BAGUIO CITY — Miners in the Philippines have vowed to intensify efforts for responsible mining and environmental protection to ensure safety within the industry.
This, as the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) holds its 65th Annual Mine Safety and Environment Conference here from Nov. 21 to 24.
The conference bears the theme “Industry and Regulator Together in Promoting and Advocating Responsible Mining.”
“Over the years, collective investments by mining and quarrying companies in environmental protection to make the country’s mineral sector a safer industry has improved a lot,” PMSEA president Walter Brown said in a press briefing on Tuesday night.
Brown said many mining companies, especially those that are earning, have also increased their investments in social development, specifically for the communities where they operate.
He said such investments in environmental protection, social development, and community programs are required by law after all. The mining firms, he said, face punitive action if they do not comply with this.
On the government’s part, Fay Apil, regional director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Cordillera, also observed substantial investments in environmental protection by mining firms.
“From the start, we are very strict in the implementation of environmental protection and enhancement programs,” Apil stressed.
She said mining companies in the Cordillera region are regularly subjected to environmental monitoring and audit by the bureau.
Apil reported that in 2017, mining companies in the highland region invested PHP712 million in environmental protection and rehabilitation, PHP17 million in community development, and PHP220 in social development and management program. (PNA)