The Academic World
PORTAL: The Academic World - 2015 Volume 4 No. 4 4TH QUARTER ISSUE
by JOY G. PEREZ, Ph.D.
RASA Surveying and Realty, a survey firm specializing on high technology land survey and mapping, handed over “HI TARGET” Total Station, a high precision surveying instrument to Negros Oriental State University (NORSU), Thursday, September 24, 2015.

The high precision surveying instrument was given during a Technology Forum jointly sponsored by RASA and the College of Engineering and Architecture (CEA) held at NORSU Bajumpandan Campus. Vice President for Research, Extension and International Linkages, Dr. Virginia Lacuesta, received the donation.

Engr. Michael Saga, Head of the Geodetic Engineering Department said that among the highlights of the Technology Forum were the signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between RASA and NORSU regarding the on-the job-training (OJT) of students at RASA and the display of latest surveying equipment – global navigation satellite system, total stations, and unmanned aerial vehicles. The MOA provides an opportunity for geodetic engineering students to have great exposures working with established companies during their OJTs.

Paul Acha, the firm’s Regional Director for Visayas and Ms. Rhea Kris Mejorada, Sales and Marketing Officer, lectured on Geographical Information System (GIS) and its applications, mapping tools-satellite imagery, mobile LIDAR, 3D Laser Scanners and other related topics. Saga further said that RASA, which was established in 1994, was named after its founder Engr. Raymund Arnold S. Alberto and is a nationwide capable integrated surveying company that provides accurate and quality global positioning surveys, property boundary relocation, subdivision, topography, structural, route alignment, hydro-graphic, and bathymetric services for high profile local and international engineering consultants and clients; with offices in Bacolod City and Quezon City.

In another development, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) named NORSU geology instructor Hernulfo Ruelo as one of top three geologists in the country. He received the award as one of the Outstanding Professionals of the Philippines in the field of Geology during the PRC Awards Night held at the Manila Hotel on June 18, 2015. The other two are Dr. Rojel Santos and Dr. Fernando Sajona (named as the most Outstanding Geologist of the Philippines). In an interview with The NORSUnian, the official weekly student publication of NORSU-Dumaguete, Ruelo said, “I do feel great despite my lack of a Ph.D. degree (which is a big factor), my colleagues in the Geological Society of the Philippines still chose me to be among the best in our flock.”

Two years ago, a MOA was signed between the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman and NORSU to set up strong cooperation on the geology academic programs between the two universities. UP would send geology professors to NORSU for select scheduled weekend classes starting early 2013 until the academic collaboration lasts in December 2015.



UP Diliman Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering (DMMME) Chair Dr. Magdaleno Vasquez Jr. and UP MINERS President Venus Jesoro, with some members of the organization, in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

We are proud members of an active organization that is UP MINERS or the University of the Philippines Mining Engineering Society. Since its conception, the organization never stopped going “Farther, Deeper, Stronger” each year.

Last September 2015, the UP MINERS celebrated its 12th year of dedication to mining engineering and of proactive and unified advocacy on responsible mining. It was a month-long anniversary endorsing the significance of the mining industry on the country’s economic growth and its efforts on promoting economic-ecological sustainability with the theme, “Orichalcum: Unraveling the Runes.”

As President Venus Jesoro delineates this year’s theme, UP MINERS aims to “debunk misconceptions in mining and expose what the industry truly is.” This can only be achieved by highlighting the significance of mining thus stimulating a better perception from the people who neither understand nor care to understand why mining exists. She also adds that the organization recognizes the environmental impact of mining hence, a symposium on mining rehabilitation was added to the month-long anniversary.

The opening of the UP MINERS Exhibit and ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the start of the month-long anniversary. The exhibit displayed the organization’s vision and mission, its goals for the current academic year, and the lineup of events.

Six events composed the anniversary. A mining symposium on general issues and another on mine rehabilitation were catered to address the growing ignorance of the youth on mining and the misinformation supplied (i.e. the biased stand of anti-mining by the mainstream media). A quiz bee was held aiming to stir the knowledge of students regarding trivia and concepts on mining, metallurgy and geology. Earlier before the quiz bee, a “Grand Pabebe-que” took place as a simple celebration of the organization’s joyful 12 years. The PPPP or Plant Practice Program Presentaion continued with speakers from the current batch of graduating students. An anniversary concert ended the UP MINERS 12th anniversary.

PhilipWe know the bad things in mining that we tend not to see the good things.

Two symposia held at the UP College of Science Auditorium and at the UP Institute of Environmental Management and Meteorology Auditorium commenced on September 22 and 23, 2015, respectively. Speakers Buenvenido Oplas Jr. from the UP School of Economics, Engr, Gabriel Pamintuan Jr. from the UP DMMME, Jose Bayani Baylon from Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) and Dr. Bibiano Ranes of Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp. (RNTMC) offered valuable knowledge on current mining issues in the Philippines.

Mr. Oplas gave a talk on “Mining Taxation in the Philippines” while Engr. Pamintuan gave one about the “Small-Scale Mining Activities across the Country” during the first day. On the second day, Mr. Baylon presented a talk entitled “Can mining and the environment co-exist?”; Engr. Pamintuan on “Mine Acid Drainage Systems in the Philippines”; and, Dr. Ranes on the “Mining Rehabilitation Program of RTNMC.”

The Philippines still has a long way to go in terms of taxation on mining. Mr. Oplas explains how the Philippines taxes mining way past the saturation point, where the profit from tax is maximized. He includes that this tax rate on Philippine mining companies do not help in attracting business and foreign investors compared to other ASEAN countries. Numerous types of taxes, royalties, fees including mandatory fees, make it even worse. Though from these, the Philippines earns greatly from the mining sector.

As Engr. Gabriel Pamintuan Jr. puts it, “that small 2% GDP of the mining industry goes to around 62% contribution to the Philippine economy” but that, which this industry breathes on the country’s economy, seems rather unappreciated. Just then he added, “we know the bad things in mining that we tend not to see the good things.”

From the perspective of an engineer who has ventured numerous small-scale mines across the Philippines, he had objectively laid out his observations. He first pointed that small-scale mining has a low start-up cost with high profit triggering almost 99% of small-scale miners into going illegal or unregistered and untaxed. Mineral exploitation of this sort creates a large loss on the part of Philippines. An artisanal, unequipped of explosives and heavy machinery kind of mining is not the way small-scale miners envisions to continue what the are doing; which is contrary to RA 7076.

Students from the audience raised concern on the Philippines’ action regarding our small-scale mining industry. We should look forward to a better implementation of a better law for small-scale mining and a better small-scale mining population that cares for the integrity and reputation of the entire industry.

Can mining and the environment co-exist? Perhaps that is true for Palawan, NAC VP for Communications JB Baylon started off by this claim. In desperate attempt to end mining in the Philippines, anti-mining groups like the mainstream media misleads the public by making them choose between mining or the environment, according to Mr. Baylon. He added, in general, anti-mining groups “capitalizes on widespread ignorance of facts and takes advantages of emotions.”

Then, he introduced RTNMC, a subsidiary company of NAC, from the southern region of Palawan. Elaborating how Palawan accommodates ecotourism up north and mining down south, he asks “why do we have to choose?”

Only 0.9% of the total land mass of the Philippines is owned by mining companies. But, for instance, why is the massive deforestation of the country blamed on the mining industry? He added, “look at Rio Tuba River and compare it to Pasig River.” The former is within reach of RTNMC but it is well-preserved.

Dr. Ranes, registered forester and unit head of the mine rehab team of RTNMC, supported the claim. In Rio Tuba, endemic species of plants are sheltered and reproduced under the care of RTNMC. Native animals like chickens, pigs, ducks and crocodiles live; tilapia ponds and rice fields flourish on post-mined areas. As a matter of interest, iron and nickel stunts vegetation, which further complicates transforming Rio Tuba into an agricultural land. It is no magic how Dr. Ranes revolutionizes mining rehab in Rio Tuba, Palawan.

However, he pointed out that mining rehabilitation is considered a developing science; there is no published book to refer to. Research must be funded to nurture this technology. And Engr. Pamintuan also shared the same thoughts on mine acid drainage systems in the Philippines. Only a few studies have been done regarding such in the country. Now, the job of the younger generation is to further improve these technologies through research. “Look at Baguio City,” said Engr. Pamintuan. There is life after mining.

01.• UP MINERS alumni and members
02.• Photos captured during the organization’s celebration of its 12th anniversary.

Knowledge on the fields of mining, metallurgy and geology composes a student that is ready to enter the mining industry. A quiz bee with such topics took place on Sept. 29, 2015 at the UP DMMME. Acing trivia and concepts provides assets for students as they will soon enter the industry.

Gold Clash is one of UP MINERS’
programs on promoting academic excellence on mining engineering students.

The Plant Practice Program Presentation or PPPP (formerly SPPP) provides an avenue for graduating MMME students to share their experience to younger students. The Plant Practice Program is part of the curriculum of UP DMMME where students spend two months as interns in corporations.

This year’s PPPP entitled “Chronicles”, brought in partnership with UP Materials Science Society, was held at the UP School of Economics on September 30, 2015. Speakers offered positive and negative feedbacks on the companies and corporations they have worked for.

Being an annual event, freshmen, sophomores and juniors will be expecting more feedbacks, on corporations to choose from, in next year’s PPPP.


Last year was “Rock Na Ba ‘To?”, a hilarious gesture of wordplay on synonyms. This year, it went even more hilarious and comical. So did the anniversary party.

Members, alumni, and applicants of UP MINERS came to celebrate at the Flight Resto Bar last October 3, 2015. There is no better way of ending another year of honor and excellence, dedication to the mining engineering profession and, proactive and unified advocacy on responsible mining. Friendship among this group of people entrenched the idea of celebration; UP MINERS continues to prosper because of the people who dedicated their time, effort and resources together under the same roof.

We are proud members of this family. The roots that bind the organization have gone farther, deeper and stronger. Until next year’s celebration of having a good one, UP MINERS will keep moving to materialize its vision and mission. Viva mineros!



Every September, the UP 49ers celebrates its roots by lining up different events all month long. This 61st year with the theme ‘Transcending Excellence’, UP 49ers geared to be restless in its efforts to serve not only the department, but also the university and the country. The events prepared for the month-long celebration were a testament to the organization’s dedication of serving beyond excellence.

UP 49ers 61st year: Transcending Excellence was kicked off on September 15, 2015 with the UP 49ers Exhibit on the 3rd floor lobby of Melchor Hall. Here, the organization’s history, main project thrusts, executive committee, and project heads along with the organization’s AVP were showcased to acquaint the College of Engineering what the organization is all about. Free cupcakes and drinks were given out to the students who celebrated the kick off along with the members.

Along with the UP 49ers Exhibit was also the launch of MMMilestones, in partnership with the department. This exhibit aimed to introduce the different research thrusts that the Department of Mining, Metallurgical, and Materials Engineering currently have, and the different laboratories and their respective researches. This was a week-long exhibit on the 3rd floor lobby of Melchor Hall.

After the exhibit launch at the College of Engineering, UP 49ers Gives Back was held at the lobby of the Department of Mining, Metallurgical, and Materials Engineering building. This was an event dedicated to the non-teaching faculty, staff, and personnel of the DMMME Building. Their dedicated service to the department was recognized and the organization along with the students of the department, expressed their sincerest gratitude. Lunch was served and freebies were given away.

On September 16, the first Materials Innovation, an event in line with the promotion of the field of Materials Science and Engineering was held. This was comprised of the Materials Research Idea Fair and Materials Innovation Seminar. The research idea fair was participated by high school students in Metro Manila who presented research ideas based on the materials science and engineering discipline. This was held at the GE Theater of the College of Engineering Melchor Hall. The seminar was a joint event, in an effort to introduce the research landscape of Materials Science and Engineering to other engineering students. The guest speaker was Dr. Arnel Salvador from the National Institute of Physics. This was participated by different students from the College of Engineering.

The National Mining and Metallurgical Engineering Summit was held at the GE Theater of the College of Engineering Melchor Hall last September 17-19 and was participated by students from different schools in Luzon. The first two days were filled with company talks from different mining companies, as well as interesting topics such as Phytomining by Dr. Edwino S. Fernando, Small Scale Mining by Dr. Gabriel P. Pamintuan Jr., and Mining and the Environment by Dr. Rolando Cuaño. On the last day was the plant tour in Steel Asia Manufacturing Corp. in Meycauayan, Bulacan and Precision Foundry of the Philippines, Inc. in Marikina City. The NMME Summit was capped off with the Socials Night for participants to mingle and have fun.

In culmination of the UP49ers’ anniversary month, the Grand Tuesday Club was held at The Roxy Events Place in Tomas Morato wherein resident members and alumni from all over the country banded together to celebrate its 61st year the 49er way. It was a night full of stories and laughter, of camaraderie and family, over moderate drinking. Some things ought to be transcended, and some ought to never change.

Happy 61st Anniversary UP 49ers. Keep on transcending. Keep the fire burning!



01.• A section of the North Bohol Fault that trends North east and extends to 6 kilometers
02.• The group at Maribojoc uplifted ridges. This is the former seabed submerged in water and was raised during the 2013 Bohol earthquake.
03.• A meter stick indicating the height of the movement of the NBF.

Students and professors from the Geology Department of the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP)-Obrero Campus recently visited Bohol Island on the month of its second anniversary of the magnitude 7.2 earthquake. It was on the 16th of October in 2013 that a powerful earthquake shook the island which change its landscape to become an important destination for those taking up the courses related to earth sciences and marine geology.

The group visited the areas with geological significance related to the Bohol earthquake and among them is the Maribojoc Uplifted Ridges, an approximately 11.5 kilometers length of emerged shore, mostly ranging in width from 200-250m from the pre-earthquake foreshore. These are composed of coral patches and rocky shoreline that were previously submerged in water before the earthquake.

The group also visited the North Bohol Fault (NBF) in Brgy. Anonang in the municipality of Inabanga which is a northeast-southwest trending reverse fault that reportedly caused the earthquake. This ground rapture ranges from 0.10m meters to as high as 5 meters in vertical displacements. During the site visit, the structure is no longer visible in some sections because it is partially eroded.

Another area of geologic importance that was visited by the group is the world famous Chocolate Hills in the municipality of Carmen. The area is host to a number of karst conical hills that is considered a National Geologic Monument due to its formation.

The group also visited the quarry operations of Bohol Limestone Corporation in the municipality of Garcia-Hernandez upon the invitation of its President, Engr. Vic Bantol. They were toured around the facility by Engr. Dave Raganas, a USEP mining engineering alumnus and Engr. Gregorio Madelo, the Operations Manager of the facility.


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