Zamboanga City -- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) IX conducted a stakeholders’ forum “Responsible Mining Towards Economic Recovery in Region IX” on March 24 with both in-person and virtual attendees.
 
The forum aimed to deepen the awareness of the mining stakeholders on the salient features of MGB’s recent policies and developments as well as to promote responsible mining as contributor to the country’s economic development with the presentation of good practices of the mining industry in the region.
 
MGB Director Wilfredo G. Moncano, who joined the activity virtually, said that the despite the limitations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the mining industry has remained steadfast in its commitment towards sustainable development through the creation of jobs, implementation of social development programs, compliance to environmental rules and regulations, and the payment of taxes and fees.
 
“This forum gives [MGB] the opportunity to engage in meaning discussions with our stakeholders as we move towards a common and shared goal of improving the lives of every Filipino,” said Director Moncano. “Our decisions are all going to have a big impact on [our] better normal,” he added.
 
The forum featured presentations on the status of the mining industry in the region by MGB IX Regional Director Hernani G. Abdon, recent policies on Large Scale Mining (LSM) and Small Scale Mining (SSM) and mine safety, environment and social development by MGB IX Division Chiefs, Engr. Ramil Mundo and Engr. Ramon Alforte, respectively.
 
Philex Gold Philippines, Inc. (PGPI) and TVI Resource Development Inc. (TVIRD) presented the status of the implementation of their respective Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Plan (FMRDP). These two companies are the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) holders in the region, which are currently in the rehabilitation stages of their operations for the Sibutad Mine Project (PGPI) and Canatuan (TVI).
 
After the sessions, MGB IX facilitated an open forum where stakeholders in attendance shared their questions and inquiries on MGB IX’s monitoring activities on the various mining activities in the region and their recommendations on policies and program implementation to the panel, which was composed of representatives from MGB IX and the MPSA holders.
 
MGB IX Director Abdon said, “The mining industry has a great potential to be a key growth driver in the Philippine economy and to the recovery efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. MGB IX is firm in our resolve to give our best efforts in striking a balance between environmental protection and development.”
 
Director Abdon added that he is grateful for the active participation of the mining stakeholders in the region. “It is through open discussions and active collaborations that we get to improve the mining industry in the region and sustain our good practices.”