In keeping with the 2024 Earth Day Celebration, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. XIII, in collaboration with the Caraga minerals industry, has launched the PLASTIKalikasan: Mining Communities Clean-up Program on April 22, 2024.

The theme of this year’s celebration is Planet vs. Plastics.  The clean-up program shall serve as a long-term clean-up program for the minerals industry to minimize the generation of plastic waste in mine sites as well as in the host and neighboring communities.

At the MGB Regional Office in Surigao City, the personnel gathered early in the morning, ready for the initial launch of the PLASTIKalikasan Program and clean-up activity.

The day began with a Zumba session, serving as an energy booster for the ensuing activities. Following this invigorating kickoff, the personnel conducted a thorough clean-up of the bureau premises.

Thereafter, the event carried on with the initial launch which was marked by insightful talks. For. Enjie G. Pacillos-Cañete, Senior Environmental Management Specialist, gave a talk on Solid Waste Management while Engr. Francis Glenn N. Suante, Chief of Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division, walked the employees through the details of the clean-up program, discussing the rationale and objectives of the PLASTIKalikasan Program and its relevance to mining communities.

The morning event concluded with a collective pledge which led to the signing of the commitment wall to signiy the employees’ commitment to the transformative clean-up, preservation and empowerment of communities.

In the afternoon, a considerable number of MGB Regional Office personnel and representatives from Caraga mines, together with Claver Mayor Georgia Gokiangkee and Officials of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office of Claver and Barangay Panatao, took part in the collaborative launch at the Plastic Recyclable Plant in Barangay Panatao, Claver, Surigao del Norte. The said plant is one of the projects of Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation under its Social Development and Management Program.

The program commenced with the Welcome Address of Engr. Suante, which set the tone for the event. This was followed by the Inspirational Message of Mayor Gokiangkee in which she highlighted the importance of collective action in safeguarding the environment.

MENRO Claver then presented the municipality’s robust plastic waste management scheme, emphasizing strict compliance measures including the “no segregation, no collection” policy and the ban on single-use plastics every Monday. Engr. Suante also discussed the PLASTIKalikasan Clean-Up Program.

At the program, the participants shared innovative solid waste management practices employed to combat plastic pollution from basic segregation at the source to ingenious upcycling endeavors, such as transforming plastics into chairs, landscaping eco-bricks, and rain catchment as watering system for plantations.

Moreover, a compelling testimony from Mr. Alan Ruaya, President of the Plastic Recyclable Plant, underscored the significance of the initiative, highlighting the all-out support of mining companies to the communities. Thereafter, the participants took part in the pledging and signing of the commitment wall, followed by photo opportunities.

To conclude the event, the participants were taken on a plant tour by THPAL personnel, offering a firsthand glimpse into the operations of upcycling plastics to chairs, table, trophies, miniatures and many more. The Closing Remarks of Ms. Genevieve P. Chua, Community Relations Manager of THPAL, marked the end of a successful event.


Monitoring Officer