December 8, 2022

Lady miners and other women workers in the mining companies are urging candidates for the upcoming May 2022 national and local elections to be pro-environment.
During the “Cordillera Minera: A Forum on Women and Responsible Mining,” women officials and representatives from the different mining companies in Benguet stressed the need for candidates to be pro-environment, to promote responsible mining, and have a good working relationship with the different regulating government agencies and mining companies.
“Dapat iyong kandidatong mananalo ay pro-environment. Hindi porke nasa position na sila ay sila pa iyong nangungunang sumira sa kalikasan,” Philex Mines Cooperative Manager Sandara Ramos said during the forum organized by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Cordillera.   
Ramos said some past political leaders caused destructions in some of the forests and this should not happen again by voting for leaders who would protect the environment.
Itogon-Suyoc Resources, Inc. Chief Electrical Engineer Abegail Pis-oy stressed the need for political leaders to support the different regulating agencies of the government for the protection of the environment, hand-in-hand with the mining companies and other stakeholders in the mining industry.
Philex Mining Corporation Community Relations Manager, Engr. Marie Dolipas, said candidates must learn to recognize the contribution of the mining industry to the growth and development of the communities and the country as a whole as she added mining companies are promoting responsible mining.
“Dapat i-recognize din na malaki ang contribution ng minahan sa pag-improve ng bansa. Sana hindi na maging strict pero sana maging mas open sa investment kasi mahirap maka-attract ng investors (ang mining industry). Bigyan sana ng opportunities ang foreign investors,” Dolipas said.
 Women from the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation and the Benguet Corporation want leaders to give priority to the livelihood and health of the women in their communities.
Benguet Corporation Weavers Association President Elsie Wallang lamented women in organizations and cooperatives in the different mining communities have been greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and aspiring leaders should also look into how they could provide support to the livelihood projects led by women in their respective communities.
Lepanto Community Leader Virginia Tamayo wants candidates to look into the welfare of women in the mining industry by providing livelihood opportunities while Lepanto Hospital Nutritionist Evangeline Espada hopes officials give priority to the health and wellness of women and girls in the different mining companies.
For the small scale mining industry, Loacan-Itogon Pocket Miners Association secretary Virginia Fausto said incoming officials should strictly implement laws and other regulations on the mining industry rather than providing temporary solutions and promises such as temporary permits and special orders.
“Officials should be the ones helping the small scale mining groups to be legalized and operate in a better situation and standing that is allowed by law and granted with legal permits,” she said. – Redjie M. Cawis

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