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Protecting Lives in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining Sector

The planetGOLD Philippines Partners with the Philippine Red Cross and Sagada Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to Equip Sagada Small-Scale Miners Occupational First Aid and Emergency Management Skills


Knowledge Areas:


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A safety instructor from the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) - Mountain Province Chapter demonstrates proper cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as part of the Occupational First Aid and Emergency Management training for the members of Northern Sagada Barangay Small-Scale Mining Association, Inc. (NSBSSMAI)

SAGADA, MOUNTAIN PROVINCE – In the Philippines, an estimated 500,00 miners are employed in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector. Despite the considerable workforce, these miners remain to work in an informal setting increasing their susceptibility to occupational, health, and various hazards.

To help address such challenge, planetGOLD Philippines partnered with Philippine Red Cross (PRC) - Mountain Province Chapter and the Sagada Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) to conduct the second Occupational First Aid and Emergency Management Training on 12-13 December 2023, as part of the the Project’s capacity development series. This training was attended by 30 leaders and members of Northern Sagada Barangay Small-Scale Mining Association, Inc. (NSBSSMAI), the partner mining association of planetGOLD Philippines in Sagada, Mt. Province.

The first occupational first aid training (OFAT) was held in 2022 but with the recognition of the training’s importance to participants and their nature of livelihood, members of the NSBSSMAI requested another session so other miners from the organization could join and be equipped with the knowledge and skills of this crucial training.

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Head of Sagada MDRRMC Mr. Eddie Dapliyan officially starts the program with an opening remark.

Kicking-off the two-day training session is Mr. Eddie Dapliyan, Head of Sagada MDRRMC, who gave the opening remarks saying that safety should not only be observed inside the mines but in every situation. He also highlighted that in disaster risk management, not only skills and knowledge should be gained but to have the right attitude in dealing with these hazards. In the future, he hopes that the participants will be prepared enough to respond in cases of emergencies through their learnings from the training.

To help increase the awareness and knowledge of small-scale miners in responding to common emergencies and basic life support, the two-day training featured modules and hands-on workshops on:

  • Introduction to First Aid and Basic Life Support;
  • Guidelines on Giving Emergency Care;
  • Cardiac Emergencies;
  • Airway and Breathing Exercises;
  • Bleeding and Shock;
  • Soft Tissues Injuries;
  • Poisoning;
  • Bones, Joints, and Muscle Injuries;
  • Head and Spine Injuries;
  • Medical Emergencies; 
  • Environmental Emergencies;
  • Special Situations; and
  • Lifting, Moving, and Transfer.

Dawn Po Quimque, National Communications Officer and CapDev Lead of planetGOLD Philippines project emphasized the importance of reiterating training focused on safety given the dangerous setting in mining areas. “We at planetGOLD Philippines believe that the safety of the small-scale miners in the ASGM sector must be one of our priorities, especially considering the hazardous nature of their work. By equipping the small-scale miner with the knowledge and skills on occupational first aid and emergency management, we are building a more prepared and resilient community who can respond in times of calamities and disasters.”

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Catherine Eguid, a mucker (person who collects waste ore), shared how important the training is especially for women miners like her.
What I learned in today's OFAT, Occupational First-Aid Safety Training, is significant because I acquired knowledge on providing first aid for injuries encountered along the way and those arising from the environment. We have truly gained valuable insights. I hope that we won't have to apply these skills, but if situations arise, we are now equipped with knowledge. We also request more training sessions for refreshers or advanced topics. Even though women are not typically the ones involved in rescue operations at the mining site, we still play a role in assisting them Catherine Eguid, Miner, NSBSSMAI
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30-year old miner John Michael Baleña shared how important OFAT is for miners like him.
I have learned a lot in this first-aid training, specifically in this OFAT (Occupational First Aid and Emergency Management Training) provided by the Red Cross. I hope that more of my colleagues will undergo training, as it's not only crucial for us but for everyone. While we don't wish for accidents, the nature of our job demands safety, making it necessary for many to receive this training, not just a few. Regular refreshers are essential because there are several aspects that require updating in our training. John Michael Baleña, Miner, NSBSSMAI
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PRC Safety Instructor Ms. Florita Sacgaca closes the two-training with a closing remark.

The two-day training ended with a message from PRC representative Ms. Florita Sacgaca who thanked the Sagada MDRRM Office, Sagada Emergency Response Volunteers (SERV), and PRC - Mountain Province Chapter for participating in the program. She also looks forward to more partnership activities with the planetGOLD Philippines project in the future. “In recognition of the hazards and safety threats in ASGM, we hope that we conduct more training like these in the future for the other members of the community. As we say in PRC, it is important that we are always prepared for every situation; dapat laging handa.”

PRC also provided certificates and identification cards indicating that the participants are certified first aid and basic life support respondents in their community.


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Members of NSBSSMAI, PRC - Mountain Province Chapter, Sagada MDRRMO, and planetGOLD Philippines take a group photo after the two-day training on Occupational First Aid and Emergency Management at Bangaan, Sagada, Mountain Province.

The planetGOLD Philippines Project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, and executed by the Artisanal Gold Council.

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