The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. XIII, in partnership with the Caraga Mine Environmental Management Council (CMEMC), went the extra mile in the celebration of the 2016 Environment Month by conducting a series of activities on June 13-17 and 29-30, 2016. The lined-up activities aimed to intensify public awareness of environmental preservation and instill in the participants from mining companies and host communities a sense of accountability as stewards of the environment.

The Holy Mass at San Nicolas de Tolentino Cathedral, Motorcade within Surigao City and Opening Program at the Surigao City Luneta Park on June 13, 2016 marked the kick-off of the succeeding activities leading to the culmination on June 30, 2016. A total of 22 mining companies, employees from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau ROXIII, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) and City Environment and Natural Resources Office (City ENRO) participated in the kick-off activities.

The Landscaping Cum Recycling Competition held at the MGB ROXIII Compound highlighted the afternoon of the same day. The activity was open to all mining companies in Caraga Region.  It was aimed at promoting awareness among the public and the stakeholders that mining is recreating landscapes in its endeavor to rehabilitate the mined-out and other disturbed areas.  The idea of recycling was incorporated to enhance the aesthetics of rehabilitation. Preliminary judging was held on June 17, 2016 and final judging was conducted on June 30, 2016.

Mining companies within the region once again gathered for the two-day Culmination Activities in celebration of the 2016 Environment Month. A Short Program, Zumba Exercise and Coastal Clean-up were conducted starting as early as 5:00 A.M. of June 29, 2016 at the Brgy. San Juan Gymnasium in Surigao City. It was participated by the personnel of MGB ROXIII, Surigao City Environment and Natural Resources Office and mining companies in the region. Messages were delivered by Engr. Francis Glenn N. Suante, Officer-In-Charge of MGB ROXIII Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division, and Mr. Ruel E. Efren, CENR Officer of DENR-CENRO Surigao City. The messages were all about acknowledging the active participation of mining companies in the celebration and their contributions to environmental protection.

A Zumba exercise followed to energize the participants and remind them that they must also take care of their health while taking care of the environment. The exercise brought fun and camaraderie among the participants.

A Coastal Clean-up along Brgy. Sabang 3 ended the early morning series of activities. As they collected litter along the coast, the participants were reminded that they should responsibly dispose of their litter so as not to cause environmental harm. Polluting bodies of water can kill aquatic life that will contribute to biodiversity loss.

Activities such as Ribbon-cutting, Technical Forum, Photography Competition and Environmental Video Competition were held at the Philippine Gateway Hotel in Surigao City. Representatives of Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. XIII, Caraga mining companies, the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony. This marked the formal opening of the Photo Exhibit wherein different photo entries taken by professional and non-professional photographers of mining companies aimed to promote responsible mining and environmental preservation.

Engr. Daniel S. Belderol, Mine Management Division Chief of MGB ROXIII, delivered the opening remarks emphasizing the importance of responsible mining and the role of mining companies in protecting the environment.

In the Technical Forum, representatives from participating mining companies presented the studies/research conducted in their respective mining areas for environmental protection and enhancement. The activity was a good venue for mining companies to share their researches with other mining companies and a setting for sharing of ideas to come up with more valuable studies for the benefit of the industry and the environment. Among the seven technical papers presented, the Best Technical Paper entitled “Coral Transportation and Performance Monitoring Program” was awarded to Agata Mining Ventures Inc. (AMVI). It was presented by Ms. Jesalyn A. Guingguing, AMVI Environment Manager, who also received the Best Presenter Award.

The Environmental Video Competition immediately followed the Technical Forum. The competition was open to all mining company employees in the region and was aimed at tapping the creative potentials of individuals to campaign for environmental preservation by capturing their vision and expressing their message through videography.

On the last day of the Culmination Activities, the Hand Painting, Recycling, and Interpretative Dance Competitions along with the Mining and Environmental Quiz Bowl were simultaneously held on June 30, 2016 at the Provincial Convention Center in Surigao City.

Mr. Romeo M. Dalodado, Geosciences Division Chief of MGB ROXIII, welcomed everyone to the last day of the 2016 Environment Month Culmination Activities.  He urged the participants to join him in commending the dynamic organizers from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. XIII, Caraga Mine Environment Management Council (CMEMC) and Community Relations, Education & Development Officers (CREDO), Inc. and participating mining companies for going the extra mile in their preparations and conduct of the event. Expressing his appreciation for their efforts, teamwork and commitment to this singular endeavor, Mr. Dalodado  stated that the organizers have worked hand in hand to conduct Culmination Activities in order to intensify public awareness of environmental preservation and instill in the participants from mining companies and host communities a deep sense of responsibility as stewards of the environment. He encouraged everyone to give hope, inspiration and support to people in mining communities as they all take responsible mining, social development and environmental protection to a new level of commitment.

In the morning, the Hand Painting Competition and the Mining and Environmental Quiz Bowl were concurrently held.  Aimed at encouraging emerging young artists and tapping their potentials to campaign for environmental preservation through creative works, the Hand Painting Competition was a visual art competition open to all high school and college students of mining communities in Caraga Region. Teams of rank and file employees of mining companies in Caraga Region took part in the Mining and Environmental Quiz Bowl which was aimed at enriching the knowledge and heightening the awareness of the participants and the public of various laws governing mining, safety and environment.

Envi_3In the afternoon, the participants took delight in the Recycling and Interpretative Dance Competitions which were simultaneously held.  Open to groups of employees of mining companies and residents of mining communities, the Recycling Competition is aimed at motivating individuals adept at innovation and recycling with the intent of nurturing their creative skills as they advocate green practices particularly the three R’s of the environment (reduce, reuse, recycle) and promote waste reduction. On the other hand, groups of mining community residents and mining company employees in Caraga Region participated in the Interpretative Dance Competition. The competition is aimed at cultivating the singular talents of young people to support environmental preservation campaigns through dance and other kinesthetic arts.

At the venue, there was a livelihood display where various products of mining companies’ SDMP projects were showcased.  The variety of food and beverage products and other goods affirm the fruitful SDMP undertakings of the participating mining companies.

Towards the end of the event, Engr. Daniel S. Belderol inducted the new set of CREDO, Inc. Officers as follows:

Genevieve P. Chua                             President
Isidro Manuel C. Trinidad                Vice President
Glynis Irene S. Buot                           Secretary
Jeanette Garsilva-Celerio                  Treasurer
Joseph T. Timtim                                Auditor
Ma. Rosie Analisa R. Limpioso         Board of Director
Ma. Rowena T. Mangacop                 Board of Director
Antonio B. Resuera, Jr.                      Board of Director
Nissi Aline S. Alvarez                          Board of Director
Carolus Rey Lantian                            Board of Director

The winners of the competitions were recognized during the awarding ceremony. Each winner was given a Plaque of Recognition and a cash prize.  On the other hand, all participants received a Certificate of Recognition and a consolation prize each.  In gratitude and acknowledgement of their full support and active participation, the participating mining companies were given a Plaque of Appreciation each. The awarding ceremony was followed by a series of pictorials.

In conclusion, Ms. Genevieve P. Chua delivered a short yet compelling message that urged everyone to reflect and actualize the 2016 Environment Month theme in support of environmental preservation.  Ms. Chua underscored the fact that the success of the event is attributed to the dynamic collaboration and concerted efforts of MGB ROXIII, CMEMC, CREDO and all participating mining companies.