For the fifth straight year, Holcim Philippines, Inc. received the top honors during the 59th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference on Nov. 16, as it was recognized by regulators and industry peers for safe and environmentally-friendly quarry operations.
Holcim Philippines’s La Union and Davao plants bagged Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Awards (PMIEA) for the Quarry Category, with the former winning this for the second consecutive year.
The PMIEA is handed out by a joint public and private sector panel to a company with the best overall program for quarry rehabilitation, environment protection, safe operations and social and community development.
The company’s facilities in Lugait, Misamis Oriental and Bulacan, meanwhile, bagged Platinum Awards, the second highest recognition after the PMIEA. The Lugait plant was also declared Best in Mining Forest program—the seventh time in eight years—for its efforts to rehabilitate mined-out areas.
Holcim Philippines Chief Operating Officer Roland van Wijnen thanked the organizers for continuing to recognize the company’s initiatives to keep its quarry operations safe and environmentally-friendly. He also urged the mining sector to continue striving for improvement in these areas.
“These awards show that the mining industry is not as bad as some people say. There are groups actively implementing measures to improve operations. In particular, we are getting good results at Holcim, but we want to be better. We might be good now, but we should always strive to be better everyday in the various aspects of our operations,” he added.
La Union’s second consecutive PMIEA affirmed the company’s core value of running the operations hand in hand with the environment and the community, according to Plant Manager Andy White.
“We don't do these things to win awards. We do them because it is the right thing to do and we believe in them,” White said
On the other hand, Davao Plant Manager Joe Bernal thanked his team for their efforts and noted that the awards prove that the plant is moving in the right direction for environment protection and safety.
“All of these would not be possible if not for the passion and dedication of our people who strongly commit to what we stand for. With our collected efforts, we are able to sustain and even improve our best mining practices,” Bernal said.
The PMIEA was established in 1997 through Executive Order No. 399 in compliance with the policy that mining activities should be pro-environment and pro-people. Its selection committee is composed of the secretaries of the Departments of Environment, Trade, Interior and Local Government, Health, Science and Technology. The other members are the presidents of the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association, Philippine Mineral Exploration Association and Chambers of Mines of the Philippines.