Mining companies asked to be partners in building sustainable society for Pinoys
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - February 21, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - An official of De La Salle University (DLSU) has challenged mining companies “to show that the industry can be a partner toward building a sustainable society for Filipinos.”

“They should call our attention to the fact that they can be our co-workers as we all help in giving quality life for Filipinos,” DLSU Liberal Arts dean Dominador Bombongan Jr. said.

The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) and representatives of mining companies recently met with DLSU political science students in a forum which COMP president Philip Romualdez described as a meeting with an academic community that “has not arbitrarily and totally closed its mind on responsible mining.”

“Mining companies who practice and advocate responsible mining should also demonstrate to us that they are not contributing further to the destruction of our already fragile environment,” Bombongan said.

“We are happy to dialogue with an academic community which is open-minded and willing to listen” Romualdez said.

Romualdez said the COMP is willing to show people how large-scale responsible mining operations are done and to educate the public about how small-scale mining activities are conducted.

“We can show any willing and open-minded person or group how our member-companies are practicing responsible and sustainable mining,” he said.

Among the companies in the dialogue with the students was Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI), government contractor for the proposed $5.9-billion Tampakan copper-gold mining project in South Cotabato.

Recently, SMI supported the call of an international industry watchdog, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), for the Philippine government “to ensure that resource-rich communities feel the fruits of the extraction of mineral resources.”

SMI general manager Mark Williams said the company “supports the Aquino administration’s willingness to ensure transparency of revenue payments from the mining industry.”

EITI said the government should be transparent and “show that the local governments hosting mining projects get their fair share of the mining revenues.”

EITI also said that transparency will ensure the prudent use of the country’s mineral resources and make the mining industry a real engine of economic growth.

CHAMBER OF MINES OF THE PHILIPPINES DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY DOMINADOR BOMBONGAN JR. EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE LIBERAL ARTS MARK WILLIAMS MINING PHILIP ROMUALDEZ ROMUALDEZ SAGITTARIUS MINES INC
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