Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) and Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) have commenced consulting and planning for 2018 Social Development and Management Program for 22 partner barangays in the municipality of Bataraza and one barangay in the municipality of Rizal. Community consultation started in early October 2017 and it involved community residents, Local Government Units (LGUs), community leaders and officials, various people’s organizations, school representatives, indigenous people, indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) office of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) and other sectors.
These community programs include Livelihood and Enterprise Development, Educational Support Programs, Health Services, Human Resource & Infrastructure and protection and respect for socio-cultural values.
The annual plan will be implemented in 2018 through the Community Relations Offices of the two companies.
Sarong Barangay Captain Anwar Sambulaan expressed gratitude for the continuous support they get from their partner companies.
“Kami sa Barangay Sarong ay patuloy na nagpapasalamat at sumusuporta sa napakagandang gawaing ito. Kahit papano’y maitaas ang antas ng pamumuhay ng mga tao dito sa aming barangay sa pamamagitan ng mga makabuluhang programang pangkomunidad ang aming tanging hangad,” Sambulaan said.
RTNMC ComRel Manager Reynaldo ‘Bong’ Dela Rosa said it is the commitment of the company, as a private sector, to participate and help the government, at least on a basic level, to uplift the quality of life of the people in Bataraza by providing basic community services and empowering the local communities.
“Hindi lingid sa atin na marami pa ring pagkukulang ang ating gobyerno sa mga serbisyong ibinibigay nito. Kaya nandito po kami, hindi para solohin ang responsibilidad bagkus maging katuwang sa pagpapataas ng ating pamumuhay sa pamamagitan nga ng mga programang pangkomunidad,” Dela Rosa said.
Once completed, these plans will be submitted to DENR – Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) for review and once approved, will again be relayed to the community for final validation and presentation and finally, for implementation.
The Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), is mandatory upon mining firms to implement to its host and neighboring communities. It is derived from 1.5% operating cost of the companies’ operations as mandated by Republic Act 7942 or better known as Philippine Mining Act of 1995. The planning cycle is expected to end on November 18, 2017.