On the occasion of its first anniversary, Diwata-Women in Resourse Development, Inc.
(“Diwata”), in partnership with Bulong Pulungan sa Sofitel, presented a panel of women geologists and mining engineers who persevered in their chosen careers in the belief that the competitive edge of the Philippines lies in the development of its wealth of natural resources.
Diwata was founded through the efforts of Ambassador Delia Domingo Albert who, as former special envoy for mining, recognized the significant contributions of the women involved in the implementation of the Minerals Action Plan. Women could continue to provide a positive platform for the promotion of responsible development of the country’s resources in the fields of mining, oil and gas, quarrying, and other mineral resources particularly in the face of continued challenges to the Mining Act of 1995.
In Philippine mythology, Diwatas are “nature spirits who could cast blessings upon those who bring benefits and could be called upon ritually for positive crop growth, health and fortune”. In this mold and spirit, today’s Diwatas espouse the protection of land and communities, particularly the indigenous peoples and women, especially focusing on their livelihood, health, education and culture.
Amid the raging national debate on the benefits from mining, the focus has been on the government’s revenues, particularly its tax collections, from mining companies.
However, as pointed out in a recent study of Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas of the Center for Research and communications (CRC) and University of the Asia and the Pacific, “there is more to mining than just tax revenues and export earnings”
“The common good is not just the taxes paid by mining firms but employment generation, Nurturing of small- and medium-scale industries through the multiplier effects, the stimulation of consumption in the communities where various establishments are located,” said Villages, a business economist who has been following the mining industry since the 1970s.
More than statistics and studies, the experiences shared by the Diwata panel vividly illustrated not only how their work in the professional fields has contributed to the nation’s bottom line, but also how they have been able to help build communities and improve lives.