The DENR-Mines and Geosciences Bureau held its 2015 Annual Technical Forum on November 12 to 14, 2015 at One Tagaytay Place Hotel Suites in Tagaytay City.

With the theme of “Issues and Challenges Towards Innovations in Geosciences and the Mineral Industry,” the forum started with a program wherein MGB Director Leo L. Jasareno delivered his opening remarks. In his message, Dir. Jasareno challenged and encouraged everyone to undertake continuous learning and establish a bureau that is a ‘manufacturing plant’ of expert scientists. “The 2015 Annual Technical Forum is part of the process of sustaining this sharing of information. I look forward to the next forum where I think we will just put our hearts into it that an academy maybe emplaced in the next two years for the first time. There is always a first time and we must always endeavor to hit the ground running,” he said. Engr. Jeremias L. Dolino, Executive Vice President/COO of Oriental Vision Mining Philippines Corporation, was the keynote speaker during the forum. Laying emphasis on innovation and undertaking the learning process, Engr. Dolino stated that the participants must not cease to learn if they want to lead.

The overview and history of the MGB Technical Forum was narrated by Ms. Lilian A. Rollan, Chairperson of the Organizing Committee. She informed everyone that the 2015 Annual Technical Forum is the 18th technical forum conducted since the first ever forum held on February 7 to 9, 1990 at the Petrolab of MGB Central Office. The MGB Technical Forum Organizing Committee made seven (7) innovations to improve this year’s forum. These include the selection of a venue which is situated outside Metro Manila for the first time; start of rotation of host or turnover of organizing committee to other regional office every year; composition of a theme; conduct of a logo making contest; creation of two categories namely technical and policy papers; acceptance of poster presentation entries and designation of names in forum sessions in honor of past MGB personalities and their proper introduction in order to serve as inspirations to the present MGB community.

The board of judges was composed of Dr. Karlo L. Queaño, Ms. Nelia C. Halcon and Ms. Gladiola M. Bagadiong who are respected individuals in their own fields. Most of the topics from Day 1 were about the geohazards identified in different regions. Day 2 topics were mostly about mining related studies.

Engr. Junrey D. Paronda, Engineer II of Survey Section, was the presenter from MGB Regional Office No. XIII. He was accompanied by Ms. Kate A. Boquilon, GeologiTech2016_2st II and Ms. Ana S. Bajao, Economist II. Engr. Paronda presented his technical paper on Day 2. His study entitled “Stockpile Volumetric Survey Conducted in Adnama Mining Resource Inc. (AMRI) Located in Brgy. Urbistondo, Claver, Surigao del Norte” gained positive feedbacks from the participants who are in agreement with the objectives of the study, namely, to validate data and to promote transparency in the declared volume for stockpile inventory of the mining companies.

Toward the end of the forum, MGB Regional Office No. III (Central Luzon) was selected by lot as the host to the 2016 MGB Annual Technical Forum. At the awarding ceremony, the technical paper entitled “Recovery of Nickel from Low Grade Philippine Laterite Ores by Agitated Atmospheric Leaching” by Ms. Chris G. Arnejo and Engr. Rey Perucho of MGB Central Office won the Best Technical Paper. The Best Policy Paper was awarded to Ms. Rhoda M. Noble of MGB Central Office for innovating the “Scorecard for SHES Performance.” The Best Poster was from Region 6 entitled “Training on the Operation and Data Analysis of PulseEKKO” presented by Dr. Leilanie O. Suerte. The first ever Best Presenter Award was given to Mr. Ross Dominic D. Agot of MGB Central Office. The winner of the logo making contest was Ms. Mikey Bondal of MGB Central Office. Her winning entry will be the 2016 Annual Technical Forum logo.

The 2015 Annual Technical Forum concluded with closing remarks from the new MGB OIC/Assistant Director, Atty. Danilo U. Uykieng, in which he expressed his gratitude and encouraged everyone to constantly support MGB events and undertakings for the advancement of the workforce and the bureau itself.