Holcim wins top honors in annual mines safety and environment conference


Cement manufacturer Holcim Philippines, Inc. continued to dominate the mining industry’s annual contest on best practices on safe and environment-friendly operations, as it collected most of the awards in its category, including the top honors for two of its plants. 

Holcim Philippines’s Bulacan and La Union plants bagged the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) for the Quarry Category, the fourth straight year Holcim won this honor and a repeat of the feat by the same plants in 2003 to both win the top honors. 

The PMIEA is given to the company with the best overall program for quarry rehabilitation, environmental protection, safe operations and social and community development. The awarding ceremony concluded the 58th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference held on Nov. 11 in Baguio City. 

Holcim Philippines’s plants in Lugait, Misamis Oriental and Davao did not go home empty handed as each won a Platinum Award, the second highest recognition after the PMIEA. 

Holcim Philippines Chief Operating Officer Roland van Wijnen thanked the organizers for the recognition, and noted that the mindset of responsible and sustainable operations is a Holcim trademark.  “I am filled with pride, humility and excitement for winning these awards as these shows that our efforts to do the right thing are recognized by our peers in the industry and the involved government agencies. These results are just one example of how Holcim operates around the world, wherein a high priority is put on safety and environmental management.” 

Holcim’s La Union plant also won the Best Mining Forest program in the Quarry Category as last year’s winner, the Lugait plant, yielded its six-year hold on the award and settled for second place. The company’s Bulacan and Davao plants were also recognized for having outstanding mining forest programs as they ended in third and fourth place, respectively. 

Van Wijnen also encouraged other industry players to continue efforts to make operations safe, and minimize impact on the environment. “I am happy to see that more companies are winning these awards, which shows that the industry is continuously raising the bar. We need to make sure that we continue to operate with utmost safety and, at the same time, manage our impact on the environment,” he said.

Michael Cabalda, Holcim Philippines Sustainable Development Manager, said the award shows the company’s dedication to improve performance on safety and environmental management.

“The support provided by top management to address safety, environment and community matters made these awards possible. The values of safety and taking care of the environment are embedded in our corporate mindset, making it possible for all our facilities to get these achievements. We compete among ourselves, but we never hold back in sharing the best practices. And that’s the beauty of what we are doing,” he said.

The PMIEA was established in 1997 through Executive Order No. 399 in compliance with the policy that mining activities are 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.