TUBA, Benguet – As part of its advocacy to help communities in times of disaster, Philex Mining Corp. has donated 100 galvanized iron (GI) sheets to three municipalities—Kabayan, Tublay, Bokod—affected by “Lawin,” the strongest typhoon in three years that devastated the northern Philippines last month.
“It is our pleasure to meet the leaders of other municipalities in our host province,” Roy Mangali, assistant resident manager of Philex Mining’s Padcal operations, in Benguet, said Tuesday, Nov. 8, during a simple turn-over ceremony held at the Benguet Congressional District Office (BCDO), in La Trinidad. “Philex adheres to its core values on social and environmental responsibilities not only to its host and neighboring communities but also to the others in need.”
The GI sheets shall be divided according to the need of the three towns, which intend to use these to repair the damaged roofs of residential houses and public schools, according to a formal request made by Congressman Ronald Cosalan (Lone District, Benguet) to Philex Mining, which has also helped disaster-hit areas in rescue operations nationwide.
“There was no hesitation from Philex Mining when the congressman requested for help,” Peter Guibac, BCDO chief of staff, said at the event attended also by the mayors of the three towns. “We hope that the next donations will be for the advancement of our municipalities, not due to disasters.”
With sustained winds of 225 kilometers per hour and gusts of 315 kph, “Lawin” struck the country’s Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) on Oct. 19, when it intensified into a super typhoon two days after it entered the Philippine area of responsibility, damaging P657 million worth of infrastructure and agricultural land.
Amando Lauro, mayor of Tublay, a fifth-class municipality with a population of about 18,000, expressed gratitude to Cosalan and Philex Mining, inviting the gold-and-copper producer to his town’s ongoing Am-Am festival, where his constituents gather for a celebration of thanksgiving.
“I can attest that Philex really is a responsible miner because of its compliance to corporate social responsibility beyond what is mandated by law,” said Thomas Wales, Jr., mayor of Bokod, a fourth-class municipality with a population of almost 14,000.
For his part, Mayor Gideon Todiano, of Kabayan, also a fourth-class municipality of more than 15,000 people, said, “We are lucky to be one of the beneficiaries of this donation. Philex is, indeed, a responsible mining company that gives help even to municipalities that are miles away from its host communities.”
Mangali said Philex Mining takes pride in being of help to those in need, stressing that the company’s multi-awarded Philex Rescue Team has always been at the forefront of search, rescue, and retrieval operations in areas affected by both natural and man-made disasters across the country.
Philex Mining is also proud that its host towns of Tuba and Itogon are two of the four first-class municipalities in Benguet, mostly due to the economic impact of its Padcal operations. The nine other Benguet towns listed under third, fourth, and fifth economic classes are all into agriculture, while three of the four first-class municipalities are predominantly mining communities.
The company, which is currently celebrating its 60th year of operations rooted in responsible mining, had contributed to the government coffers P18 billion in direct and indirect taxes between 1976 and 2012 alone, an amount equivalent to building 700 kilometers of roads and more than 24,000 public-school classrooms.