The Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) has stepped up livelihood and community assistance interventions to indigenous communities in Barangays Inogbong and Bato-Bato in Bataraza by distributing high-value crops and providing jetmatic water pumps.
Community organizer Vannesa Apilan of the Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) said Friday that on October 25, some 40 households have received banana and calamansi planters in addition to jetmatic pumps to serve around 100 families.
The company set aside over P100,000 for high-value crops that have benefited the local households. Each family received 15 seedlings as an additional source of livelihood.
“Dependent na rin talaga sila sa agriculture, dagdag kita na lang ‘yan sa kanila. Meron din sila mga kasagingan, iba’t ibang source of income, may vegetable din ‘yan sila at palayan. Naisip nila na magdagdag sila ng ibang source of income tulad ng calamansi kasi nakikita nila na kapag naitanim na siya, pangmatagalan din na income,” she said.
The RTNMC has urged the locals to maintain their plantations. She added that the community is confident that the products to be produced will have a potential market within the town.
“Pasalamat din kami na lahat ng projects ay napunta sa amin at nakamit namin,” tribal council member Taupon Andrico said.
The distribution of jetmatic pumps covered four sitios, the budget coming from the company’s Social Development Management Program (SDMP).
“One-year na pagpapaplano ito, napag-isipan ang proyekto na ito ng SDMP. Ibig sabihin, kakulangan sa sitio nila, kulang talaga ang supply ng water, wala sila mapagkunan ng tubig kasi masyadong malayo. Kailangan talaga ng tubig na pang-araw-araw nila kasi pwede rin gamitin sa ibang bagay tulad na rin ng farming,” she said.
Chieftain Noraida Sundil said that it will help them with their daily needs as it is now closer to their households.
“Kailangan din talaga namin, malayo kasi ang tubig sa amin. May hose pero hindi pwede mainuman, kasi marumi kaya malaking tulong talaga sa amin. Wala rin talagang pinagkukunan noon,” she said.