Amidst the continuous threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. XIII and the Caraga Mine Environmental Management Council, Inc. spearheaded the Environment Month Celebration Culmination Program of the Caraga minerals industry on July 9, 2021 via Zoom Platform.  

The theme of this year’s celebration is Sama-samang Pagkilos, Sama-samang Paghilom. Ikaw, Ako, Tayo ang Kalikasan.

At the program, Engr. Francis Glenn N. Suante, Officer-in-Charge of the Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division, delivered the Welcome Remarks. OIC-Regional Director Larry M. Heradez also delivered a message.  “Let us be inspired by the National Government’s pursuit of development which is anchored on the commitment to Malasakit at Pagbabago or True Compassion and Real Change by taking initiatives, making eco-friendly choices and raising our voices to intensify awareness of environmental issues and concerns and create an impact that will eventually lead to nature’s restoration,” he said.  OIC-RD Heradez highlighted the environmental protection and enhancement efforts of the Caraga minerals industry as well as its all-out support to the National Government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.  He expressed his hope that the virtual celebration will inspire all participants to constantly work together for authentic socioeconomic and environmental transformation that will lead to the enrichment of human life.

            No less than the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Caraga Regional Executive Director, For. Nonito M. Tamayo, graced the event.  In his message, RED Tamayo mentioned the various activities of the recently concluded 2021 Environment Month Celebration which again reminded everyone of the importance of environment and natural resources in the lives of people.  “We should always keep in mind that every day is Environment Day.  And this year’s theme basically calls for a collective action and a united movement which shows that in working together we could create ripples of effect that would lead to the earth’s healing. We can all be part of the solution.   And as our Secretary kept on saying, we should be one with nature,” he said.  RED Tamayo appreciated the Environment Month Celebration of MGB Regional Office No. XIII and the Caraga minerals industry.  He also commended the reforestation efforts of the mining companies in support of DENR programs.  “Our mandate to protect and conserve our environment and natural resources is such a gargantuan task.  We need the participation of as many people as there are for us to achieve the mandates of our department.  And if we work together, we can achieve an unimaginable outcome. Nothing is impossible if we work together for the betterment of our environment and natural resources not only for this present but also for the future generation,” he added.

As part of the bureau’s environmental protection efforts and in support of DENR programs, For. Enjie G. Pacillos-Cañete, Senior Environmental Management Specialist, gave the very engaging Orientation on Ecological Solid Waste Management for MGB Regional Office No. XIII.

In the same vein, the celebration also encouraged the mining companies and host communities to take sustainable and progressive actions for environmental restoration through the Green Musings Photography and Environmental Message Competition and Proudly Caraganon Commercial Making Competition.  Green Musings encouraged the participants to nurture their visual talents, creativity and communication skills while promoting and advocating sustainable mining and environmental protection in support of the Tayo ang Kalikasan (TAK) campaign of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Similarly, Proudly Caraganon aimed to tap the creative potentials of participants as they campaign for authentic social development and environmental protection through commercials. The commercials showcased the livelihood products of mining communities funded by the Social Development and Management Program of mining companies. 

The entries were submitted to the Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division on July 2, two weeks after the notice of competitions was communicated to the mining companies. 

The Board of Judges for the said competitions comprised Ms. Gheleene S. Buenaflor, Environmental Science Faculty Member of Surigao State College of Technology; Mr. Tirso A. Clerigo Jr., Station Manager of RPN-DXKS; Ms. Susil D. Ragas, Provincial Coordinator of the Philippine Information Agency-Surigao del Norte Information Center and Provincial Information Manager of the Province of Dinagat Islands Information Center; and Mr. Richie Reynan Tan, Professional Photographer and Proprietor of Wedding and Events Digital Studio.

The entries for both competitions were presented during the program.  Various environmental videos produced by DENR Central Office and Caraga Regional Office were also viewed by the participants. 

Toward the end of the program, the awarding of winners took place. Below are the winners for each competition.

Green Musings Photography and Environmental Message Competition

Proudly Caraganon Commercial Making Competition

1st Place
“Isla Valencia”
Cagdianao Mining Corporation

2nd Place
“Caspia for a Greener and Healthier Claver”
Taganito Mining Corporation  

3rd Place
“Women Weavers of Consuelo”
Philsaga Mining Corporation

The program was formally closed by Mr. Jjam Cutillas, CMEMCI President. He thanked the organizing committee and all the participants for their kind support and active participation in the successful event.

By: Queeniebeth L. Plaza
Monitoring Officer
Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division