TUBA, Benguet — Adhering to its duty of implementing public infrastructure in its host and neighboring communities, Philex Mining Corp. has completed P40.34 million worth of projects like farm-to-market roads, bridges, electrification, and potable water systems from the whole of 2016 until the first half of this year.
The total amount represents 60.23 percent of the P67 million budget allotted for the various infrastructure projects under the company’s 2016 Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) according to Aurora Dolipas, manager of the Community Relations (ComRel) Department at Philex Mining’s Padcal mine in the province.
“More projects are ongoing and we have been working very hard to deliver these during the second semester,” she said. “These as much represent our commitment to community development as our adherence to responsible mining over the past more than six decades of operations.”
Marvin Padinay, a civil engineer who works as projects coordinator at ComRel, said a total of 67 projects were delivered to outlying communities (both host and neighboring) last year, worth P24.5 million or 36.58 percent of the 2016 total infra budget of P66,987,723.13.
The construction of a retaining wall in the Tuba barangay of Camp 3 topped all the other projects done last year at P1.58 million and was completed in July 2016. This year, a P3.61-million rehabilitation of a slope protection wall in Itogon’s Sitio Samoyao, Ampucao village, led the two other projects delivered during the second quarter with a combined cost of P5.95 million.
ComRel’s Marvin Agustin, who monitors the infra projects being implemented, earlier said the company completed P15.84 million worth of public infrastructure during the first half of 2017 that was part of the 2016 SDMP, with those delivered between April and June alone amounting to P5.95 million and, for the first quarter, P9.88 million.
Philex Mining had set aside P81.53 million for its 2016 community-development projects under the SDMP, which, besides public infrastructure, also covers free health-care services to stakeholders and medical missions in remote areas; scholarships for students in elementary, high school, college, and technical-vocational; and livelihood programs.
Padcal, Philex Mining’s sole operating mine, has Camp 3 and Ampucao for its host barangays, while its neighboring barangays consist of Camp 1 and Ansagan (both in Tuba) and Dalupirip (Itogon).
Its final 2016 report on social projects also showed that Philex Mining set aside P16.31 million for its media and public campaign on the benefits derived from mining, and another P10.87 million for the development of the industry.
A large-scale miner is mandated to set aside for the current year an amount equivalent to 1.5 percent of its total operating expenses the previous year. The amount is then divided into 75 percent for SDMP, 15 percent for the Information, Education, and Communications (IEC) campaign, and 10 percent for the Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG).
Philex Mining had allotted a total of P110 million for its 2016 SDMP, IEC, and DMTG based on its 2015 operating expenses of P7.3 billion. Its SDMP-IEC-DMTG allocation for this year, on the other hand, amounts toP110.48 million.