Former envoy visits TVI mining site in Siocon PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 12 February 2012 16:43

Former Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador Delia D. Albert recently visited the Canatuan mine of TVI Resource Development (Phils.) Inc.(TVIRD) and she was impressed at how the company practices responsible mining.

The Ambassador, who was also the country’s Special Envoy for Mining,  also met women miners and Subanon women leaders, whom she now calls “Diwatas” (goddesses of the mountains) and exchanged a friendly banter about life and experiences in the  mining site.

For the Canatuan women, it was an enriching and inspiring experience – having met and listened to the distinguished former Ambassador, and former DFA Secretary    ]

Ambassador Albert, on the other hand, was elated at the results of TVIRD’s responsible mining practices.

“I am amazed and delighted at what I have seen. Nature is terrific in this place and I think it’s because TVIRD has preserved it well; and I also think that people have become conscious of the value of not only their mineral resources but also of the beauty of their environment,” she said.

Albert spent the night with the women employees of TVIRD, which has a total of 86 female employees.

What endeared Albert to Canatuan and its indigenous peoples, including the women-miners, is her professed advocacy on responsible mining and her profound belief that mining could help alleviate the country from poverty.

“I came here to fully experience what is responsible mining. I want to validate what I have always been told about. And what TVIRD has shown is that, indeed, it is a responsible miner, ”  Albert told the TVIRD management team led by General Manager Heliodoro Valmores.

Engr. Pete Remoto, Mines Manager, described to the ambassador how the ores are extracted using the open-pit method.

Before she retired in 2010, Ambassador Albert also served as the country’s Special Envoy for Mining and was instrumental in bringing foreign mining investments into the country. She continues to espouse the same goal in her private capacity, she said.

In the evening of her first day of the visit, she held a special dinner with the women workers of the company . Albert recalled that she grew up in Baguio, which became a great city because of mining.

“When I was young, many of my friends and classmates had parents who worked in mining companies. Some become successful because mining has helped them finish their studies,” she told the female mine workers.

“I can’t understand why there are some who are denying people the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their land,” she said about those who are against mining.

“I had negative impressions about mining before,” said Jane Manaog of the Community Relations and Development Office. “But when I transferred to Canatuan, I was proven wrong. I am very lucky that I am part of this company that values the culture and safety of the people and the environment,” she added.

“This is really a very inspiring night,” said Rianne Miranda of the Public Affairs Department.

Albert also met with the Subanon women of Canatuan and some Muslim women from Barangay Santa Maria

Her ultimate dream, she said, is to build “a really modern, high-tech and inter-active mining museum in Baguio City-to prove to the people that a city can grow out of the mining areas.”

“Who knows? Canatuan or Siocon may be the next Baguio in Mindanao,” she added.

Albert now works as Senior Advisor for International Relations for a prestigious investments and accounting firm. — Joseph Arnel Deliverio