The Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) and Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) recently accredited seven barangay associations in Bataraza, Palawan to qualify them for assistance.
With its theme of “Building Civil Societies and Fortifying Community Participation in Thrusting Intergenerational Equity,” both mining companies launched the giving of certificate and the oath-taking and induction of the association officials during a short program held Friday at Townsite, Rio Tuba, Bataraza.
The RTNMC and CBNC on September 2017 sought to create seven agricultural community associations including the Buliluyan Farmer’s Producers Association, Iwahig Women’s Sewer Association, Iwahig Indigenous People (IP) Farmer’s Association, Sandoval Dressmaking and Tailoring Association, Ocayan IP’s Farmer’s Association, Sandoval IP’s and Women’s Farmers Association and Sandoval IP’s Hog Raising Association.
The program was initiated by both mining companies to prepare the communities for the eventual closure of mining activities in their areas.
“Isa ito sa mga hakbang natin na maigawad sakanila para kung sakaling wala ng mina, wala na si RTNMC at CBNC ay makapag-establish kayo ng sarili ninyong organisasyon,” Secadron said.
“Para mapakinabangan nila ‘yung benispisyo at biyaya na ibinigay sakanila ng dalawang kumpanya,” he added.
Secadron also said that all seven associations on December 19 were accredited by the government through Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) under the Bureau of Rural Workers (BRW) making them a legal organization entitled for governmental benefits such as exemption in tax, as they are enrolled as a rural association based on P.D 1365 and 1367 (Creating the “Rural Workers Office” in the Department of Labor and for other purposes).
The seven community-based associations, with members of around 65 mostly indigent individuals, is being assisted by both companies with a budget of some P2M.
Jonel Secadron, RTNMC/CBNC Compliance officer, said that this measure seeks to promote a well-balanced livelihood and job opportunities to help barangay residents especially those who need to have a stable income to support their families.
“Layunin natin ay mas maging marami kayong miyembro sa mga susunod na panahon. Ngayon na ganap na kayong rehistrado sa DOLE, puwede na kayong bigyan ng benipisyo ng munisipyo, probinsya at ng iba pang organisasyon,” Reuel Dela Rosa, community relations manager of RTNMC and CBNC, said.
Dela Rosa also said that the associations can also seek from various funding agencies and organizations, both government and non-government.
Barangay councilor Reuben Jackia and elected president of Buliluyan Farmer’s Producers Association which focuses on organic ginger farming in Barangay Buliluyan expressed appreciation over the recognition they received through the initiation of RTNMC and CBNC. Jackia is positive that during their harvest this month, he, together with his members will greatly profit.
“Pag itong 2018, kung maganda ang patutunguhan, sasali na din ‘yung iba samin. Sa palagay ko maganda naman,” Jackia said.
Marissa Berce, elected president of Iwahig Women’s Sewer Association, said that RTNMC and CBNC benefited her and her family, providing her a stable income which she used to support her child’s schooling.
“Noong nakaraang taon, may anak ako na naging scholar din nila, nakatapos na din ng pag-aaral, ngayong nag-oopisina na,” Berce said.