The permit holders/contractors composed mostly of Industrial Sand and Gravel (ISAG) within Mindanao convened virtually via Zoom last August 20, 2021 as facilitated by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region IX (MGB-IX). The objective of the said meeting was to bring together non-metallic permit holders/contractors to discuss mainly the establishment of the National Unified Information and Education Program (NUIECP) in cognizant to the MGB directive in 2020 as an offshoot to the nationwide campaign dubbed as #MineResponsibility which was launched nationwide in November of 2019.
Former MGB-XII Regional Director, Engr. Constancio A. Paye, Jr. who used to be active in pursuing Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities to promote the mining industry, and who was also present during the meeting, encouraged the MGB Regional Offices within Mindanao to come together and enjoin their respective quarry and ISAG operators to organize themselves into an association to represent Mindanao as the creation of a National Oversight Committee is underway who will be in-charge in the formulation and implementation of a unified IEC plan. As a result, the Mindanao Association of Responsible Quarry Operators Foundation, Inc. was created towards the end of the virtual meeting, composed of 7 Board of Trustees.
As host region for the said virtual meeting, OIC, RD, Hernani G. Abdon was also joined by RD Felizardo Gacad of MGB-10, RD Efren Carrido of MGB-12, RD Larry Heradez of MGB-13 and their respective MSESDD Chiefs. MGB-11 RD Atty. Jasper Albert Lascano was unable to attend due to an equally important meeting but was represented by his MSESDD Chief.
The allocated fund for the implementation of the NUIECP will come from the IEC component of the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) required of a mining contract and permit holders. As mandated by RA No. 7942, the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, permit holders shall allocate 1.5% of their operating cost to implement the SDMP following the specific budgetary assignment: 75% for the development of the host and neighboring community, 10% for the development of mining technology and geosciences, and 15% for the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) program.