November 12th: Abandoned Marcos house in Baguio eyed as museum.
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—One of the decayed houses abandoned by the family of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos may yet become the new home for an interactive museum devoted to the history of mining in the Philippines.
The Baguio Historical and Mining Museum Foundation is eyeing one such house, one of three sequestered Marcos assets that the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) is auctioning off, said the foundation chair, Delia Albert.
“But we won’t buy it [as] there are other ways of acquiring the property,” Albert said.
The foundation thought of the abandoned Marcos property after it failed in its attempts to acquire the use of the old Diplomat Hotel compound on Dominican Hill in 2008.
The Diplomat Hotel property was relinquished to the Baguio City government in 2002 by the Presidential Management Staff during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
One of the conditions for the turnover was that a place for the Baguio mining museum would be provided. However, the city council could not decide how best to divide the property among various stakeholders.
After years of the city government’s indecision, the foundation decided to approach the PCGG this year to secure one of the three sequestered Marcos properties, Albert said.
Albert, who grew up in the summer capital, said the proposed new home for the Baguio mining museum would be bigger and would require more donors.
Baguio’s mine museum.
The museum is envisioned to contain the first Philippine Center of Minerals, a center for jewelry design that will tell the story of the parallel growth of art and metals unearthed by the Philippine mining industry, as well as a memorabilia room showcasing photographs of old Baguio and the mines.
The museum could be up and running by 2012, Albert said in a speech at the 58th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference at Camp John Hay here on Thursday.
She showed clips from a black-and-white film that she had found in the archives of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Albert said she made a copy of the film to show critics what the proposed mine museum would display. She said the film would be played in full when the Baguio museum opens.
The film is a compilation of Baguio and Benguet montages made by Kate Bigelow from 1933 to 1935. The clips show old Baguio landscapes and feature shots of the Mines View Park and Camp John Hay.
According to Albert, the foundation intends to make the museum a repository of old Baguio memorabilia which old Baguio families may have kept.
“We become the home of their stories, and their stories will become the whole story of Baguio,” she said.
Baguio’s economic and social history is intertwined with the growth of corporate mining beginning with Benguet Corp. at the turn of the 20th century, she said.
By Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon.
November 12th: Ambassadors say foreign mining firms willing to invest in PH.
BAGUIO CITY, Five foreign ambassadors are united in saying that mining firms from their countries are very much willing to invest in the Philippines.
Thus announced Ambassadors Roderick Richard Campbell Smith of Australia, Alcides Gastao Rostand Prates of Brazil, Roberto Mayorga of Chile, Agnes Nyamande-Pitso of South Africa and Stephen Lillie from the United Kingdom, who were guests during the 58th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference here in Baguio City last week.
The ambassadors, who gave the situation of mining in their respective countries before more than 700 participants and delegates from all over the country including foreign investors, said that the Philippines is rich in mineral resources and it is good to have foreign mining firms to invest here.
Ambassador Lille said there is a tremendous potential for more mining in the country as evidenced by three companies from the United Kingdom doing business here.
South African Company Gold Fields recently established the Gold Fields Philippines Corporation and together hwith the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation, they acquired the Far Southeast Gold Resources, Inc. (FSGRI) project in Lepanto, Mankayan in Benguet.
Meanwhile, former Secretary of Foreign Affairs Delia Albert said that the Philippines has to compete with investors to get their interest. “If we do not, investors will go to other countries where they will have better value for their money.”
Albert stressed the country is endowed with mineral reserves and has a firm legal framework for an investment guide. “These are some of the reasons people want to come here to invest.”
A former special envoy of the President for mining, Albert , a Baguio girl, had been overseeing procedures that will speed up the mining business and attending regional and international conferences where mining was discussed.
She organized a Minerals Development Council, patterned after similar institutions in other mining countries, but tailoring its functions to the unique Philippine situation. It aims to ensure responsible mining practices, including transparency, environmental concerns and safety measures.
With this year’s theme of “Responsible Mining: Enabling a Better Future,” Albert stressed that although foreign firms are welcome to invest in the country, they have to make sure that responsible mining will be practiced. *(JDP/RC- PIA CAR)
By Redjie Cawis, Philippine Information Agency.
November 12th: Mine safety group accepts scholars for mining related courses.
BAGUIO CITY, The Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association announced that it is accepting scholars for mining related courses.
PMSEA President Louie Sarmiento said the group has opened the scholarship to attract to students to enroll in mining related courses to suffice the lack of mining engineers, geologists, and environment and sanitation engineers in the country.
Sarmiento said that the country is lacking mining engineers and geologist since most families are choosing courses which are in demand abroad such as nursing.
According to Sarmiento, PMSEA scholarship program is in cooperation with mining firms such as Philiex Mines and Royalco Philippines. He explained that besides benefits of the PMSEA scholarship program which includes the full scholarship and allowances, the scholars are guaranteed to work at the mining firms.
He added that these young employees also will have the opportunity to be sent in other countries to be trained and to enhance their skills to be used in their mining firms here in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Mines and Geosciences Bureau regional director Orlando Pineda said that the MGB Cordillera will put up a library to be used by students taking mining related courses.
Pineda said that mining firms in the region have already signified their intention of helping fund the library and books to be established.
Schools offering mining related courses are having hard time to fill up their libraries with books on mining since there are few students enrolled in these courses.
At the moment, Saint Louis University is offering Mining Engineering with at least 50 students while the University of Baguio and the University of the Cordilleras are offering Environment and Sanitation Engineering with fewer students.
Interested scholars could send their letter of intention together with the high school grades to the PMSEA, 3/F, J.C. Fernandez Building, North Avenue, Diliman 1110, Quezon City or thru the MGB- CAR Regional Office at Diogo Silang, Baguio City. .*(JDP/RC- PIA CAR)
By Redjie Cawis, Philippine Information Agency.