TUBA, Benguet – Philex Mining Corp. was set to turn over during the weekend a P2-million potable water system to the local government and residents of Sitio Sta. Fe, in the Itogon village of Ampucao, for the benefit of 67 households.
The newly finished project, whose construction started from September, was funded through the company’s social programs in areas of exploration and operation, according to the Community Relations (ComRel) Dept. of Padcal mine, the gold-and-copper operations of Philex Mining in this province.
ComRel’s Ferlyn Caslangan, area coordinator for special projects, said P1.5 million of the total budget came from the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) while P500,000 was taken from the Community Development Program (CDP). SDMP projects are carried out in an area where there is production or mining operation while the CDP is through which socioeconomic and cultural projects are being implemented in areas where there are ongoing exploration activities.
“We have been implementing projects for community development as well as other socioeconomic and cultural programs being required of us as a large-scale miner,” Roy Mangali, AVP at Philex Mining and Padcal resident manager, said. “We have also been a good taxpayer, as our host towns have repeatedly acknowledged in public.”
Being a host town, Itogon, especially its Brgys. Ampucao and Dalupirip, has been a constant recipient of free health-care services, educational assistance, livelihood funds, and public infrastructure projects from Philex Mining.
The potable water system in Sitio Sta. Fe is part of at least 33 infra projects worth P14 million that the company, through its ComRel, is going to turn over formally to the local government of Itogon. The projects cover the company’s social-program accomplishments for the second and third quarters of 2017, Mangali has said.
Already, Philex Mining turned over last August five infra projects worth more than P6 million under its 2016 budget allocation to Brgy. Ampucao, according to Jamal Agustin, ComRel’s coordinator for public infrastructure. From the whole 2016 up to the first half of 2017 alone, Philex Mining had completed P40.34 million worth of projects, such as farm-to-market roads, grouted riprap wall (to prevent soil erosion), and potable water systems.
He added that in 2016, the company delivered a total of 67 projects to all its outlying communities (both host and neighboring) in the host towns of Tuba and Itogon, amounting to P24.5 million, or 36.58 percent of the year’s total infra budget of P66,987,723.13.
In its 2017 Annual SDMP report submitted to the government regulator MGB, or Mine and Geosciences Bureau, public infrastructure got the biggest budget of P53.48 million, or P93.16 million including the carryovers from unspent budget in 2016 and 2015, while education got P15.73 million (P17.74 million, health had P7.42 million (P8.72 million), and livelihood and enterprise development had P5.56 million (P9.5 million).
Last year’s total SDMP budget amounted to P82.19 million, which ballooned to P129.12 million including the carryovers from the two previous years. Its allocation for every outlying community is 42.5 percent each for Brgys. Camp 3, in Tuba, and Ampucao (host villages), and 5 percent each for the neighboring barangays of Camp 1 and Ansagan (both in Tuba), and Dalupirip (Itogon).
The company had also allocated P16.6 million its media and public campaign Information, Education and Communication (IEC) on the benefits derived from mining, and another PP11 million for the DMTG, or Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences, which focuses on the improvement of the sector through the trainings of and funding the R&D activities by industry professionals.
Philex Mining has ongoing exploration activities in its MPSA 156-200-CAR and 157-2000-CAR, as it wants to prolong its current mine life of 2022. MPSA, or Mineral Production Sharing Agreement, is where the government shares in the production of the contractor (miner), whether in kind or in monetary value.