CITY OF CALAPAN -- Community Relations Officers, National and Local Government Officials, and Minerals Industry Stakeholders gathered for this year’s Community Relations Conference (ComRelCon) on November 16 at Camp John Hay Trade and Cultural Center in Baguio City.
As part of the 68th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference, the ComRelCon 2022 sessions centered on the theme “Building Community Partnerships Key to Resilience, Reset, and Recovery.”
In their messages, Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association President Engr. Luis R. Sarmiento and Mines and Geosciences Bureau Assistant Director Engr. Juancho Pablo S. Calvez acknowledged community relations as the 'glue' that binds the mining industry and the host communities amid calamities and the pandemic.
Engr. Calvez also extended appreciation to the mining industry for extending assistance to calamity-hit communities, over and above their social responsibility in their desire to help.
Meanwhile, the importance of strengthened collaboration for disaster risk reduction was highlighted during the keynote speech of the Department of National Defense OIC Senior Usec. Jose C. Faustino Jr. as delivered by Office of the Civil Defense Administrator Usec. Raymundo B. Ferrer.
Usec. Faustino said that the industry must apply innovative and sustainable practices, and transparently communicate with the public to build trust and cooperation.
The ComRelCon discussions tackled how the minerals industry and the host communities can build meaningful relationships, and develop the latter’s capacities through community organizing. It was also emphasized that stakeholder engagement is essential in planning and implementing programs and activities that are geared towards helping communities to become self-reliant.
The resource persons also pointed out the need for the industry to communicate all aspects of the mine operations in order to help communities to make informed decisions.
Also highlighted are the case studies featuring the critical role of CEMEX during the COVID-19 pandemic; the Philex Mining Corporation’s experience in building community trust as a key to crisis response; the success story of the Local Government Unit of Claver in Surigao del Norte; and the stories of resilience amid the pandemic of the Indigenous Cultural Communities in Bataraza, Palawan being supported by the operations of Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation and Coral Bay Nickel Corporation. (MGB MIMAROPA)