SAN FERNANDO, Cebu (February 10, 2020) — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students in San Fernando have appreciated the value of mining in people’s lives and the efforts the industry has taken to ensure safety and to keep the environment in harmony.
Solid Earth Development Corp. (SEDC) gathered 64 of these senior high school students from Notre Dame Academy and the national high schools (NHS) of Pitalo and Sangat last Friday, Feb. 7, 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 to the #MineResponsibility campaign of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).
MGB developed with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and launched it on Nov. 8, 2019 to clear the public’s negative connotations about the mining industry, especially large-scale ones like what SEDC operates.
The nationwide campaign came about following issues previous DENR leadership raised against some mining companies that got blown out of proportion, plus a recent landslide in Cebu that was blamed on mining.
SEDC president Atty. Dennis B. Tenefrancia welcomed the delegates during the gathering that had Eng’r. Armand L. Malicse, MGB-7 chief science research specialist of the Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division.
Malicse tackled the “Role and Use of Mining in People’s Everyday Life” and shed some understanding and foster insights among the students about mining’s contributions, and how humans have become dependent on its products.
“Despite criticisms, everyone from all walks of life rely 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,” while SEDC mining division manager Eng’r. Samuel O. Tagsip imparted on “The Art of Mining.”
SEDC community relations officer Gines T. Boltron also opened up the notion that everything in the industry is not just about mining, that parallel with it is social development when players “Demonstrate #MineResponsibility.”
In an open forum that SEDC HRA division manager Mitzie Almira I. Carin facilitated after, the students were very inquisitive about utilization of resources and the disciplines SEDC adopted in its operations.
The day concluded with an inter-school competition that tested the students’ better knowledge and appreciation about mining with Sangat NHS students fairing well, taking the first places, disclosed Carin.
From two contestants per school, Maria Ariadne Murillo of Sangat NHS earned first place in the essay writing contests with schoolmate Rachel Ann Reyes taking third place, while Niño Adrian Baritos of Pitalo NHS got into second place.
The Sangat SHS 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.
Grade 11 adviser Ernesto B. Lawas accompanied the Notre Dame delegation, as Pitalo NHS Grade 12 adviser Jeffrey Olita did, and Sangat NHS Grade 12 adviser Sonia M. Lauronal with guidance counselor Ann V. Enad.
MGB-7 and SEDC managed to undertake the Mining Appreciation Day just a month before Cebu went into community quarantine to contain the Corona Virus Disease of 2019.