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Hopes high for a sustainable mining industry as confab closes

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AS the Mining Philippines 2011 Conference and Exhibition came to a close on September 15 after three days of exhibits, networking and discussions on developments and the future of the country’s mining industry, stakeholders were upbeat that challenges and issues will be addressed soon.

 

Secretary Ramon JP Paje Jr. of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in his talk on “Instituting Policy Reforms in Mineral Resources Development”, stressed that the current administration under President Benigno Aquino III is “bent on fully addressing the issues confronting the Philippine Minerals industry…with the end in view of protecting mining investments.”

 

In his keynote address, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr. likewise assured that the Aquino administration recognizes the value and potential of the mining industry as a main contributor to the Philippine economy. Mr. Ochoa said the conference was a good opportunity for legitimate mining operators and environment officials to discuss ways on how the private sector can contribute to the government’s efforts to consolidate its national policies on mining.

 

Mr. Benjamin Philip G. Romualdez, President of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, the host of the event, said, “The Philippine minerals development industry has plenty of reasons to be upbeat these days. One reason is the unparalleled increase in metal prices in the international market – a development that augurs well not just for the industry, but, more importantly, for our country.   With the Aquino Administration’s focus on attracting new investments to reduce poverty, to create more employment, and to increase revenues, we need not look far to find the solutions to our pressing economic concerns.  The metal prices are drawing more investors, both local and foreign, to invest in mining in the Philippines, which, as you know, is the fifth most mineralized country in the world.”

 

The topics discussed during the conference participated in by local and foreign mining operators include “Industry Policy Reforms for Progress”, “Mineral Commodities Outlook”, “Exploration: The Lifeblood of Mining”, “Mining Landscape in the Philippines and SouthEast Asia” with separate discussions for copper, gold, nickel and downstream projects; and “Addressing Issues in Philippine Mining” which include topics on Indigenous Peoples, the environment, and social responsibility on the part of mining firms.

 

Top officials of locally listed mining companies presented updates on their respective mining projects as well as accomplishments in the area of environmental protection and corporate social responsibility.

 

In line with the Chamber of Mines’ goal of strengthening ties with civil society groups, also invited to speak during the conference were Mr. Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan, Vice-Chairman and CEO of World Wildlife Fund Philippines, who talked on “Integrating Biodiversity in the Mining Life Cycle”, and Mr. Rafael C. Lopa, Executive Director of the Philippine Business for Social Progress, who discussed “Meeting Society’s Social and Environmental Expectations: A Score Card”.

 

Others included Atty. Dennis Quintero, Partner, Quisumbing Torres Law Office on “The Dynamics between the IPRA and the Mining Act”, and Justice Alberto C. Agra, Professor, College of Law, Ateneo De Manila University on “Understanding the Mechanics and Defense Strategies on the Writ of Kalikasan”.

 

Members of the Diplomatic Corps were also among the speakers. H.E. Roberto L. Mayorga, Ambassador of Chile, the world’s largest copper producer, shared his country’s experiences in the mining industry while H.E. Liu Janchao, Ambassador of China, expressed hope that mineral trade between the Philippines and China will continuously expand in the coming years.

 

“The legitimate mining industry is on the verge of the biggest boom in history. To successfully implement more than $13 billion in new mining investments, we just need to implement the mining act and strictly follow its environmental regulations. We are appealing to the DENR to act faster in fulfilling its mandate of implementing these laws and help us contribute to the national economy and ensure sustained economic growth,” Mr. Romualdez said. Ayda Zoleta, PAO-DENR

Written by tuklasinnatin

September 15, 2011 at 11:41 am

Posted in Kapaligiran

DENR to cleanse ‘wang-wang’ in the mining industry, Paje says

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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is bent on cleansing the mining industry of “wang-wang” or undesirables prior to resuming the granting of mining permits in the country.

 

At the same time, DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje is recommending to President Aquino a new approach of awarding mining tenements to deter corruption.

 

“Consistent with the instruction of President Aquino, the DENR will resume the granting of mining permits only after we have fully cleansed the ‘wang-wang’ in the mining industry,” Paje said.

 

The DENR, through the Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau (MGB), has already issued 500 permits. Some of these permits are being used for speculative trading or sold to other companies, without generating revenue for the government.

 

“This is not the kind of mining we want to encourage.  The government is allowing mining operation in the country because we want to generate revenue for the government and the Filipino people and to fuel the country’s economic development,” Paje stressed.

 

The DENR chief acknowledged that the current revenue sharing in mining is not favorable to the government.

 

“The two percent excise tax, which is the share of the government according to the Mining Act, is not enough to pay for the environment cost considering the fact that mining is an extractive industry. This is the reason why the DENR is pushing for the payment of five percent royalty by mining companies,” Paje said.

 

He also proposed to Malacanang the abolition of the current scheme in awarding mining permits which is through the “first come, first served” basis. In lieu of this, he recommended that the awarding should be done through tendering/bidding.

 

Paje stressed that through this approach, discretion and corruption in the awarding of mining tenements will be eliminated. Ayda Zoleta, PAO-DENR

Written by tuklasinnatin

September 15, 2011 at 11:38 am

Posted in Kapaligiran

DENR to cleanse ‘wang-wang’ in the mining industry, Paje says

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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is bent on cleansing the mining industry of “wang-wang” or undesirables prior to resuming the granting of mining permits in the country. At the same time, DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje is recommending to President Aquino a new approach of awarding mining tenements to deter corruption. “Consistent with the instruction of President Aquino, the DENR will resume the granting of mining permits only after we have fully cleansed the ‘wang-wang’ in the mining industry,” Paje said. The DENR, through the Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau (MGB), has already issued 500 permits. Some of these permits are being used for speculative trading or sold to other companies, without generating revenue for the government. “This is not the kind of mining we want to encourage. The government is allowing mining operation in the country because we want to generate revenue for the government and the Filipino people and to fuel the country’s economic development,” Paje stressed. The DENR chief acknowledged that the current revenue sharing in mining is not favorable to the government. “The two percent excise tax, which is the share of the government according to the Mining Act, is not enough to pay for the environment cost considering the fact that mining is an extractive industry. This is the reason why the DENR is pushing for the payment of five percent royalty by mining companies,” Paje said. He also proposed to Malacanang the abolition of the current scheme in awarding mining permits which is through the “first come, first served” basis. In lieu of this, he recommended that the awarding should be done through tendering/bidding. Paje stressed that through this approach, discretion and corruption in the awarding of mining tenements will be eliminated. Ayda Zoleta, PAO, DENR

Written by tuklasinnatin

September 15, 2011 at 7:23 am

Posted in Kapaligiran

DENR holds forum for estero partners in Metro Manila

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After a year of engaging private sector support to revive major creeks and rivers, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will gather all adopters of esteros in Metro Manila in a day-long event to share experiences and challenges of each company in rehabilitating Metro Manila’s waterways.

 

Slated on Friday (Sept. 16), the event dubbed, “Making Headways in Cleaning Metro Manila Waters” is a forum for key partners and other stakeholders of the Adopt-An-Estero/River Program.

 

Launched in 2010, Adopt an Estero/River program is a collaborative undertaking among the estero communities, private entities, local government units and the DENR. The event is in support of the celebration of September as National Cleanup Month.

 

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje has been actively promoting the program, highlighting the importance of sustained participation of barangays and estero communities in maintaining clean waterways.

 

“The experiences our private partners had in laying the groundwork for the rehabilitation of our esteros provide us with a wealth of information that other stakeholders can learn from,” Paje said.

 

At the same time, Paje said the program has also enabled the DENR to strengthen its ties with the barangays.

Among the private sector partners who will be presenting their unique experiences during the forum include Manila North Tollways Corporation (portions of the Tullahan River at Barangays Ugong in Valenzuela City and Talipapa in Quezon City); Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association and Sagip Ilog Pilipinas Movement (Diliman Creek and its minor tributaries); San Miguel Corporation (Tullahan River from MacArthur Highway all the way to Manila Bay); AMKOR Technology Philippines Inc. (Palico Creek located at Brgys. Buli and Cupang in Muntinlupa City); and Skyway Operations and Maintenance Corporation (Maricaban Creek traversing the cities of Taguig, Makati, Pasay and Paranaque).

 

Artist Noel Cabangon, also designated as Ambassador for Philippines Rivers, is also expected to attend the event.

 

Other government agencies such as the Metro Manila Development Authority and the Quezon City Government, as well as key stakeholders in the barangay level are also expected to speak at the forum.

 

Paje adds that the forum will also help strengthen coordination among agencies and other partners who are implementing similar programs for estero clean ups and dredging activities. 

Since its launching barely a year ago, the Adopt-an-Estero/River Program of the DENR has already gained widespread private sector support, drawing together some 208 signed agreements with private companies to clean-up esteros and rivers all over the country.

 

Under the program, private company partners will undertake environmental improvement on the waterway they have adopted. This may include regular clean-up activities, dredging of the creek as well as information and education campaigns, community mobilization activities, and trainings for concerned stakeholders.

 

The DENR through the EMB its regional offices and the Laguna Lake Development Authority for Metro Manila and its nearby regions will intensify monitoring of industrial/commercial establishments, and undertake, among others, regular water quality monitoring and provide the necessary technical assistance to concerned leaders and stakeholder groups in the area.

 

In addition to this, the concerned parties also agreed to determine the necessity of, and to the extent possible plan for, more dredging and desilting of the creek, introduction of interventions such as phyto-remediation thru constructed wetlands, planting of bamboo and other plant species along the river banks, rip-rapping or coco-matting, construction, and greening of linear parks. Ayda Zoleta, PAO, DENR

Written by tuklasinnatin

September 15, 2011 at 4:46 am

Posted in Kapaligiran

DENR gains first academic partner for Adopt-an-Estero program

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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has gained its first academic partner in its “Adopt-an-Estero” program with the signing on Tuesday (Sept. 13) of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Adamson University (AdU) for the cleanup of a portion of the Estero de Balete in Ermita, Manila.

Signing the agreement to formalize the partnership were Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Director Juan Miguel Cuna, representing DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, AdU President Rev. Fr. Gregorio L. Bañaga, Jr., C.M, and Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim.  The signing was held at the AdU campus in San Marcelino, Manila.

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said the DENR, AdU and Manila LGU MOA is the 9th partnership that the agency has entered into in its drive to clean up Metro Manila’s waterways, and the first with the academe. “Our previous partners in the Adopt-an-Estero program have been industries and businesses. This partnership with Adamson University and the city of Manila is something that we hope will encourage other academic institutions to help in reviving our waterways,” he said.

 

Paje stressed that such programs are necessary in addressing the overall health of communities. “Aside from the aesthetic improvement of surroundings and reducing the creek’s malodorous scent, cleaning up our waterways prevents them from becoming breeding grounds of pests and parasites that cause diseases such as dengue,” he explained.

 

Under the MOA, the DENR, through the EMB and the National Solid Waste Management Commission Secretariat, will provide technical assistance to the implementers particularly on environmental education, installation of bar screen in a portion of the estero near San Marcelino Street, monitoring of surrounding establishments, conduct of water quality monitoring, and establishment of materials recovery facilities (MRFs) in surrounding barangays.

The Manila City Government, for its part, will implement solid waste management within surrounding barangays. It will also maintain trash traps along the estero.

On the other hand, AdU is expected to administer surface clean-up and engineering solutions to decongest Estero de Balete, recommend and implement measures to reduce pollution, and tap other possible partners in the rehabilitation and future expansion of the pilot site.

The university will also work actively with the DENR and the city government in environmental education of surrounding communities.

Valid initially for three years, the MOA targets the cleanup and rehabilitation of Estero de Balete from Taft Avenue to Romualdez St. in Ermita, Manila, which may be expanded in the future. Ayda Zoleta, PAO, DENR

Written by tuklasinnatin

September 13, 2011 at 5:17 am

Posted in Kapaligiran

CSC NAGKALOOB NG DONASYON SA MGA BAYANI NG KALIKASAN

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ENDOWMENT FUND FOR ‘ENVIRONMENTAL HEROES’. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje (third from right) receives from Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairman Francisco Duque III (second from left) a facsimile of a check amounting to Php314,241.00, representing the proceeds from the In a R.A.C.E.(Responsive, Accessible, Courteous and Effective) to Serve Fun Run organized by the CSC to help families of DENR forest guards who died in the line of duty. Conducted last Sept. 4 at the grounds of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, the Fun Run was participated in by close to 3,000 runners composed mostly of government employees to kick off the nationwide celebration of the 111th anniversary of the Philippine Civil Service. Paje said the DENR will put up an endowment fund for ‘environmental heroes’. Also in photo are (left to right): DENR Undersecretary Ernesto Adobo Jr.; CSC Director Myrna Macatangay; CSC Assistant Commissioner Anicia Marasigan-De Lima; DENR Assistant Secretary Corazon Davis; and DENR Undersecretary Demetrio Ignacio Jr.

 

SA ginanap na ‘Flag Raising Ceremony’ sa ‘compound’ ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) noong ika-14 ng Setyembre 2011 ay ipinagkaloob ng Komisyon ng Serbisyo Sibil sa pamamagitan ni Chairman Fracisco T. Duque III ang tsekeng nagkakahalaga ng Tatlong daan labing apat na libo at dalawang daan apat napu’t isang piso (P 314,241.00) na nalikom mula sa isinagawang R.A.C.E. (Responsive, Accessible, Courteous and Effective) to Serve Fun Run noong ika-4 ng Setyembre 2011 sa Philippine International Convention Center na dinaluhan ng ikalawang pangulo ng bansa na si Jejomar C. Binay sa pakikipagtulungan ng Philipine Sports Commission, lokal na pamahalaan ng Pasay, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Pasay City Police District, Small Business Guarantee and Finance Corporation, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas at Philippine Information Agency.

Ang nasabing Fun Run ng Civil Service Commission (CSC) ay pasimula lamang ng mga nakahanay na gawain para sa pagridiwang ng ika-111 taong pagkakatatag ng Serbisyo Sibil sa Pilipinas na nilahukan ng dalawang libo at walong daan at dalawampu’t dalawang (2,822) kawani ng gobyerno mula sa iba’t ibang sangay kasama ang ilang pribadong sector bilang pagkilala sa mga manggagawa ng Kagawaran ng Kapaligiran at Likas na Yaman (DENR) na nagbuwis ng buhay maipagtanggol lamang ang inang kalikasan.

Isa sa sampung gagawaran ng parangal ng Serbisyo Sibil bilang “Dangal ng Bayan” ng taong kasalukuyan ay si Elpidio “Jojo” Malinao, Forestry Technician I o Forest Guard na nakatalaga sa Makiling Forest Reserve sa lalawigan ng Laguna. Samantala ang Kagawaran ng Kapaligiran at Likas Yaman (DENR) sa pamumuno ni Kalihim Ramon J. P. Paje ay nakatakdang magkaloob ng pinansyal na tulong sa mga pamilya na nag-alay ng buhay sa pagpapatupad ng nakaatas na tungkulin na tinaguriang ‘Environmental Heroes’ ng bansa.

Ang ibinigay na halaga na nalikom mula sa ‘Fun Run’ ng CSC ay ilalagak ng DENR sa ‘Trust Fund’ at magtatalaga ng isang grupo na mag-aasikaso para sa mga pamilya ng mga kawani ng kanilang ahensya na nasawi dahil sa atas ng katungkulan gayundin upang matiyak na ang mapapalawig ang ganitong uri ng programa para sa mga bayani ng kalikasan.

Samantala, hinimok naman ni Chairman Duque ang mga empleyado ng DENR na sumama sa susunod na taunang pagtakbo upang makamit ang sampung libong (10,000) makakasali sa 3K at 5K Fun Run at mapalaki pa ang maiipon na halaga para sa namatay na kasama nila na nanatiling tapat sa trabaho. Cathy Cruz, PSciJourn Mega Manila

Written by tuklasinnatin

September 13, 2011 at 4:16 am

DENR to set up endowment fund for ‘environmental heroes’ from CSC Fun Run proceeds

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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will set up an endowment fund for ‘environmental heroes’ using as seed money the proceeds generated from the In a R.A.C.E. (Responsive, Accessible, Courteous, Effective) to Serve Fun Run held last Sept. 4, 2011 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City in celebration of the 111th Philippine Civil Service Anniversary.

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje made the announcement during the turnover of a check amounting to PhP314,241.00 from Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairman Francisco T. Duque in Monday’s (Sept. 12) flag raising ceremony at the grounds of DENR in Quezon City.

“We deeply appreciate the concern and generosity accorded by the Civil Service Commission led by Chairman Duque to our co-workers in the DENR, who have to sacrifice their lives in defense of our forests, our seas and other natural resources,” Paje said.

Duque said the amount was raised from the registration fees paid by the runners, totaling 2,831, composed mostly of government employees.

No less than Vice Pres. Jejomar C. Binay led the Fun Run highlighted by two events, 3K and 5K. Among the government agencies that supported the event include the Philippine Sports Commission, Pasay City Government, Metro Manila Development Authority, Pasay City Police District, Small Business Guaranty and Finance Corp., Cultural Center of the Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Philippine Information Agency, and DENR.

Duque stressed the commemoration of the birth of the civil service system in the Philippines serves not only as an opportunity to reflect on the state of the institution as one of the first modern civil service systems in Asia but also to recognize the contributions and sacrifices of Filipino civil servants.

“Amidst the politics and changing leadership in government, they are the people who ensure the stable and continuous delivery of programs and services to the public,” Duque said.

Duque also enjoined all employees of the DENR to participate in next year’s Fun Run as his agency seeks to target around 10,000 government employees to generate more funds for ‘environmental heroes.’

Paje said he will be forming a group who will be managing the fund. The group, he said, will also be responsible in laying down the mechanisms not only on the fund’s utilization to benefit the dependents of ‘environmental heroes’ but also on how to ensure the sustainability of the endowment fund. Ayda Zoleta, PAO, DENR

Written by tuklasinnatin

September 13, 2011 at 3:44 am

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