The Mines and Geosciences Bureau RXII Regional Director Constancio A. Paye Jr. spearheaded the mine visit at Holcim Cement, Ilang, Davao City on August 10, 2012. The purpose of the visit is to see and observe for themselves Holcim’s environmental protection and progressive rehabilitation of mine-out areas, community development projects, information, education and communication (IEC) campaign, final mine rehabilitation and decommissioning plan and most especially the conduct of open-pit mining within the urban area of Davao City.
There were 44 representatives coming from the different large scale mining companies within the region, PMRB members of South Cotabato and Sarangani as well as MENROs of South Cotabato LGUs and partner agencies , NEDA XII, DTI-South Cotabato and MGB XII were gladly welcomed by Holcim Cement Vice President Plant Manager Engr. Joseph A. Bernal at Grand Regal Hotel, Davao City. The morning session was devoted to project presentation and orientation while the actual mine tour was conducted in the afternoon.
Technical personnel of Holcim openly divulged their secret in dealing with the community especially on the employment, benefits, revenue and other related benefits they shared with the local government. According to Ms. Base M. Devilleres, Holcim CSR Officer,”built up project and capitalization of the bigasan as livelihood with the community will not be returned to Holcim, but instead, it will re-flow to another identified community.”The activity also opened a discussion on their different community engagements, IEC campaigns, employment, and livelihood programs. Their management introduced the contour farming to some IPs in Davao. They consistently are being awarded as one of the top 10 taxpayers in Davao City.
Engr. Cilor P. Guevarra, MCAS Manager toured the group at their open-pit limestone mining area. The visit made the participants aware of the environmental management programs and the progressive mine rehabilitation programs being undertaken by Holcim Cement. The open-pit mining within the city of Davao is much in awe and surprise of the participants. There were questions on how they managed in their operations and the answer is “responsible mining towards sustainable development.” People have seen and felt the progress ,and as long as we need cement, and as long as nature provides we will mine the project area”, Engr. Guevarra said.