`We are the Green Miners’


Employees launch `The Greening of TVIRD’

The case for protecting the environment is compelling. Rising
temperature levels, drastic climactic changes, extinction of animal species,
vanishing rainforests, and melting polar caps are among the warning signs that
people and nations have been witnessing in the last 50 years. No wonder the
global movement to save Mother Earth is continually growing. Among the latest
to heed the call are employees of a mining company operating in the mountains
of Canatuan in the Southern Philippines. After all, while “going green”
is generally viewed as a means to help extend life on this planet, it also makes
perfect business sense.(Please
read related Blog item, "Encouraging signs", here

from TVIRD’s Makati (above) and Canatuan (below) offices show hands
for the environment. Photo above are employees from different departments
with a common soft spot for Mother Earth: (clockwise from top left) HR
Analyst Rydahl Bangkas, Accounting Manager Cecile Aringo, Network Administrator
Boy Gajito, Buyer/Planner Wilner Villanueva, and HR Manager Malou Aquino.
Below, TVIRD Canatuan Medical Team members commit their collective effort
for healthy bodies and a healthy environment: (from left) Dr. Arthur Luspo,
nurses Lois Esnane and Max Madriaga, and midwive Malou Prestoza.

Such was the common view held by employees of TVI Resource
Development Philippines, Inc. (TVIRD) when they held separate kickoff activities
for “The Greening of TVIRD” at the company’s Canatuan Project
mining facility in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, and at its headquarters in Makati
City, the Philippines’ premiere business district.

“This campaign – conceptualized and initiated by
TVIRD employees – aims to reduce the negative impact of our company’s
activities on the environment,” says John Ridsdel, TVIRD Senior Vice President
and Chief Operating Officer. “It also seeks the participation of all TVIRD

“Prominent companies today are taking leadership actions
on fighting carbon emissions, energy consumption, and negative environmental
impacts,” he points out. “And oh, by the way, our most significant
cost factor at Canatuan is our fuel cost and energy consumption.”

photo shows TVI Pacific Inc and TVIRD Chairman Cliff James, who personally
attended the Makati launch of the environment campaign to express support
for the employee initiative. He is joined by Yulo Perez, TVIRD Vice President
for Philippine Operations (middle) and Luis Santos, Jr. (right)) during
a light moment at the kickoff ceremonies. Middle and bottom photos show
Makati and Canatuan employees putting their pledges for the environment
on paper. “New ways of seeing, thinking, and acting are what will
curb climate change,” James told employees.

“’Going green’ is not a cliché. It
is critical. For the planet and for TVIRD’s cost base,” Ridsdel

No less than Cliff James, Chairman of both TVI Pacific Inc
(TVIRD’s Canadian affiliate) and TVIRD, as well as Eugene Mateo, TVIRD
President, were present at the Makati launching to show their support for the

“I encourage you to participate in this undertaking,”
James told the employees. “New ways of seeing, thinking, and acting are
what will curb climate change. While we at TVI have been conscious of the environmental
footprint of our activities – and are doing everything we can to protect
and manage the impacts – we know we can do more, not only at our project
sites, but everywhere we go: in our offices, in our homes, even in the streets.
The rewards will be two-fold: pride that we are part of something big and absolutely
necessary, and financial savings for our company and for our families.”

TVIRD President Eugene Mateo exhorts employees to actively participate
in the campaign. Below, Canatuan managers and supervisors vow to take
the lead in the many-hands approach needed to ensure the campagn’s

Mateo, for his part, said “the campaign will only succeed
with everybody’s participation. It will stand not on the ideas of a few,
but on the collective action of everyone. As TVIRD employees, our participation
and collective action will undoubtedly make a big difference towards a better

“An inherent part of doing business is to be responsible, both socially
and environmentally,” quipped Accounting Manager Cecile Aringo. “Everyone
should be involved in this campaign because we owe much to our environment.
The earth is our one and only home. We co-exist with it. If we will not take
care of what we have, no one else will.”

Edilberto Bayona, Environment Department Permitting Assistant, was delighted
in the company initiative to help address the global issue: “I’m
thankful that I am able to attend the launching of this campaign. Even before
this campaign was launched, I have been implementing basic environmental protection
measures like garbage segregation in the office and at home. I’m already
due for retirement and I am planning to plant trees in the lot that I own. More
trees mean fewer greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.”

top photo, Database Manager Martin Barette (left) joins John Ridsdel,
TVIRD Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (middle), and
Rene de Ocampo, TVIRD Vice President for Human Resources and Adminstration,
the primemover and conductor, respectively, of “The Greening of
TVIRD” campaign. Middle photo shows Jay Nelson, TVIRD Vice President
for Environment and Civil Works (left), lists down his team’s commitments,
together with Environment Supervisor Rowena Inion and Executive Assistant
Sheila Perillo. Bottom, Feliece Yeban, TVIRD Vice President for Social
Commitments (seated left) stresses a point during the kickoff discussions,
as (standing from left) Inion, Bangkas, and Social Commitments Program
Officer Rocelle Magpayo react. Seated at right is Keets Estillore, Geographic
Information System Specialist.

In all kickoff activities, employees were asked to write their
group and individual commitments in support of the campaign. Personal commitments
were written on paper cutouts shaped like hands and pasted on a board with a
tree illustration – The Commitment Tree – and with the text: “You
can make a difference for a better environment. Conserve, Protect, and Reuse.”
The cutout hands, according to organizers, symbolize the project’s success,
which is in the hands of each employee as each commitment is kept and done.
Green, on the other hand, signifies a healthy environment with more trees.

The TVIRD Canatuan Clinic and Medical Team, headed by company
physician Arthur Luspo, for instance, pledged “to intensify the promotion
of a healthy lifestyle among employees and the community, the establishment
of a herbarium, the recycling of materials, and the conservation of electricity.”

Permitting Assistant Edilberto Bayona says he looks forward to planting
plenty of trees when he retires. Below, Makati-based employees take their
commitment setting activity seriously. “An organized collective
effort is more effective than individual contributions,” says Estillore.

Fred Gonzaga, Mobile Maintenance Superintendent, meanwhile,
committed to keep all company vehicles in top shape so that they will emit less
carbon monoxide. “We will also regulate the use of company vehicles and
promote walking whenever possible. Walking is a great exercise for the body
and is environment-friendly, too!” he said beaming.

“Humankind is the greatest contributor to climate change,”
said Keets Estillore, a Geographic Information System Specialist from the Exploration
Department. “It is thus our obligation to future generations and to ourselves
to contribute to campaigns like this. An organized collective effort is more
effective than individual contributions. If all companies will, like TVIRD,
get their employees involved, more people can participate and make a big difference.”

Malou Aquino, Human Resources Manager, said the campaign provides TVIRD the
opportunity to show that it is, in fact, environment-friendly: “Mining
companies are often accused of destroying the environment. This, I hope, will
make people understand that we care for the environment and that we practice
responsible mining. I am proud to be part of a company that involves its people
in advocacies such as this.”

Canatuan employees review their pledges as, below, their Makati counterparts
listen intently to one of the speakers. “Since we are essentially
just ‘borrowing’ everything we need from the environment,
it is our obligation to ‘return’ something to it,” Gajito
points out.

Wilner Villanueva, Buyer/Planner of the Purchasing Department,
agrees with Aquino: “This is a good opportunity to stand up and show that
our company is aware of and concerned about environmental issues, and that we
are actively taking steps to address them. The thought of being able to participate
in something that will contribute to the well-being of our children and their
children is in itself already rewarding.”

“This campaign underscores our respect for the environment; that we are
aware that we must do something to keep it in good shape,” Rydahl Bangkas,
Human Resources Analyst, said. “After all, we are the ones who benefit
from the earth’s resources. The least we can do is to exert direct and
indirect efforts that will be beneficial to the environment. I hope to be able
to contribute to, and participate in, all the activities of ‘The Greening
of TVIRD’.”

presented the case for protecting the environment well in both the Makati
and Canatuan campaign launches. “The thought of being able to participate
in something that will contribute to the well-being of our children and
their children is in itself already rewarding,” avers Villanueva.

“Since we are essentially just ‘borrowing’
everything we need from the environment, it is our obligation to ‘return’
something to it. This campaign is an expression of this obligation,” averred
Network Administrator Boy Gajito. “Just as companies are required to pay
taxes, so too must companies like TVIRD give the environment what is due to
it. Paying taxes means observing the laws imposed by men. Saving the environment
means respecting the laws of nature.”

The Greening of TVIRD is a joint effort of TVIRD’s various departments:
Human Resources, Social Commitments, Environment, and Public Affairs. The campaign
is being conducted by Rene de Ocampo, TVIRD Vice President for Human Resources.
He is ably supported by Bangkas, Rocelle Magpayo, Program Officer; Rowena Inion,
Environment Supervisor; and Rosalie Tiongco, HR Manager.

“’Going green’ is not a cliché. It is critical.
For the planet and for TVIRD’s cost base.”

Aringo added: “It is a great opportunity to do something
that will benefit not only us, but also future generations. This campaign is
a wake up call for us to let go of the old ways that contributed to the destruction
of the environment.”

“Being part of this campaign is both rewarding and stirring,” Gajito
continued. “Rewarding because you know you are part of a concerted effort
to protect and save the environment. Stirring because we had been complacent
for so long, not knowing that our activities are slowly choking Mother Earth.
Now we have answered the call to action.” (Rocky Dimaculangan and Rene

all. Canatuan employees gather around their Commitment Tree. “We
have answered the call to action.”