(Left) Fire incident on April 28 affected around 42 families in Sitio Marabahay, Barangay Rio Tuba, Bataraza (Right) One of the employees of RTNMC extends relief goods as assistance to the affected individuals || Photo from Mariane Xenan Mercado Bermudez

A group of private individuals, organizations, and business establishments have continued to extend support to the 42 families and individuals affected by a fire in the coastal community of Sitio Marabahay, Barangay Rio Tuba in Bataraza, days after the incident.

Venice Teresa Guian, community relations and SDMP supervisor of the Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) said the situation brought by the COVID-19 pandemic also inspired the group to become more generous and extend help to others.

“Tatlong beses nang nagkasunog sa Marabajay pero this is the first time na makita mo na ibang level ‘yong tulungan ng mga tao. Siguro dahil sa pandemic, natuto ‘yong mga tao magtulungan, na-observe namin na maya-maya may tumatawag sa akin na magpapa-assist, magbibigay ng tulong,” Guian said.

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“Si pandemic, as a silver lining ay binuksan niya ‘yong puso ng mga tao na tumulong kahit halos walang-wala na, syempre lahat naman apektado. Sa may mga negosyo, kahit sabihin na may trabaho pa rin sa company, affected pa rin, pero nakita na hindi naging madamot ‘yong mga tao. Talagang tulungan, sabi ko anglaki ng changes compared before,” she added.

Aftermath of fire incident

RTNMC also helped with firefighting through the company’s fire truck and also extended almost P50,000 worth of relief goods to the victims after the fire happened on April 28, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Even the employees of the company also shared some relief goods and hygiene products for the fire victims.

The affected families were temporarily evacuated to Rio Tuba National High School.

“Nagamit din ang social media, when you post, hindi na para to brag but to inspire. Because of that, ‘yong post namin ay marami pa ang na-inspire, nahawa. Siguro nakikita nila dahil hindi naman nakakalabas, pwede pala maka-extend ng tulong kahit nasa loob sila ng bahay by informing the ComRel na meron silang goods na pwede daanan sa bahay nila,” she said.

The Community Relations Office (ComRel) served as an instrument for locals to deliver their help from their houses as they cannot leave due to restrictions.

“Yong camaraderie, generosity, mas marami ang naging generous despite na halos walang-wala rin. Small things, kahit ano man meron sa kanila, naibigay nila kasi nakita nila, alam naman nila na ibang-iba ang sitwasyon kapag nasunugan ka kasi halos wala ka, as in back to zero,” she said.

The company is now preparing for the second tranche of its support to the affected families as part of its CSR and commitment to the community members.

The beneficiaries of the efforts also expressed their gratitude on social media like Alim Magante Mingo Roxas “Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng mga tumulong lalong-lalo na sa RTN  sa mga ka-sitio namin na nasunugan dito sa (Sitio) Marabahay,” Roxas said.

Interested individuals who want to send help may leave a message on RTNMC’s official Facebook page or coordinate with the company’s Community Relations Office.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.