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Mining engineers step up campaign for responsible mining in Bicol summit
LEGAZPI CITY – Members of the Philippine Society of Mining Engineers (PSEM) convened here for a three-day mining summit to strengthen its campaign on responsible mining.
Hundreds of mining engineers, top officials of mining firms, operators and other representative of the mining industry attended the summit at the Legazpi Convention Center to asses and map out plans to bolster its drive for responsible mining acitivities in the Philippines.
Engr Felizardo A. Gacad, Jr., president of the PSEM told the Manila Bulletin that the summit seeks to highlight best practices in rehabilitation and mining technology which was showcased to attendees.
“We would like to admit that the industry is losing in the information war, because if you search it on the Internet, all you will read is all about the negative effect of mining. So that’s the challenge to us that our advocacy program will really reach those who need to understand what mining is all about,” Gacad said.
THE GOOD IN MINING
“That’s why it is very important that we will have programs that will try to educate and inform members of the general public about what mining really is, what responsible mining is and partnership can be generate if we work together so that we will reach the full benefits of a truly responsible mining,” Gacad addeded.
He said that ‘mining’ is not just mining but it should be responsible mining.
“There’s a qualification in it because if you say ‘mining’, it may include those illegal, so we have to qualify that as responsible. When we say mining it’s a resource extractive, you will dig on the grounds then you will destroy the environment, then what’s the good in that? But if we say responsible mining, you may be doing that but you have to institute measures that will rehabilitate the area after or ensure that the negative impact if we won’t correct it will be minimize and mitigated,” he pointed out.
Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Bicol regional director Engr. Guillermo Molina said that because mining is not a popular industry, the challenge is to prove to the public that responsible mining is doable, and is a must.
“Responsible mining is being able to provide economic activity in the locality and sustain that economic activity. Responsible mining is about protecting the environment; responsible mining is about caring for the people and responsible mining is about being safe for the people. So that’s the 4 basics in responsible mining. And if industry cannot able to do that, they shouldn’t be into mining,” said Molina.
Molina disclosed that in Bicol, there are presently only three mining firms in operation.