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Marinduque Mining Legacy Forum

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AMONG 15 other schools, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) took part in a three-month campaign of a non-government organization to generate student awareness and to speed up deferred legal processes on a notorious mining disaster in Marinduque 17 years ago.


NGO Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center – Kasama sa Kalikasan (LRC-KsK), with the participation of five foreign interns from the Association Internationale des Étudiants en Sciences Économiques et Commerciales, the world’s largest youth-run organization, facilitated a photo exhibit and forum at the UST Civil Law Auditorium to launch its latest advocacy entitled “Marinduque Quest for Justice Campaign” last August 26.


The campaign “aims at raising the awareness of the public about the Marinduque mining accident and the negative impact of mining to the environment,” said Joey Shiu, an LRC-KsK intern and a student from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


It also hopes to pressure the government to hasten the legal processes on hold over the past 17 years so that the residents of Marinduque,which is an island province that is geographically located at the center of the Philippines, would one day be given the justice they rightfully deserve.

 

Atty. Minerva Quintela of LRC-KsK presented through a photo exhibit how the mining disaster turned the once clean and untouched island province into a polluted mess and how it affected the people of Marinduque gravely through the slideshow of photos. Most of the subjects in the photographs are senior citizens and their severe diseases that are caused by the effect of mining.


The photo exhibit narrated the background of the mining accident and focused on informing the visitors of the impact the mining industry has not only on Marinduque, but on the Philippines as well. It lectured the audience to make smart and eco-friendly choices.


Experts also spoke about the problems in the island and various law and topics covering mining in the Philippines in a forum  that followed the photo exhibit.


National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), Jaybee Garganera, presented figures of how much the mining companies benefitted from the place and resources of their land.


ATM is an advocacy group and a people’s movement that supports the rights of the Filipinos against the enduring injustices related to mining.

 

But things began to heat up and left the audience in anxious silence when the former governor of Marinduque objected the said figures shown by Garganera and began a mini debate with the speakers.


In the end, both parties just agreed to help each other to solve the remaining problems of the island province.


Vice Governor of Marinduque and head of the Marinduquenong Tomasino, Dr. Antonio Uy, gave the closing remarks to put the event to a close.


What happened before

1969 – Placer Dome Inc. established the Tapian mine, its first open pit copper mine run by Marcopper, in Marinduque.


1975 – The National Pollution Control Commission issued the permit to allow Marcopper-Placer Dome Inc. to dump ore residues in Calancan Bay through a submerged disposal system. But the tailings were dumped via surface disposal until the Tapian Mine became depleted, causing a long causeway of tailings which extended out into the middle of the bay.


1991 – A dam was installed for the tailings on a tributary of Mogpog River, one kilometer north of the new Marcopper mine site in San Antonio.


1993 – The typhoon “Monang” prompted the dam to break, causing a flood of toxic tailings to the Mogpog River. Two people were reported killed among the numerous livestock and destruction of crops.


2005 – Marinduque’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan declared a 50 year mining moratorium in the province. By Erika Dizon


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CSC lambasts Duterte’s ‘apathetic’ threats; launches donation drive

“We recognize the purpose of the quarantine. However, despite the implementations of these policies, they remain fruitless, unsteady, and ineffective.”

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Carmina Beatriz Dizon/TomasinoWeb

Fruitless, unsteady, and ineffective. This was how the University’s Central Student Council (CSC) described the national government’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic as it lambasted the “apathetic” threats of the administration towards the people.

In a statement released Saturday, April 4, CSC along with Local Student Councils urged President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration for responsible governance in managing the public health crisis.

“We recognize the purpose of the quarantine […] However, despite the implementations of these policies, they remain fruitless, unsteady, and ineffective,” the statement read.

Moreover, the statement outlined its condemnation in its crisis management from the inadequate test kits, overpriced personal protective equipment, the condition of frontline health workers to the military’s alleged abuse of power.

“The Thomasian community strongly urges the government to understand the sentiments of the marginalized, to heed their calls instead of resorting to violence, and to pay attention to constructive criticism aimed at correcting the flawed system.” 

The statement, which was released a day after Pres. Duterte’s impromptu public address, also denounced the violent dispersal and arrest of Sitio San Roque residents demanding relief goods and financial assistance.

It also reminded the government that “it is the people who put them in their position,” and added further that “what we give, we can always take back.”

‪MUST READ: The UST-CSC and LSCs call for responsible governance amid the COVID-19 pandemic and condemn all forms of…

University of Santo Tomas Central Student Councilさんの投稿 2020年4月4日土曜日

Donation drive

Last March 27, the CSC in partnership with the Student Organizations Coordinating Council launched a financial donation drive for the workers of the Tan Yan Kee Student Center.

Alongside with this, respective colleges have arranged financial assistance to their local City Service personnel and security workers. 

"Kindness can reach wounds that only compassion can heal." As of 6:30 PM, April 1, 2020, we have already raised PHP…

University of Santo Tomas Central Student Councilさんの投稿 2020年4月1日水曜日

 

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CSC pushes for online class suspension amid UST guidelines

The Central Board recommended the use of online modules like “handouts, video tutorials, and pre-recorded lectures” which the students can use during the break.

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Carmina Beatriz Dizon/TomasinoWeb

Eight days after Metro Manila was put under a “community quarantine,” the UST Central Student Council (CSC) Central Board pushed for the suspension of online classes until April 14, 2020 amid the University’s alternative teaching-learning guidelines.  

To make most of the month-long class suspension due to the community quarantine which was later heightened by the government, online classes were introduced to carry on with the semester.

CSC President Robert Dominic Gonzales, however, stressed the differences in the resources of the students to support their online classes.

Students continue to face challenges in complying to these online activities due to factors like internet stability and lack of gadgets like computers and laptops.

A survey was conducted among local colleges to monitor the concerns and statuses of the Thomasian community.

For instance, in the College of Commerce and Business Administration and College of Tourism and Hospitality Management, more than half of the students of each college have no stable internet connection.

The Board recommended the use of online modules like “handouts, video tutorials, and pre-recorded lectures” which the students can use during the break.

Focusing on other matters

In light of the pandemic, Gonzales emphasized the need for the psychological and mental health of the community to be focused on, which is not only limited to the students.

The well-being of the faculty members, non-academic personnel, and the administration is a matter of priority as well in this time of crisis.

Gonzales is with high hopes to the administration’s approval of CSC’s appeal.

“I am sure that the administration listens to our concerns, most especially during these crucial times,” Gonzales said.

He also expressed his gratitude to the backbone of the University amid this health-related crisis.

“[W]e also give utmost gratitude and salute to them for all the efforts that they have exhausted to ensure a holistic approach on the well-being of the Thomasian community,” he added.

When asked if it is most likely to extend the second semester if the administration approves the appeal, Gonzales said that: “The decisions regarding the academic calendar and special terms are to be determined by the administration.”

However, the Board alongside local colleges are “much willing to provide help and support” the endeavors of the University by seeking suggestions from the student body.

 

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UST shifts to self-paced instruction amid quarantine period

The University’s updated Collective Institutional Guidelines on COVID-19 notes that the current state of calamity and quarantine regulations limit the capacity of students and faculty members to participate in regularly scheduled online classes.

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Jacqueline Martinez/TomasinoWeb

[UPDATED] The University will now implement a self-paced instruction amid the quarantine period in Luzon

In the University’s updated Collective Institutional Guidelines on COVID-19 released on March 20, “[r]egularly scheduled daily online classes shall no longer be required” for both students and faculty members.

The updated guidelines notes that the current state of calamity and quarantine regulations limit the capacity of students and faculty members to participate in regularly scheduled online classes.

Faculty members shall still continue providing learning materials which includes video lectures, readings and discussion sessions for students’ self-paced instruction in preparation for formal instruction once classes resume.

Academic unit heads will also determine which examinations or alternative assessments will be held online, or will require in-campus conduct once classes resume.

ADVISORYIn view of the enhanced community quarantine, we advise all Thomasians to heed the government’s mandate to…

University of Santo Tomasさんの投稿 2020年3月20日金曜日

Preliminary and final examinations may still be be integrated depending on the academic units “provided that there were enough student assessments aside from final examinations.” Students must also be informed of the changes in the grading system of affected courses.

The Office of the Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation also suspended all in-campus and off-campus research data gathering, as well as research-related local and international travels. Researchers were advised to do alternative activities.

Meanwhile, the schedule of moving-up ceremonies and commencement exercises will be determined once classes resume and academic calendar has been finalized.

Last March 13, the Office of the Secretary-General suspended the online classes from March 13-14 to give way for personal and family concerns.

Online classes from March 17 to 21 were also cancelled to “allow faculty members and students to attend to personal and family concerns,” “give faculty members time to revisit their course plans,” and “allow students to attend to pending tasks and submissions that were given in the past week.”

President Rodrigo Duterte placed the National Capital Region on a community quarantine from March 15 to April 14, with regular class suspensions in the region extended until April 14.

The code alert system for COVID-19 was raised to code red alert sub-level 2 which indicates evidence of community transmission.

All land, domestic air, and domestic water transportation to and from Metro Manila were barred, and only workers coming from nearby provinces were allowed to enter Metro Manila. Mass gatherings were also prohibited.

As of March 20, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country is now at 230, with 18 fatalities.

On support staff, faculty evaluation, and admission process

Work for all staff shall “remain suspended until further notice” including skeletal workforce arrangement. Only selected on-site workers were allowed to perform work, according to the University’s Human Resource Department memorandum. 

Social distancing should also be observed during the work and all staff are “enjoined to observe work from home arrangement […] to maintain productivity.”

University admission activities for A.Y. 2020-2021 (reservation, confirmation, and enrollment) shall be scheduled once the classes resume. 

Academic units shall also coordinate with the Office of Admissions “to release the appropriate announcements to their respective applicants”.

Meanwhile, the faculty competence evaluation for the second semester will be scheduled once classes resume. It was encouraged “to provide qualitative comments” in the faculty evaluation to highlight their strengths, and help them [address] areas of improvement amid the regular class disruptions. A. Basa with report from J. A. Pangilinan

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