Philex selects 37 out of 60 PGAA applicants

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TUBA, BENGUET – Thirty-seven out of the more than 60 applicants interested in becoming geologic aides passed the recent screening done by the Philex Geo Aide Academy (PGAA), at Philex Mining Corporation’s Padcal mine in this province.

The successful applicants make up the second batch of geologic-aide trainees whose training for about five months will be done through a program organized, funded, and run by the company, which advocates continuous learning that leads to a better life for the participants.

“We should all be thankful for this opportunity extended to us by the company,” Redempta Baluda, VP for Exploration at Philex Mining, said in a speech during ceremonies welcoming the new batch held at Padcal mine’s Smith Hall, in this town’s Brgy. Camp 3, on Wednesday, June 13.

Addressing the batch members, six of whom are women, Baluda also said, “Take it seriously because it’s a beautiful program. I enjoin you to take advantage of this project. You should be open to learning new things. That way, you can improve yourself.”

Last September 2017, 23 geologic aides completed their training and retraining through the same program run and funded by Philex Mining. Seventeen of those graduates are now working full-time at the different departments of Padcal mine.

Genesis Cellona, a Philex Mining geologist in-charge of the PGAA, said a select team of his colleagues has been tasked to administer lectures to and guide the field works, pro bono, of this year’s batch of PGAA, formerly named GATA, or Geologic Aide Training Academy.

“The lectures and field works will be done after office hours and during weekends, so these won’t hamper our regular work schedules,” he added, stressing that the participants are set to learn structural and geologic mapping, sampling procedures, and drilling, among other subjects.

He added that besides acquiring new skills that would equip them to face life challenges, the participants could also become some sort of spokespersons for the company, serving as vehicles to disseminate information to their respective villages around the host towns of Tuba and Itogon on Philex Mining’s exploration activities as well as its conscientious and responsible mining practices.

Padcal mine’s Community Relations (ComRel) Dept., according to Cellona, provided the budget of P170,000 for this year’s PGAA, slightly lower as compared to last year’s P209,600, as most of the pieces of equipment needed had already been bought.

ComRel Manager Aurora Dolipas said the budget was made available through the Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG), one of the three pillars of the company’s CSR, or corporate social responsibility, program.

Being implemented for the company’s pursuit of programs to develop the mining industry, the DMTG complements the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) and the Information, Education and Communications (IEC) campaign — all mandated by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, a government agency that regulates the mining industry.

The SDMP, IEC, and DMTG get an annual budget of 1.5 percent of a miner’s total operating costs in the previous year.

Jun Sucilan, a senior geo-aide at Padcal mine, gave a lecture on the most important traits of personnel tasked to assist in the company’s geologic activities, saying they must be curious and eager to learn new things, as well as be proactive.

“Curiosity is very important, as this paves the way for us to want to know more, to want to learn more,” he said. “Having the initiative to do things and deal with the challenges facing us is another thing, as this makes us proactive and gives us the essential trait of becoming good leaders.” PR / ABN