The Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) has extended a total of P38.5 million relief assistance to Palaweños during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The majority of the assistance provided was used to purchase rice, canned goods and other food supplies, hygiene and sanitation supplies, and medicine and medical supplies.

Some 85,102 beneficiaries have benefitted from this assistance which was derived from the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds of the company since the entire Luzon was placed under strict quarantine in March this year by President Rodrigo Duterte under Proclamation No. 929.

Immediately responding to this emergency situation, the Mines & Geoscience Bureau (MGB) Regional Office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) authorized mining companies to realign their unutilized SDMP funds.

This allows them to assist the host and neighboring communities, as well as non-impact areas, in their respective localities during the enhanced community quarantine pursuant to the Memorandum Order by acting MGB director Atty. Wilfredo Moncano dated March 27, 2020.

In an interview with Ernesto A. Llacuna, CBNC’s community relations manager, he said “CBNC deeply cares for our kababayans, and it is with great joy for us to live up to the Bayanihan Spirit during these trying times.”

A portion of the assistance amounting to P23.8 million was handed over to the provincial government of Palawan for rice supplies that will benefit around 38,080 households.

The P38.5 million spent by CBNC is part of the P57.9 million reported by the MGB regional office on its website on July 3.

Other mining companies have spent a combined total of P19.4 million, which includes Berong Nickel Corporation (BNC), Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation (CMDC), Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC), and Unichamp Minerals Philippines, Inc. (UMPI).

Just recently, another P3 million monetary assistance was extended to the local government of Bataraza for another rice subsidy to 23,000 households. Distribution is set to start on July 6.