Anoint the minesite and its workers – for blessings and guidance
Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte / March 2013 – They came. They saw. They prayed.
Evangelical pastors who recently visited the Canatuan minesite of TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD) said they were amazed and inspired by the best mining practices of the company. However, they worry over its impending closure that they gave prayers “so the company will overcome hurdles and continue to help the people,” said one pastor.
“What we can do now is pray and we believe that the Lord had just opened doors for you,” said Rev. Nestor Cajes, Senior Minister of Peace International Apostolic Ministries based in General Santos City. “You have done great things and you have done it faithfully, thus, the Lord will give you more,” he added.
The visiting 14 pastors came from Dipolog, General Santos, and Davao cities.
Together with the management team headed by General Manager Ely Valmores, the company’s clubhouse was transformed into a solemn prayer room as one minister after another each gave out eloquent supplications to God in behalf of the company.
A prayer for a longer mine life
One prayed for the success for the company’s plan for expansion in the neighboring Malusok Village to extend further the company’s stay in the area while another pleaded for its people’s welfare and continued blessings.
TVIRD operates a copper-zinc mine in Canatuan, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte. By the end of 2013, the company will conclude its mining operations in Canatuan due to the pending depletion of its current ore body. Just a few kilometers trucking distance from its current mine pit, however, is Malusok – property of the Subanons who already gave their consent for the company to mine the area. TVIRD employs an estimated 1,000 workers while the company’s activities also sustain small and micro enterprises in the surrounding communities.
The visiting evangelists however, came to learn, among many others, of the company’s Life After Mine Program wherein TVIRD’s subsidiary, TVIRD Agribusiness Products Inc. will take over to commence sustainable livelihood programs for its Subanon residents. This will be done alongside the company’s final mine rehabilitation program right after the decommissioning.
The company is pinning its hopes however, on the Mines and Geosciences Bureau’s (MGB) approval of its Application for Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (APSA23) covering the Malusok area which is found to be mineralized and can extend further the good things the company has been doing Canatuan.
A prayer for unity
“We could still have a corrupt-free country. It’s only now that I see a company that has a heart for its people, and is very transparent and this is what God wants– righteousness,” said Joy Haduca, a young Pastor of Peace International Apostolic Ministries.
The prayer session ended with a solemn anointment of the land which is symbolic of breaking free from any curse the land has been subjected to in the past. It can be recalled in the past that a Catholic bishop, to show his opposition to mining, publicly cursed the land when he visited the place wearing a black habit and planted his staff of authority in the ground.
TVIRD has since rose to become a leader in responsible mining in the country. In 2012, it was feted with the highest recognition in excellence in environment protection, in addition to being regarded for the second time as the Safest Mine by the country’s mining industry.
Canatuan is now a bustling community of Subanons, Christians and Muslims who enjoy better lives – livelihood through its farm products and employment in the company. Siocon, the host town, meanwhile enjoys being a first-class municipality due largely to the generation of tax revenues from company’s operations.