Students bare benefits of responsible mining
While debates are ongoing whether the negative effects of mining outweigh its benefits, students in a thriving mining community have something to say.
Asked to write about “How responsible mining helps the community” during the Carmen Copper Corporation Creative Writing Workshop toward an On-the-Spot Essay Writing Contest, student writers in Toledo City argued that there are many benefits to mining, when done responsibly.
In his six-paragraph essay, Louiegee Gabuya of De La Salle Andres Soriano Memorial College said that Toledo City is what it has become today, thanks to mining.
Toledo became a city in the 1960s. Its history and economy are, to a large extent, influenced by the Toledo copper mine, used to be operated by Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation (ACMDC) and now, by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Carmen Copper Corporation.
Back then, ACMDC was its largest employer and a major taxpayer until it suspended operation in 1994. For more than four decades, ACMDC provided economic opportunities to the Toledanos and residents of the neighboring towns. When the Toledo Copper mine resumed its operations in 2004 through Carmen Copper, it was met with overwhelming support from the different sectors.
“The mine has created jobs for the locals. Since there are many workers and many of these workers have families, businesses appeared near the mine to supply the needs of the people. This has greatly improved the economy of Toledo. Many more businesses will arise to supply the ever increasing demands of the people,” Gabuya wrote.
The young writer believes that the benefits of mining cannot be quantified by visible numbers alone, but also by the chain effects of these various projects to the lives of the people.
For example, a student who earned his degree and now earning for his family and able to send his sibling to school; or, a group of women that received livelihood assistance to start a meat-processing venture that now brings business to backyard hog raisers in the same community.
Gabuya is a junior high school student. He won first place in the Carmen Copper Essay Writing Contest – High School Category. He received P4,000 cash, a certificate and a gold medal.
Media Once National High School student Rogemar Basalo said that mining companies help its impacted communities through their Social Development and Management Program (SDMP).
SDMP is a comprehensive program toward the sustained improvement in the living standards of the host and neighboring communities of companies in the extractive industries pursuant to Republic Act No. 7942, otherwise known as the “Philippine Mining Act of 1995” and its implementing rules and regulations through Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order (DAO) 2010-21.
Citing Carmen Copper as an example, Basalo wrote that the mining operation has helped the surrounding communities by building infrastructures and by providing free education and employment to the residents.
“They provide scholarship opportunities to poor children whose parents cannot afford to send them to school. Carmen Copper recognizes the ecological and social impacts of its mining operations. The whole country benefits from responsible mining,” Basalo wrote.
Basalo placed second in the Carmen Copper Essay Writing Contest – High School Category. He received P3,000 cash, a certificate and a silver medal.
“Let us hope that many more mines will be like CarmenCopper—helping the economy, the people, the community and the environment. This is what we need. We need businesses that leave a positive footprint,” Gabuya said.
Basalo was followed by third placer Jenelle Anne D. Manlangit of Don Andres Soriano National High School.
Aliyah Kim Regalado of De La Salle Andres Soriano Memorial College, Reshie Belle Carreon of Gen. P. del Rosario Elementary School and Lyndy Jane Tapilot of Malubog Elementary School, all in Toledo City are first, second and third place winners, respectively in the Elementary Category. The winners received cash prizes, certificates and medals. those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.” The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?” When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.
AWARDING. Carmen Copper AVP-SHEC & External Affairs Ignacio Alburo (far left), lecturer/judge Cris Evert LatoRuffolo (second from right) and DepEd Toledo Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Joseph Irwin Lagura (far right) flank the winners in the 1st Carmen Copper Essay Writing Contest from the secondary level. From left: Jenelle Ann Manlangit of DAS National High School (3rd place), Louiegee Gabuya of De La Salle Andres Soriano Memorial College (1st place) and Rogemar Basalo of Media Once National High School (2nd place).