The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. XIII, in cooperation with the Community Relations, Education and Development Officers Organization (CREDO) Caraga, Inc., conducted the two-day SDMP Capacity Enhancement Seminar for the Community Relations Officers in Caraga on May 30 to 31, 2018 at the Philippine Gateway Hotel in Surigao City.

Community Relations Officers and community organizers of mining companies and processing plants, together with the Social Development Section personnel of MGB RXIII, actively took part in the activity.  The training was facilitated by Dr. Rolando Cuaño and Ms. Marita Cuaño of BMP Environment and Community Care, Inc. in response to the program of Regional Director Roger A. De Dios to capacitate the Social Development and Management Program workforce of mining companies and processing plants together with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau as the regulatory agency.

Aimed at making the SDMP workforce more capacitated and empowered through the internalization of the true objectives, scope, framework and methods of the SDMP, the training successfully attained the following objectives:

  1. Re-internalize the twin objectives of SDMP – Poverty Alleviation and Sustainability
  2. Re-assess the SDMP system – actors, rules, interconnectivities, feedback loops vis-à-vis the SDMP objectives and to formulate a system action plan
  3. Develop a working knowledge of the policies, standards, guidelines and procedures embodied in the SDMP/CDP Manual of Operation (MOO)
  4. Discuss and agree on enhancements and supports to the MOO
  5. Finalize, agree and commit to an SDMP System Action Plan

The methodology of the training comprised substantial lectures, in-depth discussions, intensive workshops and open-forum.  To strengthen the participants’ knowledge of the foundations and dynamics of the Social Development and Management Program, Dr. and Ms. Cuaño discussed these topics with emphasis:

  • The SDMP System: Elements, Interconnections, Function and Purpose
  • The SDMP Framework of THPAL
  • The Community Development Toolkit based on International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM): Assessment, Planning, Relationships, Program Management, Monitoring & Evaluation
  • SDMP Output and Outcome Indicators
  • Opportunity Ranking for SDMP Projects/Programs/Activities
  • Developing Project Plans

During the activity, Dir. De Dios emphasized that what has been approved by the Office should be implemented as planned.  No realignment or deviation should be allowed unless it is necessary and approved by the Regional Office.

The participants keenly took part in the workshops on Identification of Weaknesses of each player in the SDMP system (MGB, RHNC, MRFC, MMT, LGU and Community, among others) and The ICMM’s Development Opportunity Ranking based on the following criteria for ranking development opportunities:

  • Sustainability – Can the community keep the project running by itself after outside assistance has gone?
  • Productivity – Will the project substantially increase the availability of needed resources?
  • Equitability – Will the project benefit a broad cross-section of the community?
  • Cost – Will large amounts of external funding be needed?
  • Community contribution – Will the community be able and willing to contribute to the project (normally through an in-kind contribution)?
  • Technical feasibility – Does the project fit within the community’s norms?
  • Time needed – Will it take a long time for the community to reap the benefits of the project?

Towards the end of the workshops, group presentations on the outputs were made. Putting a premium on inclusive participation, the facilitators kept the discussion open and flowing allowing everyone to have a chance to fully participate and share views.