Sec. Lopez’s delegation was welcomed by the officers of the two companies based in Rio Tuba, members of the Indigenous Peoples Development Organization, officials of the LGU of Rio Tuba, and selected school children.

With no time to spare, the group headed straight to the COMREL Information Center where an exhibit of the companies’ milestones, awards, Social Development Management Programs (SDMP) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of both companies were being displayed. A short meeting ensued where the companies presented an overview of their operations, environmental protection activities, and SDMP accomplishments. This was followed by a tree planting activity in front of the center.

Sec. Lopez and party then visited the RTNFI Hospital and Leonides S. Virata Memorial School (LSVMS), observed the ongoing mining operation of RTNMC, and visited the GP-4 Rehabilitation Project Area of RTNMC and Tailings Storage Facility No.1 Rehabilitation Project of CBNC.

By afternoon, the group proceeded to visit Sitio Bongkol-Bongkol where Sec. Lopez entered one of the Gawad Kalinga house and spoke with the owner. While in GK Bongkol-Bongkol, the group witnessed the opening and blessing of the Bongkol-Bongkol Cultural Artifacts Center that was part of the 2016 ASDMP of CBNC and RTNMC. Last in the itinerary was the causeway area where Sec. Lopez observed the fish pen established by CBNC, a bio-indicator project.

Before leaving the mine site, Sec. Lopez gave her overall impression of the operations of RTNMC and CBNC in an impromptu dialogue at the RTN’s Guest Lodge, quoting:

“Your SDMP and your people do seem really happy. I feel that in my experience. Sa experience ko in doing any kind of development work is if you have a model, what you are saying is pwede pala, kaya pala natin and this sets the bar and Leo who has handled the MGB for six (6) years and has been with DENR for 38 years had said, Ma’am you know this is really the best,” she said.

She further commended the two companies for the rehabilitation works that they have conducted and expressed her interest of working together with them to create a bigger impact in the community, which will happen if the government and companies communicate with each other.

“And I want to let you know that I would like to work together with you to make an even bigger difference in the whole area. I asked Gerry, is it ok if we work with you, with your SDMP funds na talagang pagbutihan, develop the ability of the community to make money, which is independent of the mine site. Then you’re developing the economic potential of the area, not just dependent on you. I feel that is where you want to go so that if one day you stop then this thing just goes on. I just want to say that in my experience in doing development work, the best development work is if we communicate with each other,” she added.

In the end, she concluded that as long as the company and the government were in the same page then this can go a long way.

Arrival of MGB MIMAROPA Regional Director Roland de Jesus, SMMPH Dir. Takanori Fujimura, NAC SVP and COO Jose B. Anievas and MGB Central Office MSESSD Chief Rodolfo L. Velasco Jr.

Students warmly welcomed the DENR Secretary Lopez who arrived together with former MGB Dir. Leo L. Jasareno, NAC President and CEO Gerard H. Brimo, NAC SVP for Marketing and Strategic Planning Martin G. Zamora and SMM Director and Managing Executive Officer Takeshi Kubota.

Secretary Lopez at the exhibit

The group listening intently at the presentation during the meeting

Secretary Lopez participating in the tree planting activity


At the RTNFI Hospital

Students eagerly waiting for the DENR Secretary

LSVMS Principal welcomes the Secretary

At the TSF No.1 rehabilitation site of CBNC

Walking along the Flower and Butterfly Garden inside the decommissioned TSF No.1

Secretary Lopez talks candidly with a house owner at GK Bongkol-Bongkol


GK Bongkol-Bongkol children sang a song to the visitors

Opening and blessing of Bongkol-Bongkol Cultural Artifacts Center

Dialogue with members of the community at the hangar

Photo Release


IN PHOTOS: Groundwater resource and vulnerability assessment in San Jose and Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro

Geologists from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) MIMAROPA Region visited the Municipalities of San Jose and Magsaysay in Occidental Mindoro on May 15-30, 2022 to assess the groundwater resources of the said areas, and to produce a 1:50,000 scale hydrogeologic map to aid the concerned local government units for effective groundwater resources management.

This study aims to determine the groundwater availability and quality in different rock units, and to establish the vulnerability of...

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MGB opens nominations for 2022 PMIEA, Best Mining Forest Contest, Safest Mines Awards

The nomination process is now open for the 2022 Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Awards (PMIEA), Safest Mines and Mines Best Personalities Awards, and Best Mining Forest Contest.

This is pursuant to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Memorandum dated June 14, 2022 calling for nominees for these awards in recognition of the private sector’s initiatives and exemplary achievements in the protection of the environment and ecology, and contribution to the growth of the economy and...

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IN PHOTOS: ‘Salamat, Paalam’ program for retiring MSESDD personnel

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) MIMAROPA Region, led by the Mine Safety, Environment, and Social Development Division (MSESDD), paid tribute to Engr. Joel V. Balquiedra who is retiring after 23 years in government service.

He served as Supervising Science Research Specialist under the Mine Environmental Management Section of the MGB MIMAROPA – MSESDD.


2022 National Disaster Resilience Month kick-off MGB MIMAROPA tackles lessons from ‘Odette’, major geohazard programs and activities

MGB MIMAROPA geologist Merari Rosaroso during the presentation of lessons learned from Typhoon “Odette,” and the geohazard-related programs and activities of the Bureau (screenshot from the Civil Defense MIMAROPA Facebook Page)

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) MIMAROPA Region joined other member agencies of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Council and Local DRRM Councils and Offices as the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) – RDRRMC MIMAROPA kicked off the...

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MGB MIMAROPA conducts capacity building for LGUs, stakeholders in Palawan

Aimed at involving the citizenry in the protection and conservation of the country’s environment and natural resources, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) MIMAROPA Region spearheaded the Deputation Training for Mines and Capacity Building for Local Government Unit (LGU) permit holders in the Province of Palawan, May 26-27, in Puerto Princesa City.

Participants were oriented about the legal basis of the deputation of Environment and Natural Resources Officers, and the salient features...

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IN PHOTOS: Multi-partite monitoring of mining, mineral processing firms in Bataraza, Palawan

Members of the Multi-partite Monitoring Team for Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC), Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC), and Graymont (Philippines) Inc. (GPI) conducted validation and ambient air and water sampling activities for the first and second quarters of 2022, respectively, May 16-21.

Inspection of CBNC’s hazardous waste storage

Inspection of RTNMC’s motorpool

Air and water quality sampling