Mining drives Bataraza economy

RTNMC and CBNC provides employment to many residents of Bataraza and fuels the economic development of the town.

Mining company Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) and mineral processing plant Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) remained to be the major drivers of economic development in the town of Bataraza by providing employment to more than two thousand residents.

Data acquired by Palawan News from the human resource departments of RTNMC and CBNC showed that majority of their employees are from Barangay Rio Tuba and other barangays of Bataraza.

The data shows that the combined number of employees of RTNMC and CBNC, regular and contractual, is 1,239 not including the seasonal, project based workers and those workers provided by manpower agencies and contractors.

Some 59% of CBNC employees and workers are residents of Bataraza, 26% from other municipalities of Palawan, and 15% are from other provinces.

RTNMC currently employs 60.92% of Bataraza residents, 23.82% are from other towns of Palawan while 15.26% are from other provinces.

Emely Tabula , Human Resource Manager of RTNMC, said the company remains steadfast despite the many challenges in the industry.

“In terms of the number of employees, it really never change that much. Kahit bumaba ang price ( of nickel) hindi naman nagbabawas ng tao,” Tabula said.

Tabula added that when it comes to benefits, the company is providing a lot to its employees including several months of bonuses.

“Everything is free- bahay, water,kuryente, hospitalization, schooling,” Tabula said.

The Philippine Mining Act emphasizes the “locals first policy” in the hiring of employees that fits the employment qualification set by the company.

In the case of RTNMC and CBNC, employment of indigenous people is also their priority.

Tabula said that they sometimes accommodate IP applicants that fall below the requirements but has a know-how of the job.

Skills trainings is a continuing activity of both company to equip the employees and the community with the necessary skill to qualify for the vacant job opportunities in the company and companies outside of Rio Tuba. The trainings are conducted in partnership with Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

RTNMC and CBNC also maintain their harmonious relationship with the labor unions.

“Very harmonious ang relationship between labor and the management,” she said.

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