The Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) said it will continue its support to barangay residents and indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) under its Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) as Palawan remains under the COVID-19 crisis.
CBNC community relations manager Ernesto Llacuna said the company will sustain its support programs under Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
“No amount could equate the hardship that our fellow Palaweños are enduring at this time, we just hope that CBNC through our SDMP and CSR funds could somehow alleviate the difficulty they are going through,” said Llacuna.
In March this year, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) issued a memorandum allowing mining companies to use their unutilized SDMP funds to aid the affected impact and non-impact communities during the enhanced community quarantine period due to the coronavirus disease.
In a press statement released by the MGB-MIMAROPA on May 7, five mining companies in Palawan have disbursed a total of P50.6 million from their SDMP funds to purchase rice, food packs, PPE, and medical supplies which were given to around 101,939 households and 753 frontliners in the whole province as part of efforts to support the Bayanihan Act.
Out of the 50.6 million, CBNC has shared P33.5 million or 66% of the total amount to provide food subsidy, hygiene kits, and sanitation supplies needed in Bataraza. Part of the amount was the P23.8-million aid to the province of Palawan for the purchase of rice supply that would benefit around 38,000 households in several parts of the province.
A total of 58,960 households and 188 frontliners benefited from the amount spent. Included in this also were the relief goods sent to the neighboring island municipality of Balabac and personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies for the frontliners of the Southern Palawan Provincial Hospital (SPPH) in Brooke’s Point and some other hospitals in the province through the “Tabang Palawan Laban sa COVID-19” campaign of the UP Alumni Association – Palawan Chapter.
CBNC, as an export-oriented establishment, is exempted and allowed to operate during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period following stringent social distancing, wearing face masks, and implementation of a skeleton workforce among others.
CBNC employs more than 600 employees which follows health protocols and standards in relation to the containment of COVID-19. Employees are provided with PPEs, hygiene and sanitation supplies, and vitamins more than the usual assistance and benefits given by the company.