Students learn mining's impact

SCIENCE, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Stem) students in San Fernando town, Cebu appreciated the value of mining in people’s lives and the efforts that the industry has taken to ensure safety and to keep the environment in harmony.

Solid Earth Development Corp. (SEDC) gathered 64 senior high school Stem students from Notre Dame Academy and the national high schools (NHS) of Barangays Pitalo and Sangat recently at the conference hall of its primary client, Taiheiyo Cement Philippines Inc. (TCPI).

A two-time Gawad Tugas awardee in 2017 and 2019 for responsible mining, SEDC organized the activity dubbed as “Mining Appreciation Day” in support of the #MineResponsibility campaign of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

The MGB developed the campaign with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and launched it on Nov. 8, 2019, to clear the public’s negative perception on the mining industry, especially the large-scale ones like what SEDC operates.

The nationwide campaign came about following issues the previous DENR leadership raised against some mining companies that got blown out of proportion, plus a landslide in Naga City, Cebu in 2018 that was blamed on mining.

Dependent

SEDC president Dennis B. Tenefrancia, a lawyer, welcomed the delegates during the gathering that also had engineer Armand L. Malicse, chief science research specialist of the MGB 7-Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division.

Malicse tackled the “Role and Use of Mining in People’s Everyday Life.” He shared his insights to the students about mining’s contributions, and how humans have become dependent on its products.

“Despite the criticisms, everyone from all walks of life relies on the products and services of the mining industry because of the convenience and hassle-free experience they bring,” he told the students.

Mining engineer Daniel Jireh M. Corpuz, who was among the pioneering SEDC and TCPI scholars, shared “All About Minerals.” SEDC mining division manager engineer Samuel O. Tagsip talked about “The Art of Mining.”

SEDC community relations officer Gines T. Boltron told the students that everything in the industry is not just about mining, and parallel to it is social development when players demonstrate #MineResponsibility.

Inquisitive

In an open forum facilitated by SEDC human resources division manager Mitzie Almira I. Carin, the students were very inquisitive about the utilization of resources and the disciplines SEDC adopted in its operations.

The day concluded with an inter-school competition that tested the students’ knowledge and appreciation about mining with Sangat NHS students faring well, taking the first places, said Carin.

From two contestants per school, Maria Ariadne Murillo of Sangat NHS earned the first place in the essay writing contest with schoolmate Rachel Ann Reyes taking the third place, while Niño Adrian Baritos of Pitalo NHS got into second place.

The Sangat senior high school tandem of Yves Vhenston Formentera and Sarah Mae Canoy emerged top winners in the quiz bowl, followed by Lorenzo Canque and Seth Xavier Cerbo of Notre Dame at second place.

The delegates of Notre Dame and Pitalo NHS were accompanied by Grade 11 adviser Ernesto B. Lawas and Grade 12 adviser Jeffrey Olita, respectively.

Participants from Sangat NHS were accompanied by Grade 12 adviser Sonia M. Lauronal and guidance counselor Ann V. Enad.

The MGB 7 and SEDC managed to undertake the Mining Appreciation Day just before Cebu went into community quarantine to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.