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MGB&DENR National Officials Visit RRPI/RRMI Project Site
Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) National Director Horacio
Ramos, Director of Public Affairs Office of the Office of the Secre-
tary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR-OSEC) Virgilo Vitug and Chief of the Mining, Environment
& Safety Division of MGB-Central Office Engineer Michael Ca-
balda visited the Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project last September
7, 2006. Along with them were two officers of the DENR-OSEC:
Philip Suzara and Ed Esteller; and two officers of DENR’s Public
Affairs Office: Daneelyn Querijiro and Ayda Zoleta.
In addition, the visiting party also included 16 journalists and pho-
tographers from national and international media bureaus: The
Reuters, Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star, Manila Bul-
letin, Remate, Malaya, Tempo, Business World, ANC, Living Asia,
and Bloomberg. Their visit came two days before the end of the
third and final test run which officially ended on the 9th of Septem- Director Ramos inspects the plant with the journalists and company managers
ber 2006. Questions were entertained from the journalists during the open
During the visit, Atty. Bayani Agabin, legal counsel of Lafayette forum which followed the presentation of the company’s environ-
Philippines Inc. (LPI) announced that the company filed a motion mental management programs and the production processes of
for a 60-day extension of the test run. Said motion was filed in or- the base metal plant.
der to allow the base metal plant sufficient time to properly un- The one-day visit culminated with a tour around the plant and
dergo the standard commissioning process of two to three months. mine site by the government officials and media people accompa-
The journalists were made to understand that it is the first time that nied by managers and engineers of RRPI/RRMI. It was important
the base metal plant has been put into production; it was the gold that MGB and DENR officials from the national offices as well as
plant that was in operation during the spills in October 2005. More- the national media personally observe the changes that have
over, a longer test run would increase the assurance that the mine been put in place by the new Filipino management since February
is environmentally safe and that all the compliance measures put 2006 and to see for themselves the actual mining and production
in place work effectively. processes. While for some of the media people it was their first
visit to a mine site, for others it was their second or third visit to
the Rapu-Rapu project site. Regardless, most of them were im-
pressed by the additional environmental measures installed,
pleased to be able to observe actual processing of metal concen-
trates (especially zinc), and to understand the seriousness with
Recently organized Tinopan goat farmers’ group participated in a RRPI/ which the Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic group of companies commits
RRMI-sponsored two-day exposure trip to the Neo goat farms in Lian, itself to responsible mining.
Batangas from August 30 to Sept. 2, 2006. The participants were elected
The Neo Farm in Lian, Batangas is one of the new model farms that
officers and member of the association: President Teodimer Bendal,
showcase the intensive raising of goats of pure and/or mixed Anglo-
Vice-President Teodolfo Dizon Jr., Treasurer and Secretary Wilson
Nubian and Boer breeds. Their farm provides the visitor with an experi-
Penilla, and member Allan Penilla.
ence of working models of goat houses, forage pastures and feeding and
Accompanied by Teody Marquez, Senior Vice-President of RRPI/RRMI, caring routines quite different from the traditional free-range care of
Joey Cubias, VP for Industrial and Community Relations, CARE Man- goats. These modern methods have managed to increase the effectivity
ager Rene Castro, Agro-Forester Nelson Buenafe, and CARE Officer and efficiency of goat-raising to a science thereby increasing yield and
Roy Cervantes, the group visited the Neo-Farm, owned by Neo Abalos, profitability.
and Martin G. Poblador’s MGB Farms. The activity was part of the
preparations for the formal technology training for the beneficiaries of This exposure trip is one of the many techniques that CARE/ComRel
the project. will be using to improve the group’s knowledge of raising goats. Addi-
tional knowledge, input and assistance will also be provided by the Mu-
The proposed beneficiaries of this goat-farming project are residents of nicipal Agricultural Office, Albay Provincial Veterinarian’s Office, and
the direct host barangays of Binosawan and Pagcolbon, as well as the in- the Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI).
direct host barangays of Linao and Tinopan. For this first exposure trip,
only the members of Tinopan group participated. Similar exposure trips for the Mixed Boer goats will be given to the beneficiaries. These goats will be
goat farmers from the other barangays will follow. sourced from the Neo farm and bred with the native goats of Rapu-Rapu.
(The pure Boer specie can grow up to 90 kilos with a reproduction pe-
riod of twice a year.) The goats will be housed in pens and will be fed
with locally available grasses. Other grass species for forages and feeds
will also be planted and will double as protection against erosion.
Goat-farming is among the ten priority projects of Mr. Sonny
Dominguez for the above-mentioned barangays to be implemented this
year as it is a relatively profitable undertaking, even for small scale farm-
ers. Moreover, the Island of Rapu-Rapu is very much suited for goat
farming. In fact, the island used to be a pasture land for goats. The indus-
try only died down because of the rampant stealing.
The company hopes to revive the goat farming industry of the island
through its Food Security, Employment & Livelihood Programs.
The goat farmers with SVP Teody Marquez, VP Joey Cubias, CARE Officers and the farm-owners When the patterns are broken, new worlds can emerge
VOL. 1 NO. 12 page 2 THE NEWSWEEK SEPTEMBER 4 –10, 2006

The third and final phase of the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Training
for Rapu-Rapu LGU was held at Viento de Mar in Sogod, Bacacay, Albay
from September 4 to 6, 2006. The seminar-workshop, which focused on Devel-
opment and Production of Solid Waste Management I.E.C. materials and
SWM Policy Formulation and Enforcement, was facilitated by the team of
Celia Marquez and Prima Leida Queblatin of the Solid Waste Association of
the Philippines (SWAPP), a premier national NGO on solid waste management
based in Manila.
The goal of the SWM project is to make the town of Rapu-Rapu not only com-
pliant with the requirements of R.A. 9003 (otherwise known as the Ecological
Solid Waste Management Act of the Philippines) but more importantly, to
make Rapu-Rapu as another model of general sanitation and cleanliness and
eventually transform it into the “Puerto Princesa” of South Luzon.
Facilitators and some participants with VP Joey Cubias
There were 29 participants composed The closing program was attended by the members of the Sangguniang Bayan,
of 15 officials from the LGU and namely: Kagawad Mariano “Quaky” Bolaños, Kagawad Giovanni Guapo, Ka-
Sangguniang Bayan of Rapu-Rapu, gawad Wilson Guianan, Kagawad Marino Barranda, ABC President Josue
ten from the pilot SWM barangays of Galicia, and SK Municipal Federation President Joan Bruso. Also present was
Batan, Poblacion, Pagcolbon and Bi- Ms. Jo Darish, the Municipal SWM Coordinator of Rapu-Rapu LGU. The offi-
nosawan, and four employees of cials assured the SWM group of their full and wholehearted support and prom-
RRPI/RRMI. They developed SWM- ised to endorse the necessary legislative actions needed to effectively imple-
related social marketing plans, ap- ment the solid waste management program of the municipality. Mr. Joey
proaches and strategies and materials Cubias, VP for Industrial and Community Relations acknowledged with deep
to actively promote solid waste man- appreciation the LGU for their support to the company and its project.
agement practices in the municipality
of Rapu-Rapu and their respective Rene G. Castro, Head of CARE, coordinated the training activity with strong
Celia Marquez conducts lecture for the participants barangays. support from CARE officers and the Legaspi office staff: Melanie Valenciano,
Nancy Alipar, and Nelson Sto. Domingo. Mr. Joseph dela Rosa, the company’s

Teody Bendal and the goat farmers HR Officer, was also present during the program together with Pepito Navera
and Lawrence Araojo of Safety and Environment departments.

of Tinopan RRMI/RRPI will also set up a similar solid waste management program at the
Pagcolbon (Rapu-Rapu) Basecamp.
he President of the Tinopan Goat Farmers Association is
Teodimer Bendal, Teody for short. A soft-spoken, slightly The goat-raising group was formally organized on September 8, 2006, and
built man, he is the current treasurer of the Sangguniang election of the officers was held the same day. The members and their
Barangay and the president of the General Parent-Teacher families will be the main beneficiaries and will take the lead roles and re-
Association (GPTA) of the barangay’s elementary school. sponsibilities for the project. RRPI/RRMI will provide the goats, facilities,
As the first president of this newly organized group, Teody is technical expertise and the proper coordination with the municipal govern-
all enthusiastic about the latest livelihood project of RRMI/ ment and offices of the Municipality of Rapu-Rapu. The company will also
RRPI. Mr. Bendal lend sufficient funds for their initial operational expenses.
The first project to be implemented among the indirect host barangays of
Linao and Tinopan, the goat raising project was recently brought into high
gear with the exposure training activity in Lian, Batangas last August 28 to
September 1, 2006. The trip was the fruit of a series of organizational ac-
tivities among the beneficiaries and CARE staff Rene Castro and Roy
Cervantes for the past three months. The implementation of the goat farm-
ing project brought high hopes for new sources of income to the beneficiar-
ies such as Teody and his family.
When asked about his impressions of the trip, Teody revealed that “The
exposure trip to Batangas was very significant to us. It gave us a glimpse
of our project. I am very happy for the realization of this because this will
surely augment my income.”
“This goat-farm,” he added, “is a response to our request for livelihood
when Sec. Reyes came to visit the plant site. We chose goat-farming over
the other viable alternative livelihoods since we are familiar with it and it is
relatively easy to manage considering the demands our primary source of Roy Cervantes with the goat farmers of Brgy.Tinopan
income which is fishing.” The project is designed to be different from the usual scheme commonly
“Goat-farming is a healthy business. It has less competitors and an unde- known as “animal dispersal” whereby families are each given animals to
veloped market. I am confident that these factors mean that there is high raise by themselves. In this project, the animals will be cared for by the
demand for goat meat”, he explained. At present, Masbate is the only ma- group and each member will take turn caring for the animals that will be
jor supplier of goat-meat in our local markets. Teody’s group is hoping to raised in a common house and enclosure. The group has identified
fill the void in this business and even supply meat to other provinces. Penilla’s property as the designated goat farm. A memorandum of agree-
ment (MOA) between the land owner and the goat-farmers is currently be-
“I understand that the company is not trying to alienate us from our old ing prepared stipulating the duration and conditions on the use of said land.
ways of earning a living in granting us this goat-farm project. As a fisher-
man, I usually work during the night; daytime is spent preparing our fishing Although the animals will also be allowed to forage for themselves, the pro-
paraphernalia,” he added. “Once the project starts, we will remain as fish- ject calls for the planting of grasses in the nearby areas that will be used for
ermen and will watch over our animals during spare time.” supplementary feed. Several sites for the proposed pasture area in their
barangay have been identified, as well as varieties of indigenous grasses
In Barangay Tinopan, 11 persons signified their interests to participate in that can be used as forage. Environment Officer Cris Rivero and Agro-
the goat raising project. Asked to form an association, they elected Teody forester Nelson Buenafe helped facilitate the activity and will be actively
to be the President. Other elected officers are as follows: Teodulfo Dizon supporting the goat farmers in this aspect of the project.
Jr. as Vice-President, Wilson Penilla as Secretary and Treasurer, Ronillo
Echague as Project Officer and Cristy Penilla as Membership Relations EDITORIAL BOARD Managing Editor: Cecille Calleja Contributors: Roy
Cervantes, Rene Castro Bicol Translation: Mcken Belgica, Roy Cervantes
officer. Other members are the following: Jay Betito, Glen Bosito, Norberto
Production: Arnold A. Guadalupe, Kareen Asuncion, Mcken Belgica Cir-
Bosito, Wilberto Bosito, Allan Penilla, and Joel Penilla. culation: Mcken Belgica, Nancy Alipar, C.A.R.E. Dept.