The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regional Office (RO) No. XIII, in partnership with the Caraga Mine Environmental Management Council, Inc. (CMEMCI), spearheaded the 2020 Environment Month Celebration with the Caraga minerals industry on July 7, 2020 at the MGB RO No. XIII Training Center in Surigao City amidst the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With the theme “Protect Nature, Sustain Our Future”, this year’s celebration aimed to heighten public environmental consciousness and encourage the mining companies to intensify their efforts in the conservation of natural resources through the Environmental Video and Succulent Dish Gardening Competitions.  The entries were submitted to the Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division on July 6, exactly 12 days after the notice of competitions was communicated to the mining companies.  Only a few number of participants from the Caraga mining companies were able to take part in the event due to the current health protocol of social distancing.  

An insightful message from Regional Director Glenn Marcelo C. Noble kick-started the event. “I hope that the minerals industry will continue its work in protecting the environment and providing development in host and neighboring communities and to the country as a whole,” RD Noble imparted.

After the short program, the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Succulent Dish Garden Exhibit followed.  Similarly, the viewing and judging of the entries for the Succulent Dish Gardening and Environmental Video Competitions simultaneously took place. The Succulent Dish Gardening Competition aimed to encourage and tap the potentials of emerging gardeners as they campaign for environmental preservation through dish gardening.  The Board of Judges for the said competition comprised Ms. Roselyn Armida Merlin, Head of Surigao City Tourism Department; Mr. Joel Sembrano, Professional Landscaper and Flower Arranger; and Mr. Wilmar Dubria, Professional Florist.  In the same vein, the Environmental Video Competition was aimed at tapping the creative potentials of individuals to campaign for environmental preservation by capturing their vision and expressing their message through videography.  The Board of Judges for the said competition was composed of Ms. Susil Ragas, Provincial Coordinator of the Philippine Information Agency’s Surigao del Norte Information Center and the Provincial Information Manager of the Province of Dinagat Islands Information Center; Mr. Richie Reynan Tan, Professional Photographer and Proprietor of Wedding and Events Digital Studio; and Mr. Guilbert Mantala, Vice President for Student Services of St. Paul University Surigao.

          The winners of the competitions were recognized during the awarding ceremony. Below are the winners for each competition with the titles of their entries.

Environmental Video Competition
1st Place “Protecting Nature for a Sustainable Future:
The Agata Story”
Agata Mining Ventures, Inc.
2nd Place “One with Nature”
Mindanao Mineral Processing and
Refining Corporation
3rd Place “Environmental Stewardship for Sustainable
Hinatuan Mining Corporation
Succulent Dish Gardening Competition
1st Place “Our Ecosystem”
CTP Construction and Mining Corporation
2nd Place “Beauty in Resiliency”
Taganito Mining Corporation
3rd Place “The Beauty of Difference”
Mindanao Mineral Processing and
Refining Corporation

Before the event drew to a close, Engr. Vince Ivan Libao, CMEMCI President, delivered the closing remarks in grateful appreciation of the successful event.

By Lizlit C. Cabag of Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division-Mine Rehabilitation Fund Committee Secretariat