November 10, 2018 (1:16 PM)

4 min read


Representatives from Young Earth Scientists’ Society, Philippine Society of Mining Engineers, and Nickel Asia Corporation engaged in a forum about the mining conditions in the Philippines, held last November 5, at the Apo View Hotel. Photo by Loraine Rubi

Molding a society of educated and informed youth leaders, Young Earth Scientists’ Society (YESS) imparted knowledge to student leaders on mining during FutureThink: The Philippines Rocks! last November 5 at the Apo View Hotel, Davao City.

Students from the University of Southeastern Philippines, Science and Technology Institute-Davao, Ateneo de Davao University and Davao Doctors College listened to speeches of esteemed guests from various industries all with the goal on enlightening the youth about the benefits of responsible mining.

Co-organized with the USeP Mining Engineering Society, USeP Association of Geology Students, StandFIRM Davao, and National Mining, Geology, and Metallurgy Students Organization, the said symposium aims for the students to “get fresh perspective on Philippine history, appreciate the importance of minerals, and be inspired to gear towards being a leader of the future.”


Geology of the Philippines

YESS Pres. Ralph Lauren Abainza discussed the importance of the minerals, gemstones and geology in general.

“Without minerals, walalng kuryente. The world without minerals is a memeless world – a world without memes is kind of a boring world,” he said.

He also explained that knowing the geology of one’s area accounts to safety and livelihood.

“You should know the geology of your area for you to know how you will behave especially na malapit lang tayo sa may fault line. Another example of how geology could affect the life of Filipinos – it dictates kung saan ka pwede magtanim.”

“We think na ang Pilipinas kasi, abundant in soil kaya kahit saan ka magtanim, tutubo. The problem is hindi buong Pilipinas pwede taniman and that’s the reason why we have rice shortage – because our agricultural set-up cannot go up with the present geology of the country,” he added.

He also mentioned unfit places for agriculture like Eastern Samar, Surigao, Southern and Central Palawan, and Zambales. Meanwhile, limestone-dominated areas like Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, anf different parts of Visayas and Mindanao, are considered as areas suitable for agriculture.

Mr. Abainza also shared the history of the Philippines and China as a connected island through Palawan 23 million years ago and Davao City from an underwater volcano to what it is today.

“The tectonic plates of Davao City move 0.0014269404 mm every year. Kaya wag na kayo magulat kung 65 million years from now katabi na ng Pilipinas ang Hong Kong Disneyland,” he said.


Minerals in the Philippines

“If you can’t grow it, it has to be mined.”

YESS Director of Research Pedro Armando Valencia discussed the effects of minerals on transportation and safety, ensuring good health and hygiene, food security, and access to water, improving the future of urban living and infrastructure, enabling industrial development, information and communications technology and providing efficient, low-carbon energy.

“Philippines is the fifth mineralized country in the world; third in golf, fourth in copper and fifth in nickel. Philippines is really rich in minerals,” he said.

He also showed a video if minerals are not mined where everything starts from the basic.


Mining as an Industry

Philippine Society of Mining Engineers (NCR) Pres. Engr. Loi Castillo presented the steps on mining for “sustainable development” namely exploration, construction and development stage, mine operation stage and rehabilitation.

“Mataas and demand ngayon sa mining dahil sa Build, Build, Build project,” he said.

He also emphasized the importance of conventions on mining in accordance with RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 under information and education campaign.

“Responsible mining is responsible development,” he said.

On the other hand, Nickel Asia Corporation representative JB Galleon also imparted stressed the reason as to why the state should not own mining companies.

“The government has no money to do mining,” he said.

He also mentioned that businesses only engage in mining when the “risk is very high and the tax is very low.”

“What the state should do is spend more in enforcing the law and leave the risks to the capitalists,” he added.

On the other hand, Mines and Geosciences Bureau also presented facts on mining in the Philippines as one of the most profitable industry in the country.

Aside from the symposium, the FutureThink also showcased different rocks, and minerals found in mining sites and processes of mining.

End the silence of the gagged!

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