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Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu visits R02, calls to strengthen envi law implementation

By: Lyndee Rose Basilio

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Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu in his first visit in region II on September 9, 2017 called on its officials on the need to strengthen the enforcement of environmental laws of the agency.

“Ang pinakakulang ng DENR ay enforcement sa ating trabaho. Kulang tayo ng ngipin, dagdagan natin ng ngipin,” said Secretary Cimatu.

“Ang pinakakulang ng DENR ay enforcement sa ating trabaho. Kulang tayo ng ngipin, dagdagan natin ng ngipin,” said Secretary Cimatu.

Cimatu announced during his visit in the regional office the Department’s directions under his watch.

 He reminded the regional office to properly enforce the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999, Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, and  Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. “ Kailangan maipatupad ang malinis na hangin na nilalanghap ng tao.”

He likewise focused on the continuous protection of the Cagayan River against pollutants. “The Cagayan River, the longest river in the country is the source of irrigation of the valley.”

The Environment Secretary was amazed by the cleanliness of the Cagayan river upon seeing it from his plane along his way to Tuguegarao.

The Environment Secretary also emphasized that the Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) are in the frontline in the implementation of the agency’s programs.

“ Kayo ang panlaban kaya kailangan natin palakasin ang mga CENRO,” said Secretary Cimatu.cimatu1.jpg

The secretary said that there will be additional personnel in the CENRO and the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENRO) particularly the hiring of lawyers to be deployed in every CENRO.

Cimatu said that legal problems will be settled immediately if there are lawyers in each CENROs in the region.  The lawyers will help on law enforcement and resolution of land cases, They will also be subjected to environmental law enforcement training.

Cimatu said that the additional manpower will strengthen the CENROs and PENROs.

On Land titling, the secretary urged his officials that the issuance of documents should be fast tracked to avoid suspicion.

“ Kailangan bilisan natin ang pagproseso ng mga dokumento wag patagalin at walang manghihingi ng bayad,” the environment secretary warned.

Cimatu also gave reminders on the implementation of Enhanced National Greening Program (E-NGP), “ Yung National Greening Program ipatupad natin nang walang kalokohan,” he said.

The protection of Sierra Madre was also mentioned by the secretary. He emphasized to his officials that no illegal logging must occur in the mountain ranges of the Sierra Madre,

On Mining, secretary Cimatu reminded the officials of Mines and Geosciences Bureau to properly monitor mining activities particularly to stop those who engage in black sand mining. He likewise told the bureau that if it needs help in monitoring, the Philippine Coast Guard will be deployed in the area.

On the other hand, DENR Regional Office No. II also issued a manifesto of support for the confirmation of secretary Cimatu by the Commission of Appointments (CA).

DENR Regional Director Atty. Gil Aromin said that the manifesto is a sign of full support of the DENR employees of his leadership in the agency.

Cimatu expressed his appreciation that he is fortunate to receive such amount of support in barely four months of being the DENR secretary.

Meanwhile, Secretary Cimatu also handed the Bayani ng Kalikasan Award to the parents of Mark Ian Dela Cruz for his “sacrifice for the DENR.” The award is given for the “Fallen Heroes of the Environment” who dedicated their lives for the service and protection of the environment.

Also awarded during the welcome program at the DENR Regional Office was a Commendation of Outstanding Commitment to Forester Wilbert Sanchez, Forest Protection Officer Mark Anthony Capuchino, Extension Officers Noel Massalang and Joel Ortiz.

Dela Cruz together with his four companions were hit by lightning on May 12, 2016 while conducting geo-tagging at Rizal Cagayan.

After the program, Cimatu visited EMB and MGB Regional Offices. He also visited and met with the officials of PENR and CENR offices in Isabela, Quirino, and Nueva Vizcaya.

He was accompanied by Undersecretaries Atty. Ernesto Adobo and Atty. Juan Miguel Cuna, and officials of EMB and MGB.

MGB Director Atty. Wilfredo Moncano and Assistant Director Atty. Danilo Uykieng likewise accompanied the secretary.

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Mines Bureau beefs up for ISO certification, spearheads series of training for employees

By: LRS Basilio

ISo.jpgTo beef up its ISO certification, Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region II spearheaded trainings in furtherance of its employees’ knowledge and skills needed to achieve said certification.

Employees of MGB attended the ISO training entitled “Embracing IMS: Quality, Environment, Health and Safety held on August 23, 2017 at MGB conference hall.
Employees of MGB attended the ISO training entitled “Embracing IMS: Quality, Environment, Health and Safety held on August 23, 2017 at MGB conference hall.

During the first part of the training, Dennis O. Buendia of Land Transportation Office Region II served as resource speaker who talked about Awareness and Simple Defensive Driving.

Buendia lectured on the salient features of Anti-Distracted Driving Act, Seatbelt Use Act of 1999, Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009, Anti-Drunk/Driving Act of 2003, and other rules and regulations governing land transportation.

“We need to be aware of these laws for our own safety and of our passengers,” he said during the lecture proper.

He likewise discussed the documentary requirements for driver’s permit and vehicle registration.

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Meanwhile, after the discussion of Mr. Buendia, Ms. Rachel G. Miguel, training specialist of Cagayan State University also talked about on Effective Communication Skills for a Happier Working Relationship.

Ms. Miguel put emphasis on stress management and communication skills of the head management and the rank and file.

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MGB R02 holds first aid, basic life support training

By: Lyndee Rose Basilio

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With the aim to capacitate its employees on safe and prompt first aid to casualty at work or in public, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II recently held a first aid and basic life support training on August 25, 2017 at MGB conference hall.

Perly Jane B. Tabao of Redcross Tuguegarao said that the first aid training will level up the knowledge of MGB employees on emergency preparedness following an injury or illness.

“Majority cases of death are not because of severe injury after an emergency situation, but because of not applying prompt and correct emergency first aid to the victim of the accident situation,” Tabao said.

Redcross Tuguegarao Chapter Representative Marivell L. Puputi underscored on how to manage emergency situation by emphasizing the vital role of the first aider and its life-saving skills and action for severe bleeding, burns and scalds, splinters, and shock.

Basic principles on using bandage and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) was also demonstrated by the training instructors.

All employees of the bureau including the members of the Regional Emergency Response Team (RERT) of MGB attended said training. This activity was hand in hand with the Philippine Redcross- Tuguegarao Chapter.

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MGB gives go signal to FCF, vows for responsible mining

By: Lyndee Rose S. Basilio

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The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II has already allowed FCF Minerals Corporation, a British-owned mining firm in Runruno, Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya to start its commercial operation.

MGB Regional Director Mario A. Ancheta said that he approved the commencement of commercial production of FCF gold-molybdenum project. 

The Regional Director said that the company has initially set their intent for commercial operation earlier of 2016, but has to be delayed to ensure their compliance on mining standards.

During the first quarter of 2009, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) endorsed to then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo the application for large-scale mine operation of FCF Minerals.

In March 2009, then DENR Secretary Jose L. Atienza Jr. endorsed the conversion of the exploration permit into a Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA). The agreement has a term of 25 years and renewable for another term not exceeding 25 years.

An FTAA contract granted the company the exclusive rights to explore, mine, utilize, and transport the mineral products from the contract area. The FTAA of FCF was signed on Sept. 19, 2009.

“Series of exploration activities were conducted by the company. FCF Minerals has also filed in MGB Region II their application for Sworn Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (DMPF) with complete mandatory requirements. After conducting our initial evaluation, we endorsed said application to our central office for further review,” Ancheta said.

Last October 18, 2011, DENR approved their DMPF that costs $700 million. After the approval of their DMPF, the company has started its development stage. FCF has already spent $ 149 million for its construction and development stage, aside from other projects committed by the mining company as part of their Community Development Program (CDP).

“FCF submitted their Declaration of Commencement of Commercial Operations (DCCO) in September 2016, but we needed to conduct validation and wait for the results of its debugging (test run),” Ancheta said.

MGB Region II issued a partial suspension on its construction works particularly on its Residual Storage Impoundment (RSI) after it was being damaged by Typhoon Lando in 2015.

“We cannot allow mining companies in Cagayan Valley region to continue for lack of compliance in congruent on our existing laws and regulations in mining,” he added.

RD Ancheta said that the company has already complied the demand of the bureau to present a rehabilitation plan on its RSI and a clean-up plan on its Malilibeg dumpsite.

After the conduct of series of verification and validation, the bureau lifted the suspension on April 2015. 

“We lifted the suspension for rehabilitation purposes with corresponding conditions that are part of the lifting order,” the regional director stated.

FCF Minerals begins its mining operations after more than a decade of exploration and development. The company’s DCCO was signed last Monday, July 17, 2017.

Based on the Feasibility Study of the company, it confirms the viability of the project that intends to extract an average of 96,700 ounces of gold per annum within 10 years of mine life.

On the other hand, Runruno Operations Manager, Peter Storey assured the various stakeholders of their full cooperation to comply on mining laws and environmental regulations.

In his interview with Philippine Information Agency, Storey said that the company is committed to take the major steps to transform the previous negative stigma of mining into positive undertaking through its compliance to responsible mining standards.

“It is committed to the effective stewardship, protection, and enhancement of the resource endowments in and around the areas where it operates, and conducts its business in a manner which will continuously uphold human development and dignity,” the Runruo operations manager said.

FCF Minerals Corporation is the second large-scale mine in the Cagayan Valley region. The other mining firm, OceanaGold Philippines Incorporated, an Australian mining firm with gold-copper project is located in Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces that started its commercial operations in 2013.

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MGB celebrates women’s month

Women1The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II organized activities in celebration of the National Women’s Month this March.
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Highlighted in the celebration of women’s month was the cook festival that was open to all female employees of the Bureau.

The participants were divided into four teams with eight members each.
 The contested dish was fish sinigang while another dish meal of the team’s choice was also presented to the judges as side dish.

The dishes were judged by: taste- 70 percent; visual appeal- 15 percent; and observance of kitchen sanitation- 15 percent.

 Bearing this year’s theme: “ We Make Change, Work for Women,” Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Person, Ms. Felicitas V. Piligan said in her message to the employees that,” the cook fest is a good venue for us to empower our women considering their important roles in the kitchen; that women of today can both work and perform household chores.”

She also emphasized the importance of recognizing the contribution of women in the society through the conduct of activities that highlight the important roles of women in the society.

MGB also spearheaded a Zumba dance dubbed as hataw exercise held last March 20, 2017.

The conduct of National Women’s Month is embodied in Proclamation 222, series of 1998 that provides for the observance of the month of March as women’s role in history month.
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