Mining companies in the country have been allowed by the Mines and Geosciences Burea (MGB) to realign funds from their Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) and Safety and Health Program (SHP) this year to purchase COVID-19 vaccines for their host and neighboring communities, employees, and workers.
A press statement from the MGB released by its regional office in MIMAROPA on Monday (February 1) said this is pursuant to a memorandum released on January 29, 2021, pertaining to Section 136-E of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Order No. 2010-21 or the Consolidated Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 7942, otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, and Rule 21.2 of DAO 2000-98 or the Mine Safety and Health Standards.
“The Mining Contractor/Permit Holder shall realign the 2021 funds and the said procurement shall be chargeable against the Development of Host and Neighboring Communities of the SDMP for the impact barangays/municipalities, and Health and Control Services of the SHP for the employees/workers,” the memorandum said.
Moreover, the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccines shall be in accordance with the guidelines and procedures set by the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Task Force on COVID-19 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Earlier this year, members of the Provincial Board of Palawan filed a resolution urging the operating mines in the province to contribute funding for the vaccination effort of the provincial government.
In 2020, Palawan-based Berong Nickel Corporation, Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation, Coral Bay Nickel Corporation, Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation, and Graymont (Philippines) Inc. (formerly Unichamp Mineral Philippines, Inc.), have contributed over P60.9-M in assistance during the period of implementation of the March 27, 2020, MGB memorandum allowing mining companies to realign their SDMP budget to aid the affected impact and non-impact communities in their respective localities during the enhanced community quarantine period.
The MIMAROPA mining industry has provided food packs, PPE and medical supplies, and other form of assistance, benefiting a total of 166,775 households/families, front liners, and locally stranded individuals in the province as of August 2020 data.