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MGB presents before sanggunian members of Nueva Vizcaya

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II (MGB RO II) presented before the sanggunian members of Nueva Vizcaya during the conduct of joint committee meeting held last March 21, 2017 at Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Peoples Hall, Provincial Capitol, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.

The joint committee meeting tackled the resolution of Sangguniang Bayan of Kasibu requesting the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Nueva Vizcaya to cause appropriate action for OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) to immediately implement its rehabilitation program on its open pit mining at Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya.

MGB Regional Director Mario A. Ancheta and Engr. Geoffrey V. Prado attended the said joint committee. 

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DENR R02 conducts management confab

By: Lynds Basilio

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR R02) conducted a two-day expanded regional management conference cum family day held on January 31- February 1, 2017 at GCT Farm Resort, Enrile, Cagayan.

The management conference was attended by the regional directors of the DENR line bureaus and attached agencies.  

In the said conference, regular targets and accomplishments of the line bureaus and its attached agencies were tackled.

OIC, Office of the Regional Director Atty. Gil A. Aromin and outgoing Regional Director Benjamin Tumaliuan were likewise present during the management conference.

Mines and Geosciences Bureau R0II Regional Director Engr. Mario A. Ancheta likewise attended the event.

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MGB R02 holds fire lecture 

Basilio

In connection to the observant of Fire Prevention Month during the month of March, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region II conducted a learning event on fire protection last March 27, 2017 at MGB Conference Hall.  The event was participated by the employees of the Bureau.

S/Ins. Basilio A. Pagulayan Jr., Tuguegarao City Fire Marshall served as the resource speaker who discussed on fire safety awareness particularly the three E’s of Fire Protection, triangle of fire, and the classes of fire.

Pagulayan likewise lectured on electrical fire safety by stressing the danger of octopus’ connection, long term use of extension cords, and unplugged electrical wires.

He further presented to the MGB employees how to use the fire extinguisher in case of fire by reminding the employees the phrase PASS which means: pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle, and sweep from side to side.

“When your clothes catch fire, you need to stop, drop and roll,” the City Fire Marshall said to the employees.

“ We need to aware of all these things to know what to do in cases of fire emergencies, as the saying goes, ligtas ang may alam,” Pagulayan said.

nozzleAfter the lecture on fire safety, the City Marshall led the earthquake drill. The MGB personnel were instructed to drop to the ground and take cover under a sturdy table and hold until the earthquake stops. 

The scenario given was 6.6 magnitude earthquake jolted the Regional Government Center, with the aftermath of fire at the MGB grounds. 

After the earthquake drill, the City Fire Marshall headed the fire drill where employees of the bureau practiced the use of fire extinguisher. 

The drills spearheaded by the Mine, Safety, Environment and Social Development Division (MSESDD) particularly the Safety Section of the Bureau aim to instil awareness to the MGB employees and to ensure their safety in cases of fire and earthquake emergencies. #LRSB

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Women’s month activities slated

MGB organizes ‘hataw’, cook fest

Hataw1In celebration of the Women’s Month this March, the Mines and Geoscience Bureau Regional Office No. II (MGB R0II) has lined up activities for the National Women’s Month.

Lined up activities include: Zumba dance dubbed as hataw exercise; cook festival to be participated by the female employees of the bureau; floral arrangement, and fun games.

With the theme: “We Make Change, Work for Women,” Felicitas V. Piligan, Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Person 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 Regional Director Mario A. Ancheta discussed during the Monday convocation held on March 13, 2017 the rationale of conducting activities for the women’s month celebration.

He said that the event is a venue to restore camaraderie among employees of the bureau despite their gender differences.

“The cook festival to be participated by female employees of MGB will highlight the vital roles of women in the kitchen, it gives us greater awareness that working women are also great cooks,” RD Ancheta added.

The GAD focal person likewise made emphasis that the hataw exercise is a good activity both for men and women that will encourage healthy lifestyle for the employees.

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. #LRSB

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MGB spearheads technical confab with OceanaGold

BY: LR BASILIO

JeffThe Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II spearheaded a technical conference with OcenaGold Phils. Inc. (OGPI) recently at MGB Conference Hall. 

The technical conference was conducted to discuss issues stated in the letter of the complainants of the Didipio Community represented by Ms. Annaliza Catteg dated last June 30, 2016. 

In the complaint –letter of Catteg, it stated the alleged violations of human rights, pollution, environmental issues, unfulfilled company commitments, and other issues relevant to the company’s mining operation.

David Way, General Manager of OGPI responded through a letter to the bureau that OceanaGold has always respected the human rights of Didipio Community, with respect as one of the company’s core values.

“ The company continues to be committed to promoting environmental excellence in its operations through implementation of effective environmental management system, achieving compliance beyond the requirements imposed by law and regulations,” Way stated.

Further, Way said that the company is likewise dedicated to advancing social development of the Didipio Community through various social programs such as assistance to education, promotion of health, construction of infrastructures, assistance to livelihood and training programs, and provisions of employment opportunities.

During the technical conference, representatives of the OceanaGold countered the allegations thrown to the company.

Atty. Dyann Castillo, legal counsel of OceanaGold responded on the issue of the alleged violation of human rights/forceful evictions and demolitions of the company, “The letter did not identify the person/s whose rights were allegedly violated and whose properties were demolished. This renders it impossible for the company to specifically address the issue. “

On the issue of deployment of members of the Philippine National Police in the implementation of the Writ of Execution against the heirs of Felipe Lawagan, Atty. Castillo said that, during the acquisition of surface rights for the project, there was only a small group of landowners, including the heirs of Lawagan who didn’t reach  a voluntary agreement with the company over the compensation for the use of the land.

Further, OceanaGold responded that in accordance with the requirements of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, the company filed a petition to enforce right of entry with the Panel of Arbitrators of Regional Office No.II. The company likewise posted a cash bond with MGB to answer for all damages resulting from the company’s entry. Hence, an entry of judgement was issued.

Atty. Castillo further informed that it was the Provincial sheriff of the Regional Trial Court of Nueva Vizcaya who requested the PNP to give assistance in the implementation of the Writ of Execution issued by the Panel of Arbitrators.

OGPI gave assurance that there was no structure owned by Lawagan that was demolished due to the Temporary Restraining Order by the RTC.

OceanaGold denied the allegation that the company has caused the burning of Alawagans’ property, “there was no evidence that supports the allegation and Mr. Lawagan did not file any complaint against the company, its personnel or contractor, nor requested any police investigation,” OceanGold said in their response during the Technical Conference.

The findings in the technical report dated September 2014 on the Environmental Investigation Mission regarding the impacts of large scale mining in Nueva Vizcaya by Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (AGHAM), confirmed the adverse effects of mining in relation to the civil, economic, social and cultural rights of various communities that live in the mining-impacted areas as well as those downstream of the mine operations. 

However, the company responded that it was already fully addressed by the company years ago.

“It must be emphasized that there is full implementation of the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) funding numerous infrastructure, livelihood, health and educational projects, including scholarships,” the company responded during the technical conference.

Atty. Castillo likewise mentioned that there is also an on-going discussion and collaboration with Grameen Australia Philippines (GAP) on development of social business activity which can bring employment and new income opportunities to Didipio and its adjacent communities, which also includes enhancement of agriculture and farm production, and development of agri-business.

The company also responded on the issue of copper contamination in both impact and confluence for Didipio Mining, “ Partnership with the International River Foundation river recovery program for river restoration works is going-on.”

It was also made known during the technical conference that the company is using high-tech water treatment facility in Didipio to ensure that the water it uses in the mining operation is returned clean and of high quality to the ecosystem.

Atty. Castillo also mentioned that monitoring activities of the Multipartite Monitoring Team is also being done per quarter aside from the daily conduct of internal monitoring of odour, water quality, and Total Suspended Solids (TSS).

On the other hand, the company also stressed out that landowners/occupants in the community entered into voluntary Surface Rights Acquisition (SRA) agreements with OceanaGold under the SRA Program.

Status of commitments to the Didipio Community under the 2013 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was likewise presented during the technical conference.

 

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