Outpour of help

MGB-8 Regional Director Raul Laput is grateful for the outpour of help and assistance extended by many mining companies to the quake affected areas in Leyte.

"I am grateful with how the mining industry has been united in extending help and assistance in ways possible to the affected areas hit by the earthquake. We could have not possibly organized a team of geologists who shall help us in the assessment of landslide areas without all the help we have been getting from our agency, other regional offices and the various mining companies and with them we can be certain that we will be able to extend our services where needed at this particular time,” RD Laput said.

Meanwhile, the Alliance of Responsible Miners of Region-8 (composed of large-scale mining companies in the region), though without active operations at the moment, has provided cash assistance in the amount of P50,000.00 to the geohazard assessment team organized by MGB-8. The cash assistance will particularly help for the stipend of some volunteer geologists and other incidental expenses.

Aside from financial help, mining companies are also exceptionally lauded for their rescue and relief operations as provided by Platinum Group Metals Corporation and Taganito Mining Corporation from Surigao del Norte, Caraga region and Hinatuan Mining Corporation of the EV region. These companies composed mainly of ERT personnel (e.g. first aiders), provided relief goods, medicines and emergency kits and equipment such as generator sets, stale trucks, pelican lights, ERT box, First Aid box, portable radios, megaphones, spine boards, among others. On the other hand, Oceana Gold Mining from Nueva Vizcaya provided for the services of its experts who will do the groundwork for hydrogeology/water resource and soil and rock stability studies. Mining companies from other regions such as Carmen Copper Corporation of Region 7 (together with a geologist from MGB-7) and Apex Mining have also extended similar assistance. MGB regional offices are also on standby to render support if additional assistance is needed.

In addition, the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) through its President, Mr. Louie Sarmiento has constantly been coordinating with MGB-8 and the concerned mining companies for whatever assistance and may possibly provide water purifier for Ormoc City if deemed necessary.

Rise as one

"Miners always have the heart to serve and save lives and in times like these, the mining industry will double its efforts, persevere and show that it is an ally towards peace, progress and sustainable development,” Mr. Sarmiento of PMSEA said.

For the mining industry, there is more to the call for responsible mining. There is also the advocacy that extends beyond the call of duty. Such is undeniably true at the strike of a disaster when miners always have the heart to serve and save lives, anywhere and anytime it is most needed.

With the overwhelming help and assistance provided by the mining industry alone, quake affected areas in Leyte are sure to get back to its feet and will rise united, resilient and strong to stand whatever disaster in life there will ever be just like the onslaught of Supertyphoon Yolanda in the Eastern Visayas last November 8, 2013, where the mining industry was among the first to send aid to disaster-stricken areas particularly in Tacloban City, Palo, Leyte and Eastern Samar, among others. And while it isn't really always acknowledged by many, the industry was a binding force in the mighty work of rebuilding the EV region.