Some P15.6 million worth of relief assistance has been extended by Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) to Palawan to support efforts to combat the pandemic.
The mining company’s support came from its Social Development and Management Program amounting P12,679,617.13 and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with the amount of P3 million.
Pursuant to the memorandum issued by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) on March 27, the mining company realigned its SDMP unutilized funds to support impact and non-impact communities due to COVID-19.
The SDMP is a five-year budgeted plan for development programs in the mining communities, which the MGB has allowed to be realigned during this pandemic in order to assist the mining companies’ host communities and neighboring barangays.
RTNMC has partnered with the provincial government and local government unit (LGU) of Bataraza to extend its relief effort to thousands of Palaweños.
RTNMC community relations manager Reynaldo dela Rosa said that partnerships with LGU is an opportunity for the company to extend their support to residents which are also stakeholders of the mining company.
“The donation was a combine funds out of Social Development and Management Program and Corporate Social Responsibility of Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation which is intended to augment the initiative of the municipal government of Bataraza in relation to the joint COVID-19 relief operations,” he said.
In series of the company’s efforts, RTNMC has provided P5.2 million assistance on May 4 from annual SDMP to purchase 1,322 bags of rice for the town of Bataraza. It was followed by another P3 million from its CSR fund which was turned over to the Bataraza LGU on July 2 for another bags of rice.
To extend its effort to more Palaweños over the province, RTNMC also turned over some P6.4 million to the provincial government for rice subsidy to be distributed to different towns.
“Kami sa RTN, bilang private sector ay grateful na makapag-extend ng tulong sa pamamagitan ng aming SDMP funds hindi lamang sa aming host and neighboring communities kundi maging sa buong lalawigan ng Palawan sa panahon ng health crisis,” Resident manager Engr. Cynthia Rosero said.
According to MGB MIMAROPA regional director Engr. Roland De Jesus, livelihood activities of the people have been affected by quarantine controls and most of the residents are dependent on the support of the local government.
The unutilized funds, however, from the SDMP have helped to serve as resources to support the needs of communities such as relief goods, he said.
He said that large amount of donated money came from the savings of the 2019 annual SDMP and other realignments with the 2020 SDMP, including the funds for information and education campaign (IEC) and Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG).
“It’s a good thing that in those localities where there are mining, this is one benefit of mining,” he said.