The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regional Office (RO) No. XIII advocated the Mindanao Rollout of Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Program on August 26, 2020 via Zoom Platform. 

TSM Initiative Leaders representing member-companies with Mindanao-based projects participated in the said rollout which was organized by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines and the TSM Community of Interest Panel of Advisory in cooperation with the Canadian Embassy Trade Mission.

Regional Director Glenn Marcelo C. Noble was invited to grace the rollout and deliver words of encouragement. 

In his speech, RD Noble stated that the adoption of TSM in the country is indeed a milestone for the Philippine minerals industry as this will be the journey towards accountability, transparency and credibility which are the core strengths of the TSM Program. He added that the implementation of the TSM Program would greatly improve the image of the minerals industry and ensure that mining will be conducted in the most socially, economically and environmentally responsible manner.

According to RD Noble, the concept of sustainable mining is not new to the Philippine minerals industry.  He then recounted that sustainable mining has been thoroughly discussed and incorporated in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 during its revision in 1996.  He went on to state that Item A of Section 3 Guiding Principles of DENR Administrative Order No. 96-40 or 2010-21 which is the latest version states that mineral resource exploration, development, utilization and conservation shall be governed by the principle of sustainable mining which provides that the use of mineral wealth shall be pro-environment and pro-people in sustaining wealth creation and improved quality of life.  That same statement can be seen at the bottom portion of the MGB letterhead.

Towards the end of his speech, RD Noble expressed his hope that the learning of the participants will not end in the webinar but rather spark the beginning of having TSM as the guiding principle in our operations.

“I call upon the minerals industry players in the Caraga Administrative Region, the whole of Mindanao and the entire Philippines to take the challenge of Towards Sustainable Mining.  You have to engage the communities, protect the health and safety of your employees and communities, minimize the impact of your operations on the environment and the biodiversity, respect the indigenous peoples including their customs and traditions, comply with all the laws and regulations… These are just a few of what we in the minerals industry should be doing.  Let us, therefore, take this opportunity to learn from the experience of Canada,” imparted RD Noble as a final point.

Launched in 2004 by the Mining Association of Canada, the TSM Program has set the global standard for best practices in sustainable mining.  The program has been adopted as a Canadian industry standard for responsible business conduct promoted by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service and the Government of Canada.

The Philippines takes pride in being the first Asian country to adopt TSM on December 19, 2017.  In the same vein, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines is the fourth national mining association outside of Canada to adopt TSM. 

By Marie Pennelope E. Fang
Office of the Regional Director