On 8 August 2022, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Artisanal Gold Council (AGC), through the planetGOLD Philippines Project, and the Camarines Norte State College (CNSC) was signed to provide technical assistance to the projects’ stakeholders in Paracale, Camarines Norte, which include the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) communities, government partners, civil society organizations, and private sector. The parties were represented by Engr. Douglas Kao and Dr. Marlo De La Cruz, project manager and president, respectively.
The partnership between AGC and CNSC covers the development and implementation of capacity-building activities that aim to empower stakeholders, ensure sustainability of project interventions, and further strengthen knowledge management practices of the ASGM communities.
“This partnership is a big step toward making a difference not just in the industry of small-scale gold mining but also for the whole province of Camarines Norte. AGC is honored to be a partner of an institution who has the same vision in creating positive impact communities. It really takes all the stakeholders engaged for the success of a nation,” Kao said.
An innovative educator, CNSC will apply various academic disciplines to provide expertise on government relations; administrative, organizational, and business management; basic public relations and communication skills; financial planning and monitoring; personal entrepreneurial skills training; and organizational development and planning for men and women stakeholders.
“The whole CNSC community is committed to AGC as partner collaborators in delivering significant services to the stakeholders--the community. We, as an institution, recognize the vital role of the academe in promoting awareness and proper education. With this, CNSC takes the challenge,” De La Cruz added.
The AGC Philippines’ Capacity Development series was designed in response to the Training Needs Assessment conducted in 2021 that provided baseline data on the gaps in capacities and priority training needs of men and women miners and government partners actively engaged in ASGM in the Minahang Bayan in Paracale. Both parties are hopeful that the agreement will strengthen initiatives to institutionalize the sector and promote inclusion and empowerment in the ASGM communities.
The signing was also attended and witnessed by CNSC Vice President for Research and Extension Dr. Rosali Almadrones, CNSC Director for Research Services Eduardo Abad, CNSC Director for Extension Services Division Girly Naval, CNSC Gender and Development Chairperson Analyn Ramos, AGC National Communications Officer Dawn Po Quimque, AGC National Gender Specialist Jacklyn Belo-Enricoso, AGC Paracale Assistant Field Coordinator Joy Sidro, faculty members of CNSC, and officers and members of the Samahan Ng Mga Minero ng Barangay Casalugan. (planetGOLD Philippines Project/ Dawn Po Quimque)