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Chamber of Mines in the Philippines Commits to Global Sustainability Standards”Tutongku Ceria” Programme Brings Weekend Joy with Activities Along Tutong River

MANILA — The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) has announced that its 19 member companies are set to fully implement the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative, marking a significant commitment to environmental, social, and corporate governance standards on a global scale. This initiative is recognized as a comprehensive performance measurement standard for the mining industry, focusing on responsible management of mining risks and the adoption of best practices across operations.

According to Philippines News Agency, the TSM initiative provides a suite of tools and indicators designed to ensure the responsible management of key mining risks and the implementation of best practices at member mining facilities. Notably, the Philippines is the only country in Asia currently subscribed to the TSM, highlighting its pioneering role in promoting sustainable mining practices within the region.

Member companies of COMP will be required to submit self-assessment reports on eight TSM protocols for their performance in 2023. These protocols cover a wide range of critical areas, including safety and health, community and Indigenous Peoples outreach and social development, crisis management and communications, tailings management, water management, biodiversity conservation management, and climate change. The assessments will be facilitated through the Mine Site Sustainability Audit (MSSA) online application, where mines are expected to support their self-ratings with concrete proofs and evidence.

Furthermore, COMP disclosed that 10 of the 19 mines would undergo independent external verification by Verification Service Providers (VSPs) this year to validate their reports, with the remaining nine set for validation the following year. The results from both self-assessment and externally verified reports will be publicly disclosed, ensuring transparency and accountability in the mining sector's sustainability efforts.

Michael Toledo, chairperson of COMP, reflected on the journey since adopting the TSM in December 2017, which included a six-year preparation period involving the adaptation of TSM Protocols to the Philippine context, the formation of a multi-sector Community of Interest Advisory Panel, the training and accreditation of VSPs, and the development of the MSSA. This period also saw a self-assessment dry run and the mock external verification of three volunteer mines: Rio Tuba Nickel, OceanaGold Didipio, and Philex Padcal.

The commitment of COMP member firms, including major mining companies such as Benguet Corp., Cagdianao Mining Corp., and Carmen Copper Corp., among others, to the TSM initiative signifies a landmark effort towards sustainable mining practices in the Philippines, aiming to set a benchmark for responsible mining in Asia and beyond.

TUTONG TOWN - The "Tutongku Ceria" programme brought a festive atmosphere to Tutong Town with a variety of engaging activities centered around the Tutong River Jetty Area on the morning of February 25th. Participants, including a Member of the Legislative Council, enjoyed leisure cycling and walking, contributing to the community's health and wellness. The event also featured the Weekend Community Bazaar at the Cempaka Bersaudara Complex Area, where local entrepreneurs showcased products representing the "one village, one product" initiative.

According to Radio Television Brunei, the programme was organized in collaboration with the Tutong District Office, Tutong District Development and Creative Body, and the Tutong Youth Movement, IMPAK. The initiative aimed to enliven the town with cultural and recreational activities, fostering community spirit and promoting local products and entrepreneurship.