Barangay Rio Tuba’s 70th Foundation Day kicked off Monday and will be celebrated until March 10.
Called as one of the successful communities in Palawan, the village’s celebration has the theme “Isang diwa, isang hangarin, bunga ay progreso sa ika-7 dekada, mas maunlad na Rio Tuba.”
The weeklong festival is supported by Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) and Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC).
One of the highlights of the anniversary is the Lakbay Barangay which will give free haircuts, medical and dental services, special assistance to locals, especially to senior citizens and people with disabilities (PWDs) through the provision of wheelchairs and prosthetics.
The Lakbay Barangay is a flagship program of Rio Tuba chairman Nelson D. Acob and the Sangguniang Barangay which will gather different government agencies to provide the services during the weeklong anniversary.
“Maliban sa paggunita sa kapanganakan ng Rio Tuba through different activities, isa din sa pinakamahalagang highlights ay ‘yong iba’t-ibang services ng mga government agencies dinala sa barangay — both national, provincial, municipal and, of course, iyong barangay government. Iniimbita natin ang iba-ibang mga government agencies like Land Transportation Office (LTO), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Social Security System (SSS), PAGIBIG, and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Dahil isa sa mga layunin natin na ilapit ang gobyerno sa mga tao, kasi may mga transactions talaga na kailangan mo pa magbiyahe sa Puerto Princesa,” he stated.
Apart from the Lakbay Barangay event is also the launching of the Motocross Competition and bangkarera, two brand new projects for this year’s foundation day.
Serving 23 years as Rio Tuba barangay secretary, Jocyline Parafina shared how massive the changes went during the annual foundation day.
“Dati, it was just a one night affair. Nabibigyan naman din ng kasiyahan ang community, pero kasi noong mga panahon na iyan , wala pang mga electrification, water system… as in totally wala. Nandoon din naman ang mga event highlights, such as Mutya ng Rio Tuba, pero lahat ng mga programa ginaganap lang sa loob ng isang araw,” she stated.
Parafina also added that it was all thanks to the support of RTNMC and CBNC.
“With the assistance of Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation and Coral Bay Nickel Corporation, unti-unting nagkakaroon ng progress ang barangay. Ang annual festivities, isang linggo na ang selebrasyon and mas dumadami ang mga planned programs every year, kaya makikita mo sa mga locals kung gaano sila kasaya and looking forward to the foundation day,” she added.
For 14 years, the CBNC has been helping Rio Tuba to attain changes geared toward uplifting the lives of its residents through its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
“It is one of our advocacies to support the citizens of Barangay Rio Tuba in terms of giving full assistance, hindi lang tuwing annual foundation day. Not only because they are our priority, but mainly because this is our host barangay and community. Kaya we make sure na malaki ang budget sa Social Development Management Program (SDMP) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) ng Barangay Rio Tuba,” said CBNC Community Relations Manager Ernesto A. Llacuna.
The RTNMC also supports all of the barangay’s events, especially the annual foundation day.
It serves as RTNMC’S way to relax and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the mining industry.
“Every year may assistance [kami] na binibigay sa kanila. Syempre, ito iyong host community namin, so gusto namin maipakita ang partnership ng local government at ng dalawang companies. Maganda naman ang pamamalakad ng barangay, so full support kami palagi sa kanila,” said Reynaldo Dela Rosa, the community relations manager of Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation.
Dela Rosa added that more help was provided to Rio Tuba since the implementation of the new Philippine Mining Act of 1995, which makes it mandatory for all mining operations to have SDMP platforms to boost the economic growth of the community.