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Responsible Gold for the Nation

The planetGOLD Philippines Project joins the 4th National Assembly and National Summit of Small-Scale Gold Miners in the Philippines

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Over 100 participants from different small-scale mining associations, government agencies, NGOs, and private sector attend the 4th National Assembly and National Summit of Small-Scale Gold Miners in the Philippines in Koronaday City, South Cotabato.

KORONADAL CITY, SOUTH COTABATO – The planetGOLD Philippines Project supported and participated in the National Summit for the Presentation of the Recent Proposed Amendments of Republic Act (RA) No. 7076 or the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991 and the 4th Assembly of the National Coalition of Small-Scale Miners in the Philippines, Inc. (NCSSMPI) held at The Farm at Carpenter Hill on 2-5 August 2023.

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NCSSMPI President and planetGOLD Philippines Project Steering Committee Member Mr. Gil Indino gives the opening message of the 4th National Assembly & Summit

Led by NCSSMPI President and planetGOLD Philippines Project Steering Committee Member Mr. Gil Indino, the two-day summit featured various informative presentations and engaging discussions on best practices and initiatives of small-scale miners on environmental protection, elimination of child labor, and occupational safety and health – marking another significant milestone for responsible mining practices and economic advancement in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector.

Under the theme, "Ginto sa Maliitang Minero Tungo sa Paglakas ng Ekonomiya para sa Pag-unlad ng Bayan" (Gold from Small-Scale Miners: Strength of the Economy, Hope of the Nation), the assembly passionately advocated for sector formalization and economic growth. The gathering also thoroughly reviewed proposed amendments to RA 7076.]

Indino emphasized, "Getting formalized isn't just about following rules; it's about empowering our community. We're striving for a small-scale mining industry that not only helps the economy but also becomes a symbol of hope for our nation."

Regarding challenges faced by small-scale miners and women workers, Indino highlighted, "Even though ASGM plays a big role in our economy, miners and women workers deal with tough issues like living conditions, job challenges, and safety standards not being met. It is time for meaningful changes to make things better. This assembly serves as a platform to discuss issues, propose solutions, and work towards creating positive changes.”

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The planetGOLD Philippines National Gender Specialist Meggy Katigbak presents an overview of plight of women miners in ASGM.

The planetGOLD Philippines Project used the opportunity to highlight the vital role of women in ASGM, presenting an overview, a documentary film on women in mining, and insights into their current status in the industry.

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Katigbak also shares the significance of the MACWIE Bill, (Magna Carta for Workers in the Informal Economy) in the context of ASGM.

Meggy Katigbak, the planetGOLD Philippines Projects’ National Gender Specialist, discussed the significance of the MACWIE Bill, (Magna Carta for Workers in the Informal Economy), designed to address gender-related issues in informal sectors such as ASGM. The session encouraged participants to understand the plight of women miners and reflect on the challenges they face.

“Conversations about women in mining are not just essential; they are crucial for creating an inclusive and equitable ASGM sector. Recognizing and addressing gender-related issues is necessary for achieving formalized and responsible practices in this industry. Our collective dialogue can pave the way for meaningful change, ensuring that the contributions of women miners are acknowledged, valued, and integrated into the broader narrative of economic development in the ASGM sector," noted Katigbak.

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AGC members and miners from planetGOLD Philippines partner mining associations attend the 3-day event in South Cotabato.

Representatives from government agencies, NGOs, the private sector, and 33 mining associations attended. Notably, planetGOLD Philippines Projects' partner mining associations— Samahan ng mga Minero ng Barangay Casalugan from Paracale (SMBC) from Camarines Norte, and Northern Sagada Barangay Small-Scale Mining Association, Inc (NSBSSMAI) from Sagada, Mt. Province—actively participated with support from the project.

The planetGOLD Philippines Project has consistently been a proud supporter of NCSSMPI. In the previous year, the project sponsored the inclusion of 20 mining associations as members of the National Coalition, reinforcing a commitment to collaborative efforts in advancing the interests of small-scale gold miners. In fact, the Project has committed to host and organize the 2024 National Summit and 5th National Assembly in Camarines Norte.

Abigail Ocate, planetGOLD Philippines Project National Project Manager emphasized this commitment by stating, "Our support is rooted in the belief that formalizing the sector is progress to economic and social empowerment. Through collaboration, we envision a cleaner, safer, and more profitable ASGM sector, benefiting the miners and the country."

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Indino leads the general assembly NCSSMPI in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

To conclude the event, the NCSSMPI members conducted a general assembly in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. During this gathering, the members strategized for upcoming activities, finalized their bylaws, and discussed various plans to enhance the effectiveness of their collective efforts.

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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