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    Posted January 30, 2013 by

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    Mining sector vows rehab of Pablo-affected areas


    By Ben O. Tesiorna


    The Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association-Pusong Minero vowed to help Pablo victims all the way and rehabilitate the affected areas in the next months or even years.


    PMSEA Director Atty. Leo Dominguez acknowledged the fact that it would take more than a year for typhoon-devastated areas to be fully-rehabilitated. He cited the case of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro affected by Typhoon Sendong in December 2011.


    "I was in Sendong, and I know that one year later, rehabilitation efforts are not yet over. Now, ComVal and Davao Oriental devastation is greater than Sendong so I suspect one year from now we are still together. This is only the beginning, more help is going to be needed. And this is not just a Pusong Minero thing, everybody must be involved. Let the world know that Pablo devastation is not over. More help is needed," Dominguez said.


    The PMSEA, along with Land Rover Philippines, mission team from Malaysia, Angel Brigade and the St. Augustine Gold and Copper Limited, conducted a medical mission in Barangay Kilagding in Laak, Compostela Valley on January 19.


    Medicines were distributed to the more than 2,000 residents in the said far-flung village. The team was supposed to visit Barangay San Antonio the following day but it was cancelled as the road leading to Laak was flooded due to two days of continuous rain.


    They however vowed to distribute the needed medicines to the area anytime soon.


    SAGCL chief operations officer Tom Henderson said their company is willing to help the Pablo victims not just in their area of operation which is in Kingking, Pantukan but in other neighboring areas of the province and the region as well.


    He said their rehabilitation efforts will continue for as long as the area needs it.


    "We are committed for long term. Our company has been here for two and a half years, we're here for the long haul so we would fully expect that we would continue to help out with Pablo relief," Henderson said.


    Clyde Gillespie, SAGCL director for environmental permitting, said the choice of Laak was made by the Provincial Government of Compostela Valley upon coordination by them.


    "Even though we do not have (mining) activities here, that's where the need was that is why we chose Laak as the place to do the medical mission. We wanted to assist in areas that have the greatest need," Gillespie said.


    Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Delia Albert, who was appointed as special envoy for mining by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, said she is also coordinating with other foreign donors for the full rehabilitation of the Pablo-affected areas. BOT

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