Bukidnon legislators accept DENR offer tour minesite


MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/15 June) — Bukidnon legislators will not hold their regular session on June 25 in favor of a “study tour” of a plant and quarry of a multinational cement company that supposedly showcases “responsible mining practices.”

The provincial board members agreed on June 11 to accept the invitation of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for an “educational plant tour” dubbed “Dalaw Aral sa Minahan.”

The tour’s only destination is the plant and quarry of the Holcim Philippines Manufacturing Corporation in Lugait town, Misamis, Oriental, according to the letter of invitation by Juanito Manzano, MGB OIC regional director for Northen Mindanao to Vice Governor Alex Calingasan on June 3.

Board member Glenn Peduche, chair of the provincial board committee on environment protection, declined to answer requests by telephone for him to explain the decision to go on tour.

Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr vowed to keep Bukidnon from large-scale mining based on resolutions passed by the Sagguniang Panlalawigan before to seal-off the province from large-scale mining operations.

Board member Nemesio Beltran Jr confirmed that the board’s staff was told to make arrangements that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan “would like to go”.

Beltran told MindaNews he would still try to convince his colleagues not to hold it on a session day. “Mining is not a large industry here in Bukidnon and we don’t even allow large-scale mining here,” he said.


Beltran said it should not push through as there would be an environment summit in the province on June 26 to 27, organized by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office.

“I will talk them out of it this coming Wednesday (June 18) I will not go myself,” he said.

Beltran said the organizers offered free meals and free ride to and from Malaybalay City.

Manzano said in his letter the tour is part of the activities of the DENR for the celebration of Environment Month .

”We have lined up activities to give significance and noble tribute to mark the celebration with emphasis on information, education and communication campaign,” Manzano said.

He also said it is intended to “promote responsible small-scale and large-scale mining operations in the region.”

Manzano described the Holcim plant as a “model cement plant and quarry in the country showcasing responsible mining practices, best environmental management and corporate responsibility.”

He said the plant was twice awarded the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmetal Award, among others. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)

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My Take:

1. Corrupt move.  This is the common practice being done by the mining companies: invite legislators to a “tour” with freebies and behind the door add-ons.  commonly, the “invited” public oficial would sing the tune of the mining companies after the “tour.”

2. State corrupted.  The MGB spearheaded the “tour”? What the hell… Nagtatrabaho na pala sila ngayon para sa mga mining companies.

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