In partnership with Columbia University New York, Bantay Kita hosted four development studies graduate students for an internship program in the Philippines. Two of thegraduate students were deployed in Caluya, Antique, while the other two were stationed in Nueva Vizcaya to conduct separate studies from June to August.
The findings of their research were presented to concerned stakeholders in the local communities as well as with the local government and industry. Both groups presented in the UP School of Economics on August 20.
Team Nueva Vizcaya
The Nueva Vizcaya group was composed of Kristopher Smeage and Laura Gonzales. The group conducted research on the multi-stakeholder initiatives and development planning in the extractive industry in Nueva Vizcaya. Their research analyzed disclosure opportunities and ways to improve the implementation of social development and management programs (SDMPs) of mining companies. Their research involved key informant interviews of key stakeholders from the government (Mines and Geoscience Bureau, Environmental Management Bureau, Bureau of Internal Revenue), the local government of Nueva Vizcaya, and the industry (OceanaGold).
Their research suggested that SDMP implementation be complemented by national government institutions e.g., TESDA to ensure continuity of the projects. Their findings were also presented to a multi-stakeholder audience last August 14 in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.
The Caluya team was composed of Abhinaya Natarajan and Elizabeth Anne Froeberg. The group’s research focused on “social impact assessment of coal mining” inSemirara, Antique where the country’s largest coal mine is located. Their study looked at various areas namely health, education, income, community perception, and governance. They measured 31 indicators under these areas using responses from 498 households. The team also conducted 12 focus group discussions.
By comparing responses from residents in Semirara (where the mining site is) and Caluya, their research found that 58% of the respondents in Semirara perceives the mining site to be positive in terms of employment and 40% in terms of infrastructure among other findings. Surprisingly, 67% of the respondents said the coal mine positively impacted environmental preservation while 83% of the same respondents said the mine negatively impacted ocean water quality.
Findings were also presented to a multi-stakeholder audience in Caluya on August 17.