In affirmation of its all-out support to the National Government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Caraga minerals industry provided assistance in the amount of P129,520,159.11 to affected impact and non-impact communities of mining operations pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 11469, otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act”, which was signed into law by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on March 24, 2020.

In consonance with the implementation of RA No. 11469, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Acting Director Atty. Wilfredo G. Moncano issued a Memorandum dated March 27, 2020 authorizing the mining companies to realign unutilized funds of the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) in support of affected impact and non-impact communities due to the pandemic.

Moreover, Dir. Moncano issued another Memorandum dated July 21, 2020 terminating the realignment of the SDMP unutilized funds effective August 1, 2020 considering that RA No. 11469 has expired on June 25, 2020.  The MGB Regional Directors were instructed to inform all mining companies within their jurisdiction of the said directive.  Meanwhile, the mining companies shall resume their implementation of the approved programs/projects/activities targeted in the 2020 Annual SDMP. It was also stated that mining companies are not restricted to continue their COVID-19 assistance to Local Government Units or impact communities provided that the said assistance be treated as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.

Twenty (20) Caraga mining companies have realigned a total amount of P144,622,967.80 as of July 31, 2020 for the said purpose, of which a total amount of P129,520,159.11 has been expended for seventeen weeks covering the period of April 1 to July 31, 2020.

Scores of mining and non-mining communities including front liners have reaped benefits from the relief efforts and other means of support of the Caraga mining companies. The much-needed assistance came in the forms of cash assistance, personal protective equipment (face masks and shields, disposable gowns, surgical and examination gloves, raincoats, rubber boots and shoe covers), hygiene kits (rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer), disinfectants, medical supplies (rapid anti-body test kits, thermal scanners, medicines, multivitamins and medical apparatus), quarantine facility furnishings and equipment (mats, beds, water dispensers, televisions and desktop computer), food supplies and packs, hand washing facilities, assorted vegetable seeds and seedlings, survival garden kits, and service ambulance, truck and banca (boat). Similarly, the mining companies have carried out the thorough disinfection of their impact communities; utilized their shuttle buses to provide residents on necessary errands with free rides; and even provided motorized bancas to haul rice packs for distribution to families living on islands. In the same way, mining companies have supported local livelihoods by sourcing bulk quantities of fresh, organic vegetables from farmers and other goods from local establishments which were included in the relief packs distributed to numerous communities. Indigenous communities throughout the region have also benefited from the relief assistance of mining companies. In addition, some mining companies have constructed isolation facilities for their respective communities.

On the same note, Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation, Taganito Mining Corporation and Cagdianao Mining Corporation have pooled their resources together and gave an P18-million donation to the Philippine Red Cross in order to establish a Molecular Testing Laboratory for COVID-19 in Caraga Region. These mining companies laid emphasis on the importance of a testing facility so as to capacitate further the COVID-19 testing needs in the region.

The twenty (20) Caraga mining companies that supported the implementation are as follows:

Agusan del Norte

  • Agata Mining Ventures, Inc.              
  • SR Metals Inc.                                     
  • SEMCO Exploration and Mining Corporation         

Agusan del Sur

  • Mindanao Mineral Processing and Refining Corporation          
  • Philsaga Mining Corporation

Surigao del Norte

  • Adnama Mining Resources, Inc.        
  • Hinatuan Mining Corporation
  • Pacific Nickel Phils., Inc. 
  • Platinum Group Metals Corporation  
  • Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation    
  • Taganito Mining Corporation             

Surigao del Sur

  • Carrascal Nickel Corporation                                
  • CTP Construction and Mining Corporation            
  • Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation

Province of Dinagat Islands

  • AAM-PHIL Natural Resources and Development Corporation (Parcel 1)
  • Cagdianao Mining Corporation
  • Century Peak Corporation (CPC Parcel II Mining Project and CPC Nickel Mining Project)
  • Libjo Mining Corporation 
  • Oriental Vision Mining Philippines Corporation
  • Sinosteel Philippines H.Y. Mining Corporation                  

These collaborative efforts of the Caraga minerals industry truly affirm its unwavering commitment to the welfare of mining and non-mining communities at all times.

By Marie Pennelope E. Fang
Office of the Regional Director