take notice of the wide range of products that can be made from the common water weed. And as the institute promoted water lily-based livelihood projects to different areas in the country, its journey to success is now history.

VEGETABLE FARMING
Aside from nickel and iron-rich mineral deposits, the Agusan del Norte Region is also known for its vast agricultural land. And while mineral-rich areas are not suitable for supporting vegetation, the acquisition of agricultural land also does not come cheap.

As a workaround, AMVI engaged the communities and promoted fruit and vegetable farming in their respective households. Following TVIRD’s successful agro-forestry development in Zamboanga del Norte, AMVI also used organic fertilizers to get the livelihood project started. Parallel to this, Villar SIPAG also has a project for schools titled as “Gulayan sa Paaralan” (Vegetable Farming in School) wherein fruit and vegetable seeds as well as organic fertilizers were donated by the institute to several schools across the country.

AMVI and Villar SIPAG then merged both frameworks and adopted these for households – which enabled the two organizations to launch the “Gulayan sa Kabalayan” (Vegetable Farm at Home) livelihood program. The program was rolled-out in Tubay and Santiago Municipality - and since the program’s successful launch - families from barangay communities have established fruit and vegetable supplies that can either sustain their households or be sold to provide them an alternative source of income.

Since the implementation of its SDMP, AMVI has initiated a number of programs that are tailor-fitted to suit each of its host and neighboring communities. These include Coconet Weaving, a Barangay Mini-Junkshop, Vermi-culture Fertilizer Production, Barangay Rice Granery and Mini Grocery, among others.

With the advent of the partnership between AMVI and Villar SIPAG, both stand on the threshold of achieving sustainable community development and connecting their various programs to potentially provide a continuous stream of income for its participants.

About TVI in the Philippines
TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (“TVIRD”), is the local affiliate of TVI Pacific Inc. (TSX: TVI), a publicly-listed Canadian mining company focused on the exploration, development and production of precious and base metals from district-scale, large-system, high-margin projects located in the Philippines. Concurrent ownership of ventures is shared with partner company, Prime Resource Holdings Inc.

The commercial operations of Agata Mining Ventures Inc. (AMVI) marks the third successful mining project that TVIRD brought on-stream in the past 10 years. The company is committed to exploration and mining practices that promote transparency, responsible stewardship of the environment, and the inalienable rights to life, dignity, and sustainable development of its host communities.

www.tviphilippines.com

About Villar SIPAG
Social responsibility is the guiding principle of the Villar SIPAG, a non-stock, non-profit organization established in 1995

Since its inception, Villar SIPAG has initiated, implemented, and supported various projects aimed at improving the quality of life of the people in the communities where we live and maintain a business presence.

One of Villar SIPAG’s earliest programs was ‘Pagtatanim Para Sa Kinabukasan’, a tree-planting program, to create urban forests in open spaces of subdivisions, residential communities, and schools.

Over the years, its advocacies and beneficiaries have expanded and diversified in order to reach more people and sectors of the society. These include the poor and underprivileged; overseas Filipino workers and their families; the youth; women; the church; the environment among others.

Villar SIPAG’s programs and projects include (but are not limited to) nutrition caravan (regular feeding programs for schoolchildren); medical and dental missions; river rehabilitation program; religious projects such as building of churches; repatriation of distressed overseas Filipino workers; livelihood and entrepreneurship

By sharing our resources with the Filipino people who have made possible the success of our endeavors, we shall strive to provide opportunities to the underprivileged and the economically disadvantaged, for them to rise beyond their limitation and pursue meaningful lives as productive members of society.

Ultimately, we envision a healthy, peaceful, decent, and productive life for all Filipinos.

www.villarsipag.org

Contact:
Kaycee Crisostomo
Corporate Communications Director
TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc.
Email: kaycee.crisostomo@tvipacific.com.ph
Phone: +63 2 728-8491 ext. 103
Mobile: +63 917 579-1528
Fax: +63 2 728-8515

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3RD CARAGA MINE SAFETY COMPETITION
THEME: RESPONSIBLE MINING IN CARAGA: TAXATION, ITS CONTRIBUTION TO THE LOCAL & NATIONAL GROWTH
by SHAUN GUINGGUING




The CARAGA Mining Industry, through the joint efforts of MGB Region 13, Chamber of Mines CARAGA Region, Inc., PSEM CARAGA Chapter and CARAGA Mine Safety and Health Council in coordination with the Philippine Red Cross and Bureau of Fire Protection, spearheaded the 3rd CARAGA MINE SAFETY COMPETITION held at the Gaisano Ground, Surigao City last October 1, 2015. The event was participated by all Mining Companies in the CARAGA Region and was graced by the Philippine Red Cross Board of Governors Cong. Win Gatchalian (Valenzuela First District) and Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association President Louie Sarmiento.

The conducted safety competition aims to promote public awareness on the great importance of safety at work, at home and virtually everywhere, as well as the capability and preparedness of the Mining Industry in cases of disasters. Further, the event was undertaken to prepare the CARAGA delegates for the Annual National Mine Safety Competition held at Baguio City. The competition included First Aid and Basic Life Support and Fire Fighting Competition in categories such as Transfer Relay, Up the ladder and Busted Hose and Fire Extinguishment.

The event ended with Taganito Mining Corp. as the grand slam winner for all categories, while other awards were reaped by the following;

FIRST AID AND BASIC LIFE SUPPORT:
3rd Place – Platinum Group Metals Corp.
2nd Place – Silangan Mindanao Mining Co. Inc.
1st Place – Taganito Mining Corp.

FIRE FIGHTING COMPETITION:
3rd Place – Greenstone Resources Corp.
2nd Place – CTP Construction and Mining Corp.
1st Place – Taganito Mining Corp.

SPECIAL AWARDS:
Best Muse – Taganito Mining Corp.
Best Uniform – Wellex Mining Corp.
Most Participative – CTP Construction and Mining Corp.

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NEW LIFE, NEW HOPE, NEW HOME
by RENIDA MAY M. ESCALICAS, HOLCIM DAVAO PLANT CSR OFFICER




It was once only a dream to live in a safe and comfortable home with their families - this is where their story started.

Several families are living along the riverbanks of Ilang River, a flood prone area. Their families struggled to live in tragedy where overflow of water enters their houses leaving almost everything devastated. Despite this struggle, none of the families left their shanty homes.

In partnership with Holcim Philippines, Inc., the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO), and Barangay Ilang, these families will be relocated to a safe place to live.

Holcim donated a 3-hectare land where their homes will be built, including the site development and construction of drainage system.

The benefitting families were organized as Pag-Asa IIang Home Owners Association (PIHOA), registered with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). Holcim tapped the support of Itinerant Mission for Grassroots Development, Inc. (IMGRADE) that assisted in the social preparations.

On October 2014, Holcim hosted a 3-day Stakeholder Engagement to assist PIHOA on their leadership capability building. PIHOA also participated a benchmarking at Tabang Ta Kabalayan (a Holcim housing project for the Tyhoon Pablo victims in Compostela Valley Province).

For over 3 months, the company has engaged the beneficiaries on various construction skills trainings. These include skills trainings on masonry, carpentry, electrical, welding and concrete hollow block making. Through these earned skills, the beneficiaries are equipped to build their new homes and provide a source of livelihood for their families.

Holcim Davao Plant Management together with its Chief Executive Officer Eduardo A. Sahagun and the Management Committee of Holcim Philippines attended the turn-over and ground breaking ceremony at the new Ilang relocation site last September 9, 2015.

The DSWD provided Php11M for the construction of the housing units. The funding was turned over to the house beneficiaries on September 28, 2015. The CSSDO supports in organizing the families to be self-reliant. The project monitoring and community engagement activities were administered by the Barangay Ilang.

The Local Government Unit of Ilang initiated a housing design workshop with PIHOA last October 6, 2015. With the support of Technical Assistance Movement for People and Environment, Inc. (TAMPEI), the project beneficiaries were able to understand the significance of building resilient houses.

The architects of TAMPEI assisted the project beneficiaries in designing their own homes based on financial and environmental considerations.

The dream the families once had has now become a reality. The members of PIHOA are all energized to work hand in hand and to build their homes that will provide a new life and a new hope for their families.


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