The two mining companies operating in Barangay Rio Tuba, Bataraza recently opened their sites for visits from local government units interested in responsible mining.
Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) and Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) conducted November 11 an information, education, and communications (IEC) campaign to 17 members of Liga ng mga Barangay of Dumaran who visited Brgy. Rio Tuba after joining the opening of the 2019 Palarong Panlalawigan.
RTNMC community organizer Iskandar Sali said that the main objective of the IEC efforts of two companies is to raise public awareness regarding responsible mining.
He said barangay officials can are in the front lines and can help provide information about responsible mining to their constituents.
“Gusto naming ipakita na ang responsible mining ay nangyayari sa Rio Tuba. Binabanggit din namin sa kanila na ang mining ang vital sa pamumuhay natin ngayon bilang sa modern na rin tayo,” he said.
He expressed hope that there will be more IEC activities with different municipalities in Palawan.
RTNMC and CBNC, Sali said, also want to stress that aside from being responsible in their operations, they are also responsible taxpayers.
“Entitled din naman sila sa taxes ng mining, buong Palawan naman ang nakikinabang sa iba’t ibang industry. Para ma-convey din natin na ang RTNMC at CBNC, religiously paying ‘yong kanilang local taxes na napapakinabangan naman through government projects,” he said.
Dumaran Liga ng mga Barangay president Solomon Dolor said that his team would like to see the improvement of living within Rio Tuba during their visit on Monday.
“Una ay nababalitaan natin na pagdating sa mining ay maraming nagiging negative, pero to see is to believe. Una, yong community, sa pinapakita nila na sa tulong ng improvements ng bayan at kabuhayan. Kaya nasabi ko kanina na kaya na pala tumayo sa mga sarili nila,” he said.
Aside from Dumaran, municipal officers of San Vicente also visited the RTNMC and CBNC to be enlightened regarding mining operations.
CBNC community relations manager Ernesto Llacuna said on November 12 that the two companies also like to highlight their best practices, particularly on environment protection, social development, and safety.
“We appreciate the gestures of our visitors, showing their interest lalo na itong delegation natin mostly came from northern Palawan. Sabi ko nga iba ang case sa north and south. Doon sa kanila sa north, wala namang mining. Tourism and agriculture ang meron. Here in the south, we have the so-called agro-industrial,” he said.
Llacuna said that the efforts of LGUs to visit their mine sites and the other facilities of the two companies would help them to spread the information based on actual observation.
“Sa kanilang way of life compared dito ay may pagkakaiba, so they want to learn also at makakuha rin sila ng additional knowledge and experience, how industrial places like Rio Tuba became progressive,” he said.