Mining is often associated with business and has been viewed as environmentally-extractive endeavour .
Under the leadership of Atty. Alberto Sipaco, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of the Philippine Mining Development Corporation wants to create a twist in the way people have been looking at the mining industry.
In his welcome and keynote message during the recently conducted Foundational Course on Mining Business and Human Rights, Atty. Sipaco directed attention of the mining industry towards integrating human rights under the concept protect, respect and rehab (PRR).
Atty. Sipaco sets this direction along with his intention to wage wide-ranging advocacy for “responsible mining” intended to be adopted by whatever category of mining endeavour—be it large-scale or small-scale.
In cooperation with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), PMDC conducted in Davao City the three-day Foundational Course on Mining Business and Human Rights with participants coming from the government, the business/ private sector, indigenous people’s sector, civil society and the academe.
The first session of the course discussed “The Context of Mining, Development and Human Rights”. The succeeding sessions tackled “International Human Rights Law”, “Domestic Human Rights Law”, “Mining Business Concepts and Operations”, “The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” and “The 10 Principles of the Global Compact”.
Other topics discussed were the National Framework in Relation to Business and Human Rights and the respective roles of business, civil society, peoples’ organization and the government.
Atty. Sipaco emphasized the significance of “Crisis Management” in operating either large or small-scale mining operation, and brought in as resource speaker, Maria Lourdes Avancena-Arcenas, director of the Development Bank of the Philippines.
Arcenas is a senior advisor on Corporate Social Responsibility to local and international corporations in the mining, power, forestry, infrastructure sectors. (PIA)