USEP to offer mining-related courses starting June
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/30 March) — The University of Southeastern Philippines
(USEP) here will start offering in June this year courses that will respond to
the growing demand of the mining industry for geologists and other experts, a
university official said.
Dr. Daniel T. Ugay, Jr. USEP vice president for academic affairs, announced
during a press conference Friday the university will offer Bachelor of Science
in Geology starting academic year 2007-2008.
USEP met with reporters to promote a forum highlighting the significance of
higher education to help guide the youth next school year.
Ugay said they have worked with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources to develop the geology
He told MindaNews the university is also planning to offer bachelors degrees
in metallurgical engineering and mining engineering within the next five years.
He said USEP would probably be the first university in Mindanao to offer such
courses as part of the university’s forward looking strategy to respond to
He said the courses will respond to key manpower needs of the mining industry.
He said they have studied the prospects of a growing demand for mining-related
courses following the government’s promotion of mining after the Supreme Court
ruled that the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 is constitutional.
Ugay noted, however, that fewer students are enrolling in agriculture-related
courses. He said the academe attributed this trend to the growing interest to
take up nursing courses in response to the demand for more nurses abroad.
He said Mindanao’s mining industry would be a fast-growing sector in the next
few years and that they wanted to help provide the needed manpower resources.
He admitted, however, that they have not yet looked into the possible impact
of the mining industry on Mindanao’s indigenous peoples and the environment.
But he said they will make sure the curriculum will include subjects on social
responsibility to ensure the industry will not be detrimental to the
environment and the people.
But Andy Whitmore, research and communication officer of the United
Kingdom-based human rights group PIPLinks, told researchers in a briefing on
global mining last week there is still no accepted model for sustainable mining.
MGB regional director Edilberto Arreza meanwhile said they are backing USEP’s
move as Mindanao has lost its geologists to jobs abroad.
He said the DENR is planning to offer a scholarship program for students who
want to enroll in geology and other mining-related courses amid prospects of
major mining projects in Mindanao. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)