TUBA, Benguet– The Philex Mining Corporation disclosed that its host and neighboring communities remain to be free from the wrath of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) because of the adherence of the populace to the stringent health and safety protocols being implemented to date during the community quarantine.
Philex president and chief executive officer Engr. Eulalio B. Austin, Jr. pointed out that the utmost cooperation of the residents in the different host and neighboring communities, coupled with the strict implementation of the established health protocols, played a key role in sustaining the COVID-19 free status of the villages within the mining community.
He claimed the prohibition of mass gatherings and the strict enforcement of the liquor ban also contributed in the ongoing efforts of the mining company to prevent the deadly virus from being transmitted to the people living in the host and neighboring communities that can have a serious negative impact in the employment and livelihoods of the people.
“We continue to be vigilant in the enforcement of our own stringent health and safety protocols because we do not want our operations to be unduly interrupted. We are grateful to the people living in our host and neighboring communities for their adherence to the implementation of our protocols that is why we are spared from the wrath of the deadly virus,” Engr. Austin stressed.
The Philex official explained that because of the liquor ban in the municipality, workers are compelled to report only for work in the mine site that resulted to minimized unnecessary absences among them paving the way for the company to exceed its projected production target for the first quarter this year and possibly for the second quarter following the stable high metal prices.
Earlier, the Cordillera office of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-CAR) reported that Philex disburse more than P12.9 million from its realigned appropriations for Social Development Management Program (SDMP) projects in its aggressive anti COVID-19 operations in the different communities in Baguio and Benguet with most of the funds being used by the host and neighboring communities for relief operations, distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), among other assistance for the said areas.
Austin claimed the mining company previously limited the visitations being done in the mining community, especially those coming from areas with high COVID-19 cases, as one of the precautionary measures to prevent incidents that would taint Philex’s gains achieved during the period of the community quarantine so as not to unduly interrupt its operations.
Based on the community quarantine rules and regulations, export-oriented businesses like large-scale mining operations have been allowed to continue operations during the enforcement of the community quarantine.
Philex is one of the country’s largest gold and copper producers which has a projected mine life until 2022 depending on the results of ongoing explorations within its tenement area for the possibility of extending its operations for the benefit of its host and neighboring communities.
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