By MARK FRANCISCO
SURIGAO City–More than a dozen journalists from all over the island attended a four-day seminar workshop on how to cover and report on the extractive industries in the country as organized by the Philippine Press Institute (PPI).
Here in the Philippines, the biggest players in the extractive industry aside from the mining sectors, both large-scale and small-scale, are dredging and sand and gravel quarrying.
PPI executive director Ariel Sebellino said that the Mindanao leg of the January 3 to 6 seminar was held in Surigao del Norte because it is the site of one of the biggest mines in the island, operated by Taganito Mining Corporation under the umbrella of Nickel Asia.
The self-regulatory organization of all newspapers in the country, PPI periodically conducts training programs and organizes educational activities for Filipino journalists, seeks to protect their rights and freedoms in the pursuit of their practice, creates and introduces opportunities for the development of the journalist as a practitioner.
Aside from reaching out to mainstream journalists, PPI trainers in 2017 also toured universities around the country and conducted awareness seminars on fake news to communication students.
Sebellino said that in this particular leg, PPI is orienting journalists on the government’s recent efforts to create transparency in the extractive industry.
For that, PPI is partnering with independent watchdog Extractive Transparency Initiative to assist journalists on how to look for sources regarding the matter.
In her talk, Extractive Transparency Initiative Philippine coordinator Ma. Karla Espinosa said her group publishes periodic reports on the expenditures of all the mining companies in the country, including funds that would go to the community dubbed as the Social Development and Management Program.
Espinosa encouraged journalists to dig into these reports to see for themselves how transparent a mining firm is.
On the third day of the leg, journalists toured the Taganito mining site in Claver, Surigao del Norte.
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