Two mining companies in Barangay Rio Tuba have put up some P6.5 million in subsidy to the district hospital in support of the municipal government’s “zero hospitalization payment” program for residents.
Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) and Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) subsidiary company Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) extended support from the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) funds of 11 impact barangays of the mining corporation.
Out of the total amount turned over to the local government unit (LGU) of Bataraza on August 10, CBNC shared P5.3 million and P1.2 million from RTNMC which was witnessed by the barangay captains from the 11 impact barangays of the mining companies’ operations, namely Rio Tuba, Ocayan, Taratak, Sumbiling, Sandoval, Iwahig, Igang-Igang, Sarong, Culandanum, Tarusan, and Sapa.
The total population of 75,468 individuals in Bataraza can avail of the free hospitalization program through joint efforts of the RTNMC, CBNC, and the provincial and municipal governments.
Bataraza mayor Abraham Ibba said that the municipal government eyes zero billing program for the 22 barangays in Bataraza.
He also acknowledged the support and assistance provided by the two mining firms to Bataraza LGU particularly for the health welfare of Bataraza residents through the services of the newly established Bataraza District Hospital (BDH).
“Ang pakay natin dito ay zero billing lahat dito sa district hospital para sa Bataraza constituents natin sa 22 barangays,” Ibba said.
He added that the target of full implementation will start in 2021.
“Maswerte tayo at mayroon tayong mga kompanya tulad ng CBNC at RTNMC na laging handang tumulong sa mga programa’t proyekto ng ating pamahalaang lokal katulad nito kaya lubos kaming nagpapasalamat sa dalawang kompanya,” he said.
CBNC community relations manager Ernesto Llacuna expressed gratitude to the continuous support of the municipal government and barangay officials to CBNC.
“This occasion is a perfect example of strong public-private partnership existing among our LGUs and private sector (RTNMC and CBNC),” he said.
“Sana ay manatili ang ating magandang relasyon, pagsasamahan at pagtutulungan sa bawat isa para sa patuloy na pag-unlad ng ating bayang Bataraza,” he added.
Venice Teresa Guian, RTNMC community relations and SDMP supervisor, said the company share for the total donation is about P1,273,203.94 from the 10 percent of impact barangays’ SDMP funds.
“Maganda kasi ‘yong layunin na zero billing sa indigents ng Bataraza. Nakikita rin namin ‘yong growing demand ng quality medical services sa Bataraza. For so long, walang municipal, district hospital, si RTNFI lang ‘yong nagki-cater,” she said.
Guian added that the presence of Bataraza district hospital is a big help in town as previously, it was only RTN Foundation Inc (RTNFI) hospital catering to the patients coming from the towns of Balabac and Rizal.
The increasing population of Bataraza due to job opportunities equates to the rising demand for quality medical services, she added.
“Malaking ginhawa siya kasi kahit may magandang livelihood, sa isang iglap lang, kapag nagkasakit, sa mahal ng gamot, ‘yong inipon mo ng ilang taon o buwan ay mawawala lang din,” she said.