SMI Story: A passionate Tupinian finds calling in promoting responsible mining

Sometimes the most unexpected paths can lead to the most fulfilling destinations.
For Alelie Macadatar – who was born and continues to live in Tupi, South Cotabato – working in Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) for the development and operations of the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project was never part of her dreams.  In fact, she never thought of being in the Philippine mining industry as she was against mining during her college days at the University of the Philippines (UP) - Los Baños Campus.
"I was ‘No to Mining’ before! Hahaha!," she said laughing.
After finishing her bachelor’s degree in Economics, major in Natural Resources Management and a Diploma from UP's Open University in Natural Resources Management - Upland Resources, she worked at the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) during the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, where she handled and prepared research-based documents for mining-related cases lodged at the Supreme Court.
"When I worked at Presidential Management Staff (PMS) at the time of PGMA, na handle ko ang environment sector. As a technical personnel, kami ang nagpre-prepare ng ‘White Paper’ para sa mga Supreme Court cases on the constitutionality of FTAAs (Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement)," she recalled.
She said her job made her understand the mining industry better and why the government was pushing to revitalize the industry. 
"Kasama sa trabaho namin noon, in pursuing government's thrust to revitalize the minerals industry, nag-consultation kami at nag-visit ng mga operating mines. Doon nabago ang stand ko sa mining," Alelie happily declared.
And for more than 5 years now, Alelie has been SMI’s Community Development Supervisor, where she oversees the company's social development programs for the host Blaan Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs), who have given their free and prior informed consent (FPIC) for the Tampakan Project to operate.
These development programs include specific projects and activities that substantially help Blaan and non-IP women develop skills and access resources to improve their health and livelihoods, to be empowered, to be educated.
Alelie said she never imagined that she would find such fulfillment in her career. She added that the challenges and rewards of working in SMI on community development have opened a whole new world for her.
"Dahil sa trabaho ko, nakikita ko kung ano ang pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan. Pangangailangan na mas ramdam ng mga kababaihan, kasi kami ang nasa bahay. Kami ang naiiwan para mag-alaga sa aming mga anak, sa pagtaguyod sa aming pamilya."
Sagittarius Mines, Inc. recognizes the importance of gender equality and is committed to empowering women in the communities and also in the workplace, ensuring that all its employees have equal opportunities for career growth and development inside the organization.
Alelie is only one among the many empowered women of SMI. 
In fact, 40 percent of all the company's workforce are women, most of whom are holding managerial and supervisory functions in Legal, Engineering, Community Relations, Health and Safety, Finance, Human Resources, and Administration departments.
The company takes pride in its values and culture that promote "responsibility", "fairness", and "respect". It provides a gender-balanced, inclusive, and safe workplace where women are empowered to thrive and succeed.
Through these initiatives, SMI is working towards creating a more gender-balanced, culturally-diverse and inclusive environment, where women are empowered to thrive and succeed.
Alelie proudly manifested, "Dito ko natagpuan sa SMI ang fulfillment ko bilang isang babae. Challenging ang trabaho sa community engagement at community development. Diverse ang learning, knowledge, and information... But through this beneficial advocacy, I can make a difference. Mayroon akong ambag sa lipunan, na mayroon akong magagawa para makatulong sa aking kapwa, sa aking komunidad at sa kaalaman". (30)


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