Thousands of people are engaged in small scale mining of gold and quarry industries in Benguet.
In the absence of safety and health plans for operations at these mines, Benguet Federation of Small Scale Mining, Inc. (BFSSMI) and Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc (CLFI) demonstrated
corporate social responsibility, entered into partnership and have provided basic life support training to local miners.

The first group of 30 pocket miners, selected from four associations namely Sugalan Clan Small-Scale Mining Association, Inc; Golden Hill Small-Scale Miners Asso.,Inc; Kilbasen Mariano Small-Scale Mining Asso.,Inc ; and Goldstream Pocket Miners Cooperative Livelihood with operations in Tuba (one of the 13 municipalities of Benguet) recently underwent occupational first aid training
and basic life support sessions.

Officials of BFSSMI , said participants of the two-day training with it’s theme “ First Aid Saves Life..First Aid Increases Safety”, will be utilized to form the core of emergency response team at
their respective mines. “In our little way, our federation (BFSSMI), strive to help local pocket miners to avoid accidents on their mines as much as possible through safety training in a proactive
way.Miners were trained in basic life support for when accidents occur and before the injured are taken to hospital,” said Angelita (Sugalan) in the vernacular, the lead coordinator for BFSSMI on the said activity.

She is also the president of Sugalan Clan Small-Scale Mining Association. Angelita (Sugalan) , who
participated in the training, together with her fellow BFSSMI officials -Norberto Cobaldes (president) and Alfred Bugnosen (executive vive president) ,expressed their gratitude to Cebuana Lhuillier Foudation, Inc. (CLFI),arm of the PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies, headed by its president John Henry Lhuillier for its invaluable support which sponsored the two-day safety training sessions.

Actually, the partnership efforts between BFSSMI and CLFI was started by the late Engineer Lomino Kaniteng, then president of BFSSMI whose years of leadership strongly supported the national government’s call for responsible mining. Under BFSSM’s program – environment ,safety and health, it’s goal is to ensure that small scale miners live and work safely. True to its company values, representatives of CLFI earlier met with the new BFSSMI officials, and paved the way this initial safety training held at Kiw-is resident, Camp 4, Kennon Road, Tuba, Benguet.

CLFI represented by Michael Joseph Torne, Section Head (Institutional Program) and Dave Mariano Resilience Program Officer supervised the training in line with their company’s resilience program. The company putting premium on volunteerism as one of it’s core values, distributed first aid kits to the delight of the trainees as well as officials of the four participating ssm groups.

The BFSMI officials also thanked the Benguet- Red Cross Chapter led by its Chairman Marie Rose Kepes, Chairman, Board of Directors,and Oscar Paris (RN), Chapter Administrator for it’s assistance by providing trainors and basic life support pamphlets. Paris scored the vital importance of emergency preparedness and early response to accidents like in the mining industry. The Benguet Red Cross official stressed the critical readiness of the community since they are the first
responders in times of emegencies.

Primo Agatep/ ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon